A Media Standards Trust report (March 2015) estimated that 5,500 people were hacked by the News of the World. Of 500+ cases analysed, 69% did not involve celebrities; about ten per cent of victims were caught up in tragedy.
The actor George Clooney – son of a journalist – announced he was preparing to direct a film telling the story of the investigation into phone hacking (Press Gazette, September 2014). Read more
Terrorism laws could be used against political journalists and bloggers, an independent watchdog warned (Guadian, August 2014). Read more
Press Gazette law writer Cleland Thom responded with a list of other laws that could be used to constrain media freedom, here
The 2014 report of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation is here
Note: this story was uploaded to Media Law Matters before the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation directive, which toughens up data protection law, from May 2018.
A review of investigatory powers was announced, with a deadline for evidence of 3 October 2014. It was to cover the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, under which the first phone hacker was jailed. Read more
Prosecutions of journalists were harming freedom of expression, said the lawyer acting for a Sun reporter cleared of charges relating to a “stolen” phone (Press Gazette, August 2014). Read more
Nick Davies, the Guardian writer who exposed the phone hacking scandal, tells the story behind the saga in Hack Attack, published in August 2014.
Audio: “Murdoch and his papers have done incalculable damage” – Nick Davies says Rupert Murdoch’s influence on major world issues goes to the heart of democracy. Listen
“…there was this horrible regime of fear, just bullying down the hierarchy, which is all too familiar in newspapers… And it’s a horrible experience for a decent, honest person to be working at the lower levels of that kind of hierarchy and being forced to do things that they don’t want to do – forced to do bad things, ruling breaking, law breaking, or simply going out and bullying and cheating sources of information, and writing stories that aren’t true. It’s one of the saddest things that goes on in journalism, I think.” (Nick Davies, interviewed in Press Gazette). Read more
“Politicians who fail to support the editorial line of the Murdoch newspapers are “monstered,” their personal lives taken apart with an amalgam of facts, lies and trumped-up scandal. The toolbox of the sleazy reporter includes “blagging,” “muppeting” and “double whacking.” Without getting bogged down in the tawdry details, all involved various degrees of false identities and impersonation.” (New York Times review). Read more
“Hack Attack won’t convert anyone. It smacks of politically correct dogma and lacks the coolness you expect from a reporter who’s been around the block as often as Nick Davies. But no one can deny the offences were terrible and so was the press-police relationship.” (Sydney Morning Herald). Read more
Book extract: bullying culture at the News of the World
The Mirror group complained that lawyers acting for celebrities over phone hacking were charging disproportionate fees. The case could cost millions (Press Gazette, August 2014). Read more