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'This book uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain, how it used its huge power to bully, intimidate and cover up, and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service and our press.'Rupert Murdoch's newspapers had been h 'This book uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain, how it used its huge power to bully, intimidate and cover up, and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service and our press.'Rupert Murdoch's newspapers had been hacking phones, blagging information and casually destroying people's lives for years, but it was only after a trivial report about Prince William's knee in 2005 that detectives stumbled on a criminal conspiracy. A five-year cover-up then concealed and muddied the truth. Dial M for Murdoch gives the first connected account of the extraordinary lengths to which the Murdochs' News Corporation went to "put the problem in a box" (in James Murdoch's words), how its efforts to maintain and extend its power were aided by its political and police friends, and how it was finally exposed.The book is full of details which have never been disclosed before in public, including the smears and threats against politicians, journalists and lawyers. It reveals the existence of brave insiders who pointed those pursuing the investigation towards pieces of secret information that cracked open the case.By contrast, many of the main players in the book are unsavoury, but by the end of it you have a clear idea of what they did. Seeing the story whole, as it is presented here for the first time, allows the character of the organisation which it portrays to emerge unmistakeably. You will hardly believe it.


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'This book uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain, how it used its huge power to bully, intimidate and cover up, and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service and our press.'Rupert Murdoch's newspapers had been h 'This book uncovers the inner workings of one of the most powerful companies in the world: how it came to exert a poisonous, secretive influence on public life in Britain, how it used its huge power to bully, intimidate and cover up, and how its exposure has changed the way we look at our politicians, our police service and our press.'Rupert Murdoch's newspapers had been hacking phones, blagging information and casually destroying people's lives for years, but it was only after a trivial report about Prince William's knee in 2005 that detectives stumbled on a criminal conspiracy. A five-year cover-up then concealed and muddied the truth. Dial M for Murdoch gives the first connected account of the extraordinary lengths to which the Murdochs' News Corporation went to "put the problem in a box" (in James Murdoch's words), how its efforts to maintain and extend its power were aided by its political and police friends, and how it was finally exposed.The book is full of details which have never been disclosed before in public, including the smears and threats against politicians, journalists and lawyers. It reveals the existence of brave insiders who pointed those pursuing the investigation towards pieces of secret information that cracked open the case.By contrast, many of the main players in the book are unsavoury, but by the end of it you have a clear idea of what they did. Seeing the story whole, as it is presented here for the first time, allows the character of the organisation which it portrays to emerge unmistakeably. You will hardly believe it.

30 review for Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain

  1. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    A very, very interesting read. It was eye-opening to see how truly awful the Murdoch clan is: the way in which they find news stories illegally, tail and harass their enemies, lie with psychopathic conviction about their public motives. Everyone who cares about democracy should read this book, even if only to take a very skeptical view of its future prospects. It is gratifying that Rupert Murdoch is no longer the uncrowned King of England. But will he be the last to covet such a position? One do A very, very interesting read. It was eye-opening to see how truly awful the Murdoch clan is: the way in which they find news stories illegally, tail and harass their enemies, lie with psychopathic conviction about their public motives. Everyone who cares about democracy should read this book, even if only to take a very skeptical view of its future prospects. It is gratifying that Rupert Murdoch is no longer the uncrowned King of England. But will he be the last to covet such a position? One doubts it, given what this case reveals about human motivation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard Bartholomew

    In 2008, the journalist Nick Davies published Flat Earth News (review here), a forensic deconstruction of declining press standards in the UK. One chapter, entitled "the Dark Arts", included a brief reference to the arrests of the News of the World's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and an investigator named Glenn Mulcaire, "for intercepting voice-mail messages on mobile phones". News International explained that Goodman was a "rogue reporter", and Davies expressed frustration at the PCC's un In 2008, the journalist Nick Davies published Flat Earth News (review here), a forensic deconstruction of declining press standards in the UK. One chapter, entitled "the Dark Arts", included a brief reference to the arrests of the News of the World's royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and an investigator named Glenn Mulcaire, "for intercepting voice-mail messages on mobile phones". News International explained that Goodman was a "rogue reporter", and Davies expressed frustration at the PCC's unwillingness to look into the matter more deeply. The paper's editor, Andy Coulson, resigned and became the spokesman for the Prime Minister, David Cameron. Dial M for Murdoch chronicles how that "rogue reporter" defence crumbled under the increasing weight of evidence; evidence unearthed despite police reluctance, press regulatory indifference, and media resistance. Another reviewer has already bagged the phrase "sordid saga", which is certainly the most apt description for the national culture of corruption that saw weak and self-serving politicians and venal senior police officers kow-tow before a bullying media empire that saw itself – not unreasonably – as above the law. The book was published in 2012, and in 2015 it is somewhat dated: certain names had to be redacted for legal reasons that no longer apply, and there has since been a series of high-profile criminal trials during which a fuller picture has come to light. A more recent perspective on the story can be found in Davies’ Hack Attack, published in 2014, but Watson and Hickman's account has continuing value as a primary source and as a guide to the material – Watson, who was targeted personally by Rebekah Brooks for his opposition to Tony Blair’s leadership of the Labour Party, used his position as a Labour Member of Parliament to campaign on the issue, and he was involved in questioning Rupert and James Murdoch at the Culture Select Committee. There’s also an account of a private meeting between Watson and Neville Thurlbeck, which Thurlbeck apparently regarded as a breach of confidence ("The information was given to him confidentially and should not have been made public", according to Thurlbeck in the New Statesman). The authors also highlight some pertinent points from the Leveson Inquiry, and, like Peter Jukes' Fall of the House of Murdoch (in which the phone-hacking scandal provides the hook for broader meditations on Murdoch’s power and influence - reviewed here), the book also preserves some otherwise ephemeral quotes and incidents. And also as with Jukes’ book, the unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan, and what this implies about the most serious police corruption in Britain, is an important sub-theme. It remains unclear as to what extent phone hacking was practised across the industry before the Goodman case first came to light. We now know that the Mirror Group of newspapers also gathered material for stories in this way, despite the denials of Piers Morgan, but were there others? On page 33, the authors note the early whistleblowing role of Tom Bradby, a reporter known for his links with Princes William and Harry:Brady explained to William and his brother Harry that during his time as a royal correspondent, redtop reporters sometimes hacked voicemail messages.That was in 2005. Ten years later, Bradby gave a slightly fuller account in a BBC documentary, Reinventing the Royals (this is my own transcript):And I said, "well listen, when I first became royal correspondent I was told that, you know, reporters quite regularly listen in to each other's voice messages. I would be amazed if they're not still doing it."This issue of journalists hacking one another is referenced in passing in Dial M for Murdoch; stories on the subject appeared in 2011, although it is now known that the Mail on Sunday was told by police in 2006 that its journalists had been targeted. For some reason, the paper decided to keep this information to itself. Watson and Hickman note that in 2007, the actor Hugh Grant accused the Mail on Sunday of hacking his phone, although his deduction was conjectural and was dismissed by the paper as "mendacious smears" (a somewhat self-righteous turn of phrase for a paper then in the process of paying Grant damages for libel). The hacking scandal changed the media landscape in the UK (and, to some extent, in the USA, too): the News of the World shut down; News International's media bid for complete control of BSkyB was cancelled at the last moment; News Corp split into two companies: an entertainment division (including Fox) and a publishing division (including HarperCollins and News International). Doubtless the phone-hacking trials will have a lasting effect on the culture of British journalism, as will the way that some journalists – including Clive Goodman – were abandoned by their former employer. The political cost, however, has been short-term. Hiring Coulson was a mistake for David Cameron, but it was soon forgotten and the 2015 election results show that Murdoch's support remains an asset. Even Jeremy Hunt, who as Culture Secretary was an enthusiast for Murdoch's BSkyB bid, remained a minister despite the laughable weasel move by which the extricated himself from the fiasco ("Forced to give a statement to the Commons... the Culture Secretary admitted things had gone awry – and announced the resignation of his advisor, Adam Smith"). Cameron has continued to court the support of unscrupulous media operators, seen most recently in a video message that was played at a celebration of the anniversary of the creation of the Guido Fawkes website.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vanda Denton

    Still relevant on many levels. Highly recommended. Though this book speaks of shocking practices taking place some years back, it remains relevant on many levels. It is smoothly written for ease of reading, with all facts verified. There is intense detail, much of which I’d forgotten, along with further information I’d been unaware of. It is valuable for its evidence of corruption involved in major sections of the press and also close connections to leading politicians as well as the police. I’m Still relevant on many levels. Highly recommended. Though this book speaks of shocking practices taking place some years back, it remains relevant on many levels. It is smoothly written for ease of reading, with all facts verified. There is intense detail, much of which I’d forgotten, along with further information I’d been unaware of. It is valuable for its evidence of corruption involved in major sections of the press and also close connections to leading politicians as well as the police. I’m looking for a follow-up. A few low-level operatives were hung out to dry but I feel the main culprits got away scot free. And such appalling dealings must surely have a legacy in today’s Britain.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tim Mullen

    A must-read for anyone who has Rupert Murdoch owned media in their country. An easy to read, but absolutely frightening expose of the corruption, and the methods Murdoch and his cronies were prepared to go to to cover-up that corruption. No-one was immune - past and present Prime Ministers, Cabinet Members, the Police from the most junior to the most senior, prison officers, even members of the Intelligence Service. From celebrities to the most abhorrent - a murdered teenage girl - Rupert Murdoc A must-read for anyone who has Rupert Murdoch owned media in their country. An easy to read, but absolutely frightening expose of the corruption, and the methods Murdoch and his cronies were prepared to go to to cover-up that corruption. No-one was immune - past and present Prime Ministers, Cabinet Members, the Police from the most junior to the most senior, prison officers, even members of the Intelligence Service. From celebrities to the most abhorrent - a murdered teenage girl - Rupert Murdoch's newspapers thought them all fair game. This shows that in people like Tom Watson there are some politicians who will sacrifice their careers to do the right thing for their country. And the story doesn't end with the book!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Athene Wherrett

    Watson and Hickman do a brilliant job of describing the events leading up the Leveson Inquiry. It's astonishing how much power the Murdoch empire had over the police and the government who actively resisted investigating the hacking allegations until they were forced, i.e it was embarrassing and damaging for them not to. Does contain a very questionable assertion though P260 4th paragraph - ''Before it was over, Cameron had answered 136 questions''. Can't possibly be true, this man never answers Watson and Hickman do a brilliant job of describing the events leading up the Leveson Inquiry. It's astonishing how much power the Murdoch empire had over the police and the government who actively resisted investigating the hacking allegations until they were forced, i.e it was embarrassing and damaging for them not to. Does contain a very questionable assertion though P260 4th paragraph - ''Before it was over, Cameron had answered 136 questions''. Can't possibly be true, this man never answers a question if he can possibly help it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sohini

    This book is brilliance. The dexterity with which the authors have seamlessly woven the complex factual matrix into one cohesive narrative is commendable. Must read for anyone who wishes to learn more about the harms of the nexus between the media, the Parliament and the police. Considering the ubiquity of the problems discussed in the book, the lessons derived can be applied to other jurisdictions as well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    A must read for anyone interested in politics and journalism in the UK. You'll be shocked and appalled by the alleged widespread wrongdoing. In particular, the passages regarding the willful inaction by the police are damning. Not a heavy read. A neat, flowing account.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lucy McCoskey

    a modern horror story, well-researched, well-written, & told by 2 men who refused to sit down & shut up a modern horror story, well-researched, well-written, & told by 2 men who refused to sit down & shut up

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adam Mills

    One of the best books you'll read on Leveson. Informative, interesting and worth every penny. As a Journalism student, it's fascinating.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Diocletian

    A detailed look at the phone hacking scandal that erupted into the public eye in the early 2010s. In essence, all Murdoch cares about is maximising sales and furthering his right-wing nutjob agenda. And he'll achieve that by any means necessary. This lead to journalists blagging information from authorities, hacking phones and computers, either directly or indirectly, for more salacious stories. There was an unhealthy relationship with the police, paying them for information and also a revolving A detailed look at the phone hacking scandal that erupted into the public eye in the early 2010s. In essence, all Murdoch cares about is maximising sales and furthering his right-wing nutjob agenda. And he'll achieve that by any means necessary. This lead to journalists blagging information from authorities, hacking phones and computers, either directly or indirectly, for more salacious stories. There was an unhealthy relationship with the police, paying them for information and also a revolving door where retirees would work for News International. The police were scared of ramifications of investigating News international properly. When victims started suing for damages, they got paid off and were made to sign NDAs. Management must have known what these huge payments were for. In fact, former employees say that, hacking was encouraged and endemic. At best management had wilful blindness, at worst they're liars. It's funny how News International said they were sorry. Yeah, sorry you got caught. They obstructed the investigation at every turn, lied to select committees and destroyed evidence. It is highly alarming examining the level of contact between the Conservative Party and News International. It was long known that Cameron was in Murdoch's pocket, going on horse rides with Rebekah Brooks (though it later transpired that Blair went to the christening of Murdoch's grandson and became his godfather). The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, exchanged thousands of messages with a go-between (and even James Murdoch) at News International, giving him inside knowledge of how the BSkyB takeover bid was progressing and how to adjust the strategy when it hit roadblocks. Incredibly, Hunt was cleared of wrongdoing by the PM and actually promoted. Boris Johnson was also impotent in his response to the scandal. The book is a treasure trove of facts, like police operation names are chosen at random. The reason the Murdoch press bashes the BBC is to strengthen their dominance of the media, specifically their bid for Sky. Why does something as benign as the Human Rights Act get lambasted by Fleet Street? I used to be flabbergasted by this, now I understand that the act gives devious press barons more legal exposure on the garbage they write about people, because of the right to privacy. Murdoch switched support from Labour to the Tories because Gordon Brown could not give assurances that he would deregulate the press further, after the election. The book ends somewhat optimistically in that, now that the crimes have been brought to light, things will change. However, the authors acknowledge themselves, that Murdoch is still at the helm. Seven years on not much seems to have changed. Rebekah Brooks was never convicted and is now CEO of News UK the rebranded News International for one. As Private Eye have advocated, there needs to be a Leveson Inquiry Part Two, where rather than getting the press to agree to a voluntary code of practice, fines and jail time should be enforced in law against impropriety. The world will be a better place when this cancer on society is eliminated. Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price claimed that the committee’s members had been warned that if they had called Brooks [before the committee], their private lives would be raked over. Boris Johnson [..] had been warned by the Met’s inquiry in 2006 that he had been hacked by Glenn Mulcaire, but he had not sued then or later; and though he was chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority (which oversaw London’s police force) he had also failed to do anything in July 2009 on publication of the Gordon Taylor story. Johnson knew he might need the full-blooded support of News International at the mayoral election in May 2012 or if he was to fulfil his long-held ambition to become Prime Minister. As they raced to contact other victims of crimes, Scotland Yard had informed Graham Foulkes, whose 22-year-old son died in the 7/7 bombings in July 2005, of evidence that his phone had been hacked.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Noora

    This book has been sitting on my shelves for over 5 years, and in that time the phone hacking scandal has been investigated, reported and widely discussed. However, as the news that second Leveson inquiry was dropped broke, I was prompted to finally pick up this book. Published in 2012, Dial M for Murdoch is slightly outdated but manages still to demonstrate the history of how these illegal media practises were unearthed. The book is not without faults nor is it completely unbiased (one of the w This book has been sitting on my shelves for over 5 years, and in that time the phone hacking scandal has been investigated, reported and widely discussed. However, as the news that second Leveson inquiry was dropped broke, I was prompted to finally pick up this book. Published in 2012, Dial M for Murdoch is slightly outdated but manages still to demonstrate the history of how these illegal media practises were unearthed. The book is not without faults nor is it completely unbiased (one of the writers in a Labour MP whose phone was hacked), but the sheer disregard and contempt for basic human privacy shown in the book is mindboggling. It's definitely worth the read if you are interested in media ethics and the relationship between press and politics in the UK.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Corbin Routier

    The books describes themes of corruption and how rules do not intimidate those at the top of the political food chain. Unfortunately it is greatly inhibited by a poor righting style. A large portion of quotes are hearsay from secondary or tertiary persons. Anecdotes are frequent, sporadic, and mostly do not contribute to a framework. The author consistently introduced people who were never mentioned again in the book. When a name was mentioned again, the author had to cite the page (up to 50-200 The books describes themes of corruption and how rules do not intimidate those at the top of the political food chain. Unfortunately it is greatly inhibited by a poor righting style. A large portion of quotes are hearsay from secondary or tertiary persons. Anecdotes are frequent, sporadic, and mostly do not contribute to a framework. The author consistently introduced people who were never mentioned again in the book. When a name was mentioned again, the author had to cite the page (up to 50-200 back) to remind the reader who he was mentioning. It reads more like a high school paper rather than from someone holding political office.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    I rarely read "Current Affairs" but this is an excellent piece of book journalism and it covers a fascinating and unbelieveable story. The scale and nature of the phone hacking scandal which tainted the Murdoch name and ended the press run of The News of the World is compelling and engaging. Whilst at times it is difficult to hold onto the sheer volume of information - particularly named lawyers and journalists - overall the two authors do an excellent job. Would recommend to anyone willing to wo I rarely read "Current Affairs" but this is an excellent piece of book journalism and it covers a fascinating and unbelieveable story. The scale and nature of the phone hacking scandal which tainted the Murdoch name and ended the press run of The News of the World is compelling and engaging. Whilst at times it is difficult to hold onto the sheer volume of information - particularly named lawyers and journalists - overall the two authors do an excellent job. Would recommend to anyone willing to work through the details of this huge and shocking scandal - in the UK or if not with an interest in UK media or politics.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Glen

    Though we now know the outcome going through each small piece of evidence of wrongdoing and corruption with Watson and Hicks is a sickening journey. Though it occasionally reads like a LIST OF BAD STUFF RUPERT DID, it's impossible to ignore just how insidious the Murdoch regime is, the cynicism of their apologies and decisions and that not enough has changed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    And

    A moderately interesting account of the Murdoch owned press and the phone hacking scandal, which mostly affected the rich and famous - many of whom received large sums of money in compensation. From the distance of 2020, it seems like ancient history now.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sulzby

    I have been posting on Facebook about this outstanding non-fiction book for weeks now. This carefuly researched book outlines the numerous investigations in Britain of Rupert Murdoch, his heirs and underlings, his various holdings and the long lines of corruption at almost all areas of British society for the past 42 years. This all erupted in public in July 2011. I accidentally was able to watch all of the hearings in the Culture subcommittee of Parliament in live broadcast and have been follow I have been posting on Facebook about this outstanding non-fiction book for weeks now. This carefuly researched book outlines the numerous investigations in Britain of Rupert Murdoch, his heirs and underlings, his various holdings and the long lines of corruption at almost all areas of British society for the past 42 years. This all erupted in public in July 2011. I accidentally was able to watch all of the hearings in the Culture subcommittee of Parliament in live broadcast and have been following these events in the print and television news ever since. These events are massively important in Britain and the USA where Murdoch and News Corp own Fox News and all its affiliates. They are currently being investigated by the FBI and the Department of Justice for the crimes in Britain because Murdoch became a US citizen to be able to own all the news holdings he has here. They have recently expanded these investigations into bribery in Russia. The USA has a "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" under which a US citizen can be prosecuted for crimes in foreign lands--currently Britain and Russia. Whether these investigations will take on the courage and broadranging nature of those in Britain remains to be seen. At the time of this writing, the Congress oversight sub-committee, under Darryl Issa's "leadership" are tying up Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice's resources in the partisan contempt vote. This is also during the time the Department of Justice has been dealing with violations of the Voting Rights Act and various purge laws across the nation, especially in Florida. This is red-hot sizzling reporting in the book and being continued all around us. Appropriately, I finished it on the Summer Solstice. After reading the other brief reviews, I will add more content to my review soon. I was afraid I would be redundant but even the Goodreads head review is very brief. Have to put all these dogear and underlinings to good use, I guess. and will do so soon.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

    This was a good book but I only gave it three stars for two reasons. Whereas it was a fantastic round up of all the events that have happened so far, and certainly a good read, I unfortunately felt that it was far too biased. Sure it's hard not to be biased on the way the Murdoch clan handled this, and as a trainee journalist myself I cannot at all advocate the issue of phone hacking - but to present Tom Watson as a totally honourable knight in shining armour whereas the Murdoch's were totally b This was a good book but I only gave it three stars for two reasons. Whereas it was a fantastic round up of all the events that have happened so far, and certainly a good read, I unfortunately felt that it was far too biased. Sure it's hard not to be biased on the way the Murdoch clan handled this, and as a trainee journalist myself I cannot at all advocate the issue of phone hacking - but to present Tom Watson as a totally honourable knight in shining armour whereas the Murdoch's were totally bad no matter what oversimplified the issues at hand (just as a note I have obviously never met Mr Watson so can't judge him as such, the issue at hand here is more over the characterisation of people needing more detail I felt). I felt that the characters of Rupert and James Murdoch were quite two-dimensional. There must be more to the story than totally good and evil? But anyway aside from that issue of characterisation, this book is definitely a recommended read for those interested, and certainly to hear it from one of the most long-standing and dogged campaigners to get to the bottom of this.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    The most shocking aspect of the impropriety uncovered by the phone hacking scandal is not that journalists are unscrupulous and will do anything to get a story. It is that Murdoch's media machine was at the heart of a vast web of corruption and intimidation which included the police, politicians, criminals amongst others. Watson gives a blow by blow account of how events unfolded, to the extent that sometimes I found myself a little lost amongst all the details. This book certainly highlights the The most shocking aspect of the impropriety uncovered by the phone hacking scandal is not that journalists are unscrupulous and will do anything to get a story. It is that Murdoch's media machine was at the heart of a vast web of corruption and intimidation which included the police, politicians, criminals amongst others. Watson gives a blow by blow account of how events unfolded, to the extent that sometimes I found myself a little lost amongst all the details. This book certainly highlights the moral vacuum in which the press operate and at times is quite shocking. However I would have preferred to read more about the more sinister behaviours of News International such as their surveillance of police officers and politicians they found threatening and their alleged involvement in the Daniel Morgan murder. Still I would recommend this book to anyone who is labouring under the misapprehension that the media act as a noble force which hold the powerful to account. In the case of News International at least, they act more like a sinister network of bullies who serve their own agenda.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    For a book about journalists behaving badly, this sure earns a lot of ethical side-eye. Tom Watson underwent some horrific things at the hands of News International and legitimately has an axe to grind. But he should have written a memoir, not something that claims to be investigative journalism. The endless third-person praise of Watson (by Watson!) gets gross after 50 pages as does his conviction that NI was responsible for everything horrible that has happened in the UK. There's also his and For a book about journalists behaving badly, this sure earns a lot of ethical side-eye. Tom Watson underwent some horrific things at the hands of News International and legitimately has an axe to grind. But he should have written a memoir, not something that claims to be investigative journalism. The endless third-person praise of Watson (by Watson!) gets gross after 50 pages as does his conviction that NI was responsible for everything horrible that has happened in the UK. There's also his and Hickman's decision to refer to News of the World as News of the Screws so interchangeably that I thought they were referring to a different paper. Other Great Moments In "Objective" Journalism include constant sexism and a weird, one-paragraph lionization of Eliot Spitzer that makes it sound as though he was responsible for the FBI's investigation into NI.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cliff

    There's a story to be told about this shameful part of journalist history and, until ALL the facts come out (and I'll be dust by then!), this book will have to suffice. At least it sets the template; and for now that will do: a bitter, vindictive media mogul; cronies who will do anything (ANYTHING!) for their boss, and for their boss's 'favourites', for 'fame', and (most crudely of all) for money; the belief that they are all above the law, that they are 'untouchable'; that they have the politic There's a story to be told about this shameful part of journalist history and, until ALL the facts come out (and I'll be dust by then!), this book will have to suffice. At least it sets the template; and for now that will do: a bitter, vindictive media mogul; cronies who will do anything (ANYTHING!) for their boss, and for their boss's 'favourites', for 'fame', and (most crudely of all) for money; the belief that they are all above the law, that they are 'untouchable'; that they have the politicians and the police in their pocket (everything required for a coup!); and, worst of all, that they believe they spoke for every moderate member of society. This book sets the scene. With the known facts at the time it is still one hell of abhorror story. Read it now: know your enemy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This was a shocking, startling yet fascinating book into the scandal that has almost overwhelmed News International and the Murdoch empire. Each chapter was captivating in terms of reading what else had gone on during the hacking. However it felt so one-sided and biased. I know that Watson was unfortunately part of the scandal in that he was spied on and threatened, but it almost felt as if a personal agenda was set throughout the book. I would've preferred to rate this as two and a half stars if This was a shocking, startling yet fascinating book into the scandal that has almost overwhelmed News International and the Murdoch empire. Each chapter was captivating in terms of reading what else had gone on during the hacking. However it felt so one-sided and biased. I know that Watson was unfortunately part of the scandal in that he was spied on and threatened, but it almost felt as if a personal agenda was set throughout the book. I would've preferred to rate this as two and a half stars if it were possible. It wasn't as impartial as it could've and should've been but is nonetheless a recommended read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Matt John

    " 'Mr [James] Murdoch, you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise.'" (p. 287) Pretty much sums it up really. Some parts appear to be a little biased as one of the authors, Watson, was someone who was directly affected, but that still does not take away the severity of the situation. These events go right back to the days of Thatcher and have been covered up and deliberately ignored since this time by the Murdochs, the UK governments and the poli " 'Mr [James] Murdoch, you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise.'" (p. 287) Pretty much sums it up really. Some parts appear to be a little biased as one of the authors, Watson, was someone who was directly affected, but that still does not take away the severity of the situation. These events go right back to the days of Thatcher and have been covered up and deliberately ignored since this time by the Murdochs, the UK governments and the police at least. It's actually quite disturbing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Fay

    I'm probably going to have to go back later and re-read this just to get the full story straight in my head - a simple chronological timeline of the key events would make a useful appendix for future editions, if the author ever reads this? I thought I already knew enough about the phone hacking scandal from following the news stories, but I still found plenty in this book to make my jaw drop. Currently out on loan to a friend, because it's the kind of book you just can't leave sitting on a shel I'm probably going to have to go back later and re-read this just to get the full story straight in my head - a simple chronological timeline of the key events would make a useful appendix for future editions, if the author ever reads this? I thought I already knew enough about the phone hacking scandal from following the news stories, but I still found plenty in this book to make my jaw drop. Currently out on loan to a friend, because it's the kind of book you just can't leave sitting on a shelf once you've finished it. Highly recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Richard Coady

    I thought this was one of the most important books to be published over the last few years. As an ex-journalist (who resigned on moral grounds) I know how much of what we read in The Daily Rag is written with a hidden agenda or is just plain old lies. I'm glad that there is a book out there that can highlight the moral bankruptcy of the world of tabloid journalism. I found the book compulsive reading and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever read a newspaper. As Watson quotes one senior jour I thought this was one of the most important books to be published over the last few years. As an ex-journalist (who resigned on moral grounds) I know how much of what we read in The Daily Rag is written with a hidden agenda or is just plain old lies. I'm glad that there is a book out there that can highlight the moral bankruptcy of the world of tabloid journalism. I found the book compulsive reading and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever read a newspaper. As Watson quotes one senior journalist: "This is what we do. We ruin people's lives."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I simply hate Fox News so this topic was of great interest to me. Thoroughly researched and documented. Found the level of illegal and immoral behavior at Newscorp to be stunning. A big part of my disgust though is not limited to Murdoch's empire - it's what passes for "news" in our culture in general. When a public figures young child is diagnosed with a serious disease - that is NOT news. It's a personal family tragedy. We get the news coverage we deserve.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meg McAllister

    If you’re in the media business, or have an interest in how news happens, you should read this book and be educated and repulsed. Whichever side of the Atlantic you live on, Rupert Murdoch wields influence over what you read, watch…think. And the lows being stooped to to gather — conjure if necessary — information, for the sake of circulation and ratings and clicks and ad revenue is appalling.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    what is that old maxim? Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely? Not particularly well written - but the story that is told is of a disgusting, bullying out-of-control culture. Was very interesting to read against the backdrop of the Levenson Inquiry being conducted.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Damian Bakula

    Nothing that really surprised me. Good info for anyone that didn't realize the power and influence Murdoch has on media and politics, but a rather boring read that drones on with unnecessary details and narratives that don't add anything to the author' story or case.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    I really enjoyed this very readable and accessible account of the phone hacking scandal, all brought together in one place. Apart from in one or two places, the authors don't overdose on detail so in general the book is easy to follow.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    The most amazing thing I have read so far in this book is the fact that James Murdoch was involved with Rawkus Records, whose output I now have to go and listen to, thus making it difficult for me to finish reading.

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