This Is Investigative Reporting? News Corp. Allegedly Hacked Into Phones, Paid Off People To Silence Them

from the hmm... dept

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.

Filed Under: hacking, newspapers, privacy, reporting, spying
Companies: news corp.


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  1. identicon
    Steff (Inari), 10 Jul 2009 @ 3:19am

    Regardless of the Guardian's motives...

    ... I think the most interesting point is that News International, which publishes The Sun and the News of the World, the two papers implicated in this affair, has not denied paying £1 million pounds of hush money. In fact, aside from a statement that failed to address the most important issues, this normally very aggressive organisation has not said much at all.

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