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

Graham Johnson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
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Book Description

10 May 2012
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 selling newspapers. 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.

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Hack: Sex, Drugs, and Scandal from Inside the Tabloid Jungle + The Cartel: The Inside Story of Britain's Biggest Drugs Gang + Young Blood: The Inside Story of How Street Gangs Hijacked Britain's Biggest Drugs Cartel
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849838771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849838771
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'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).

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 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 bÍte 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: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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4.0 out of 5 stars You'll become more aware of hack stories 6 Jan 2014
By Silentg
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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 past and even in today's papers. We all know you can't believe everything you read in the papers and although the book is an opinion piece, it does really divulge how far that deceit goes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very current read. 17 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A seemingly honest account of the authors career to date.
It begs less 'morning glory' and more 'in depth' story
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