by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 9th 2009 7:17pm
We keep being told that only newspapers can do "real" investigative reporting, even though we've seen plenty of evidence of others doing quite impressive investigative reporting without having a background in journalism. And, now, we find out that some investigative reporting by those "real" journalists apparently involved breaking the law, violating individuals' privacy... and then paying people off to keep quiet about it. At least that's the charge from The Guardian against Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. According to the Guardian's report (and, yes, the Guardian is a real newspaper and appears to have done a nice investigative job here -- we're not saying newspapers can't do good investigative reporting), there's growing evidence that a lot of folks involved in Murdoch's News Group Newspapers were involved in hiring people to hack into thousands of mobile phones to record and transcribe phone calls between various politicians and celebrities, and also involved tricking "government agencies, banks, phone companies and others... into handing over confidential information." And? When that evidence started to come out, they apparently paid up a bunch of hush money and convinced a court to seal the files. Again, this isn't to implicate all newspapers (the fact that another newspaper figured this out is great). But the idea that newspaper investigative reporting is somehow "pure" once again seems to be in question.
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