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Hack: Sex, Drugs, and Scandal from Inside the Tabloid Jungle

Hack: Sex, Drugs, and Scandal from Inside the Tabloid Jungle [Kindle Edition]

Graham Johnson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Description


The nation's fruity new sweetheart Rebekah Brooks, 43, former chief executive of News International is traduced disgracefully in a new memoir, 'Hack', by snivelling former employee Graham Johnson, 44. He writes: 'Tall and slim, an English Rose with a killer streak, deadly as nightshade. But in the flesh she was strangely sexless, her femininity scraped barren by a corporate zealotry incongruous with her alabaster skin and floral prints'
- Ephraim Hardcastle --Daily Mail

For a large chunk of his life, Graham worked as a self-confessed 'tabloid terrorist'. He worked for Rebekah Brooks during her infamous stint as the editor of the News of the World. During this time, he did a lot of very nasty things, which he has decided to write down and release in his new book --VICE Magazine

Even if you re not a tabloid reader, this peek inside The News Of The World is a timely expose of a murky business. Johnson reveals how stories were fabricated, lives were ruined and privacy invaded. But what happens when News International turns on one of its own? A compelling read --Shortlist

Product Description

Graham Johnson was a fresh-faced journalist with an ambition to break the big news stories and make his name as a star reporter when an offer came in to work at a leading tabloid… he couldn't say no. Instantly, he found himself drawn into a world of sleaze, spin and corruption - where bending the law was justifiable in the hunt for the big-selling story and bending the truth was the norm.
Against his better judgement, Graham found his niche in this new world and, what's more, he found that he was good at it. In his time at first the News of the World then the Sunday Mirror, he made a name for himself as a man who could deliver the story, no matter what - a kind of tabloid terrorist who rifled through celebrity's rubbish bins, staked out politicians' hotel rooms, and paid-up page three girls to seduce Premiership footballers, all in the name of scoring a front-page story.
Hack is a compelling and intoxicating story of one man's time in the tabloid jungle - a world that in its heady mix of sex, drugs and casual immorality is reminiscent of the City - and how he ultimately saved himself.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 481 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (10 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007IL4STS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #119,485 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Graham Johnson is a best-selling author and investigative journalist who has contributed to a variety of publications including News of the World, Sunday Mirror, The Observer, Vice, The Guardian and Liverpool Echo. Johnson is also an award-winning documentary maker. He often publishes crime stories under several different bylines. He is also a media personality, frequently appearing on Sky and BBC as a crime pundit and reporter. He has also made documentaries for Sky, Panorama and Germany's ARD. For Vice, Johnson has produced three documentaries: Fraud and The Debt Collector which are based on his own investigations. The Debt Collector was based on his books The Cartel and Young Blood. He also produced Bare Knuckle for Vice. He worked at the Sunday Mirror from 1997 to 2005 and for six years was the newspaper's Investigations Editor. He has been a finalist for "Reporter of the Year" three times and been described in parliament as an "investigative reporter supreme". Johnson has covered stories including drug dealing in Britain, people smuggling in Europe, child slavery in India and Pakistan, and war in the Balkans. To research his debut novel, Johnson spent several years on and off embedded with some of Britain's most notorious gangs. He currently lives in London. His books have been published by Mainstream Publishing and Simon and Schuster and his literary agent is Jon Elek at AP Watt.

Non-fiction (true crime)

Powder Wars (2004)
Druglord (2005)
Football and Gangsters (2006)
The Devil (2007)
Darkness Descending (2009)
Hack (2012)
The Cartel (2012)
Young Blood (2013)

Soljas (2010)
Gang War (2011)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply thought-provoking 26 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't be put off by the headline of my review, this is a truly sensational book but - unlike author and self-proclaimed former 'tabloid terrorist' Graham Johnson - I'm not in the business of hype! Johnson writes engagingly and openly about his trade, sometimes with jaw-dropping honesty. Hack specifically details his time at the News of the World and, later, at the Sunday Mirror, and some of his admissions are genuinely astonishing - revealing the subterfuge, chicanery and, on occasions, sheer fabrication carried out by newspapers in the bad old days of Fleet Street. Some of his tabloid tales made me laugh out loud on the Tube, drawing strange glances from fellow travellers. Others made me mentally hold my head in my hands. Needless to say, this book is no hagiography, or rose-tinted, nostalgia-inducing memoir. Indeed, I suspect some hacks might well chide Johnson for lifting the lid on the dark arts behind the headlines. In the current climate of crackdown, amid 6am police raids on journalists and general ill-will towards the tabloids, he's certainly a brave man to do so. I've no doubt some of his former colleagues are languishing on police bail for far less, though I should make clear, as Johnson does, that he did not get mixed up in the bête noir that is phone hacking and the events of this book mostly pre-date the period now under scrutiny. What is clear is that Johnson was an exceptional reporter, albeit one who buckled under the pressure, falling into some pretty questionable behaviour. I don't believe he is an every-journalist in any sense. I have always thought newspapers were a bit like sausages; no matter how tasty, you really don't want to see what goes into making them. Having said that, this is a brilliant, thought-provoking read and I'd heartily recommend it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depressing - and uplifting 22 Jan. 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I first started out in journalism some 20 years ago, I had this notion that the role of a reporter was giving a voice to those that couldn't defend themselves (these were pre blog and Facebook days, remember) and I have always vociferously defended my trade against attacks by those who love to criticise newspapers and magazines.

The first half of Hack, the biographical tome by ex News of the World and Sunday Mirror reporter Graham Johnson, however, made me challenge everything I believed about journalism and left me feeling thoroughly depressed. Call me naive but I was stunned by the casual way that Johnson - who has since repented his sins after finding philosophy - recounted how he completely made up numerous stories. And by made up I mean really made up, to the extent of getting his mates to pose as drug dealers in photos that were published in the paper. Then there was his desire to turn over people who, at best, were low level chancers and Del Boys rather than proper, grown-up criminals.

Now there's no doubt that Johnson was a very capable reporter when he could be bothered and the latter stages of the book chart his rebirth at the Sunday Mirror and his eventual path away from the hotbed of tabloid journalism. It all makes for a fascinating insight into the way national newspapers work, the prejudices that are inherent on news desks, the insular black-and-white nature of tabloids generally, and the giant egos that stalk so many newsrooms.

Rob Griffin
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read. 26 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I will be honest,I only bought this as it was 99p and I had a bit of time on my hands during a Sunday.However once I started reading it was very difficult to put down.True Mr Johnson even in his book says he made a few stories up,so even if only a snippet of his book is true then we need to take all news in papers with a pinch of salt.Although he doesn't go too much into the phone hacking scandal,his snippets of information make all of it more than possible.For a book that was going to keep me occupied for a week or so didn't,a great read.
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I've read some of his other books and liked them but it's clear after reading this that Graham Johnson is a pretty appalling person. Purely because of what he admits to in this book (e.g. harrassing Steve McManaman and his dying mother, destroying peoples' lives for the hell of it etc etc) I feel I shouldn't buy any more of his books. 'Hack' is a good read but it doesn't half get you angry and/or depressed when reading it.

And isn't there something a bit morally odd about a Scouser working for the Sun / NotW?
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I bought this as a present for my husband, as he has read all of Graham Johnson's books. He said he enjoyed reading about Liverpool's gangster life,so,if you're into this kind of thing,it'll be a good read for you. I gave it 4 stars,as I haven't actually read it myself, to rate higher,but I think my husband would've given it 5 stars. Brilliant investigative reporter/author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great writer - great book 24 Jun. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You couldn't make it up. Everything I thought I knew the tabloid scum did and more was in this book. If you think Spitting Image's salivating pigs are a bit OTT then think again - the reality is much worse! Apart from Rebekah Brooks of course - she is totally innocent of any crimes against humanity, a beautiful, wonderful, warm human being, who loves Dai Cam lots (Lol) and is the sort of homely girl you'd take home to meet your mother. I don't know why they all pick on her so much? Lol. Read it here!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars it gives a good insight into his past
After reading some of Graham's other books, it gives a good insight into his past.
Published 21 days ago by Pat x
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth it
Well worth a read brings a smile to my face on people I know and have known bring it on
Published 5 months ago by Jay K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insight into how the riff-raff run the red top newspapers
Graham Johnson tells it as it was for him as a junior "investigative" hack at News International. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Steve SR 800
4.0 out of 5 stars Everything that's wrong with tabloid one person
If you ever consider a career in journalism this is most definitely not the book for you. But if you ever doubted that the News of the World deserved to be closed down read this... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jnev785
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll become more aware of hack stories
It took me a while to get into the style of Graham's writing but I'm glad I persisted. It opens your eyes further to some of the stories thrown together for entertainment in the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Silentg
3.0 out of 5 stars Very current read.
A seemingly honest account of the authors career to date.
It begs less 'morning glory' and more 'in depth' story
Published 14 months ago by Harriet.Blackbury.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!
This book is well worth a read. I knew the tabloids would make up or embellish the odd, but the scale of the lies and lives ruined by the press is shocking. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Lebowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale of sex, drugs and kiss 'n tell tabloid journalism
From the very first sentences, it's easy to tell why Graham Johnson became a valued predator in the tabloid jungle. His writing is taut and urgent. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Scribbler
5.0 out of 5 stars A Manual In Subversion and Sharp Practice
Why Daily Mail's Ephraim Hardcastle dismisses Johnson's work as if he were an angsty teenager kicking back at NoW is beyond me. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Neil2445
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