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Hack: Sex, Drugs, and Scandal from Inside the Tabloid Jungle Mass Market Paperback – 10 May 2012


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849838771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849838771
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 0.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 691,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Bibliography[edit]
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)
Novels

Soljas (2010)
Gang War (2011)

Product Description

Review

'A timely exposé ... A compelling read' --Shortlist

About the Author

Graham Johnson is an investigative journalist and author of the highly acclaimed true crime titles Druglord and Powder Wars (both published by Mainstream).

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt Nixson on 26 April 2013
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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 By Rob Griffin on 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 By David Clark on 26 Nov 2013
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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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Format: Paperback
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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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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Graham Johnson tells it as it was for him as a junior "investigative" hack at News International. It explains what motivates some of the personalities who ran the News Of The World, charts Johnson's gradual rise inside the paper and includes the hilarious tale of how his career at News International came to an end.

Could tell you more, but that would take the fun out of reading this tome. Will be interesting to see what the verdicts are on Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and Co are in the ongoing interminably long phone hacking and perverting the course of justice trial.
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