The News Corp scandal just seems to grow and grow. Allegations of phone hacking in the UK led to the closure of the oldest British tabloid "News of the World." The no ethics approach of those involved might put the acquisition of the British pay TV channel BSkyB by News Corp on hold . Rupert Murdoch is himself managing the fallout from London and the disclosures indicate a major shift in the democratization of news and resulting breach of privacy.
History and news till recently was only about Kings and Queens and there was very little about the common soldier. Celebrities including those from sport and film were also considered fair game by the paparazzi but generally the average citizen was left alone when confronting personal tragedy. Democratization with rising education is probably the reason that the News of the World was trying to illegally hack the phones of fallen British soldier families. The news organization reckoned that the public are interested in such a story, never mind the despicable method of getting to that story.
Just keep in mind that all this started much before social media really took off and reduced the privacy bar in society.