Phone hacking and journalism

During the weekend a string of revelations of voicemail hacking appeared in the New York Times and The Guardian. It’s a story that started back in 2005, when the British royal family discovered their cellular voicemails where being accessed by journalists.  Scotland Yard stepped in and two journalists were jailed. The editor of the newspaper in question denied any involvement but resigned since it happened under his watch.  Case closed.

Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor, is now David Cameron’s media adviser.

Not so much apparently. Last week another journalist came forward to the NYT, disclosing that, in fact, the phone hacking practice was widespread and condoned by the newspaper’s management.  It seems, dozens of public figures, including leading politicians, had been victims of phone tapping. And the unfortunate former editor is once more at the center of the storm thanks to his current role as media adviser to the UK Prime Minister.

Now it seems likely that Scotland Yard will reopen the case, The Guardian reported Monday 6 September.

So far the only facts to have emerged are how trivial it is to access somebody else’s voicemail and that the mobile operators and the police did not alert all victims of the hack.


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