Media commentator Ray Snoddy is urging Rupert Murdoch to relaunch the News of the World so that the beleaguered popular press can stage a fight-back against its critics.
Writing on MediaTel's Newsline, Snoddy warns: "We are now getting to the dangerous situation where this is not merely a witch-hunt against The Sun but one that concerns all the supposedly free press in a supposedly free country.
"The cumulative effect of Leveson, the MSC [Management and Standards Committee], three separate police investigations and Parliamentary inquiries could add up to an hysterical over-reaction. This is particularly so when the most unambiguous abuse, phone-hacking, is already a thing of the past."Snoddy says: "There is a dramatic way for the press to fight back against its many tormentors, one that would take real guts. Rupert Murdoch could relaunch the News of the World in time for the first anniversary of its closure in July and in time for the Olympics.
"In retrospect the closure looks more and more like a mistake - bowing to emotional impact of the unprecedented Milly Dowler scandal.
"Now we know the most shameful act of all, which provided the coup de grace for the NotW, the deletion of Milly Dowler's voicemails may never have happened - or if it did, it wasn't the work of the Screws.
"A seven-day Sun would help attract some of the hundreds of thousands of lost readers back to newspapers. But can you imagine the publicity that a re-launched, totally spring-cleaned News of the World would garner.
"It would be rough on the innocent individuals who lost their jobs but for the sake of perceptions the paper would have to have a new editor and senior editorial staff untainted even by previous geographical proximity to the scandal. There is no shortage of unemployed journalists who would welcome the prospect of a freelance shift or two.
"It would be a very dramatic way for the popular press to begin a fight-back against its many tormentors. It would also be a last hurrah for Rupert Murdoch, who must feel some pangs of regret and guilt for closing a paper founded in 1843.
"If News International believes the controversy caused by such a bold move would be unsustainable then the company could distance itself by allowing the paper to reappear under licence.
"With the co-operation of NI over the title, including its printing capacity, a new News of the World could rise from the ashes and could be economically viable with a sort of virtual staff structure. There would have to be a tiny permanent staff - essentially an editorial commissioning team drawing on a network of freelance journalists around the country."
Snoddy admits: "It will probably never happen. Dead newspapers never come back to life do they? But it would be bloody marvellous if it did."