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133 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of reportage
The week I bought and read this book started with the three main political parties agreeing a framework for future regulation of the press, with much indignation coming from, of course, the press and in particular the Murdoch press. On the Wednesday the two main stories were the budget and the fact that the Deputy Editor of The Sun had been charged with corruption...
Published 16 months ago by Mr. R. Powell

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3.0 out of 5 stars Write O for Obsession
Useful but flawed book about the phone hacking scandal engulfing The News of the World, the police and politicians. Given the story is unfinished, with various individuals facing court action, it is an incomplete story. Also the consistently anti-Murdoch leanings of the authors - comparing him to a mafia boss - damages their objectivity. If there is a heaven I doubt it...
Published 13 months ago by Trevor Newstead


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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well written, 21 Jun 2012
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Matthew H "Matthew H" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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A good book, well written that is in the unfortunate position of being dull; which is surprising considering the content. Surely, though, it is simply this readers aversion to the story of the rise and fall of Murdoch that makes it boring and not the writing itself.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying, 16 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain (Paperback)
A rivetting expose of corruption affecting several parts of the establishment which are usually assumed to be beyond such stuff.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A national scandal, 13 Jan 2013
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Everyone of voting age should be made to read this story about the scandal of this generation. Riveting reading, which leaves several national institutions looking very tawdry.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Serious Scandal, 4 Oct 2012
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D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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Reviewing `Dial M for Murdoch' allows me to record a recurrent rant about today's fascination with the minutia of political intrigue or the obsession with so-called celebrities, together with the related pervasive and all-inclusive nature of media attention. It should not be overlooked how much deliberate governmental leaking is employed, and how conversion to celebrity status depends on media backing - so I find it difficult to get wound up by widespread intrusion into private matters via abhorrent antics of the tabloid press - this has been going on for years. For me it is no surprise that when technological advances made `phone-hacking' possible then journalists would take advantage, and rather than the reactions of politicians supposedly on behalf of the public - perhaps they are more vexed by revelations. Their own corruptions, conspiracies, collusions and cover-ups are little different to those of the media. If there is a more railed against profession than that of journalists it is likely to be politicians.

The co-authors of `Dial M for Murdoch' are a politician and a journalist and there is little doubt their coverage of illicit and manipulative operations by Murdoch's News Corporation is well researched and documented - and it is eye-opening. This is especially so for relations with the police service and governing establishment where exposures are appalling, and yet the final consequences are still to be ascertained. The authors have amassed a huge volume of minute detail on electronic eaves-dropping and blagging along with coercive pressure and power to intimidate. Unfortunately this becomes highly repetitive and it seems to be a disproportionate use of resources to investigate and to assist prosecution - there is too much without resolution. Potential readers may wish to wait for completion of the Leveson Inquiry as until then no full disclosure is practicable. Already matters have progressed since publication of `Dial M for Murdoch', and if in future there is to be another book I would like to see more coverage of historical interest and reasoning why Murdoch behaves as he does, and the subject could be widened from its focus on the News of the World. There are sufficient references to identify plenty of other rubbishy papers out there that peddle gossip column gibberish - and where does it all come from?
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough variety - wait for the Leveson inquiry to end, 29 Aug 2012
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D. J. Burton (UK) - See all my reviews
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I'll concentrate on the positives first: This is a very interesting and eye opening subject. It's amazing to discover how Rupert Murdoch's empire works and is controlled. Combined with hundreds of facts and snippets of information it's also very well researched and factually accurate. This makes up 3 of the stars.

Where I struggled with the book was the variety of content. This is basically 300 pages of detail upon detail on phone hacking. It does not really cover (not in detail) how his empire came about or the pre history before hacking was rife, which is what the synopsis suggests. After 200 pages it gets tiresome and repetitive and based on the same old opinion. The defence of the hacking is vague but the attack is pinpoint accurate - perhaps this reflects the actual situation at the time but I fear not.

Tom Watson clearly has an agenda and opinion here. It never really concludes because the Leveson enquiry is not yet complete and therefore certain facts have had to be missed out. Personally I think this has been released too soon with no real conclusion - so it loses a couple of stars for the above reasons.

Worth a read if you want an eye opener purely into phone and computer hacking in the industry.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 27 July 2012
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Mo "mo79uk" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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The phone hacking scandal was just the tip of the iceberg... If you want to pull out the whole structure for defrosting, this intense and gripping read will have your jaw dropping so far by the end that you'll have created a hole through the floor.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dial M for Mauling, 2 July 2012
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Thomas Pots "T Pots" (England) - See all my reviews
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Murdoch's news empire has in the last year or two come under concerted and public attack, not least through the witness box of The Leveson Inquiry, but this book stands out as one of the bitterest. In 360 pages it batters Murdoch and his allies from every angle, giving them a thorough and, some would say, well-deserved mauling.

A mauling indeed, but is the case put by Watson and Hickman fair? Given the endemic unfairness of some quarters of the Murdoch tabloid press, and the way it went about news-gathering, one could argue that fairness need not come into it. However, I don't want to get into the rights or wrongs of it here. The authors present what I would describe as the prosecution's side of the case, putting forward evidence (or suggestions) of wrongdoing, moral and ethical turpitude, corruption and criminality, which stacks up heavily against Murdoch and his associates. So no, it isn't a balanced argument at all, but it does make for an interesting read. It covers many of the witnesses who appeared at The Leveson Inquiry, including some of those from earlier in 2012, and also delves back into events of the 1970s and 1808s.

It makes some suppositions here and there that seem a little tenuous to me, but on the whole it makes a decent expose of the seedy end of Murdoch's press empire. I would like to see a book putting the counter-argument, but I somehow doubt one will emerge. Overall then, in my view it provides an insight on the dark arts of tabloid journalism, is a handy reference for matters referred to in Leveson, and a torrid and thoroughly entertaining read. The title's pretty good, too.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ongoing Saga, 22 Jun 2012
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T. Walker (Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Tom Watson played a significant role in bringing the phone hacking scandal out into the open and he is to be applauded for that. He was at the heart of the matter and because of that is well placed to write this book. It is, of course, an incomplete account because the saga and the Leverson enquiry are ongoing. There are criminal charges involved for sum which are still not resolved, so I suspect it will be some time before the true story is revealed. Meanwhile this book will bring you up to date insofar as it is possible. Recommended.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Machiavellian Murdoch, 7 July 2012
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Mr. William Oxley "oxenblocks" (England) - See all my reviews
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On the face of it the book should be a very interesting read as it delves into the sordid story of the News of the World and the Sun, run by the machiavellian Murdock. This is not just a scandal involving journalists, but one that also involves the police, politicians, and probably many others who will never come to light.

The trouble with the presentation of facts is that they can become dreary as we go from one fact to another, from one hacking to another, and it just becomes a bit dull. The story needed to be written but I think the duo were too close to the case and really failed to make the most of the sordid scandal.

One thing reading this book did do was encourage me not to buy the Sun, Times, or Sunday Times again. Plus I will not be getting Sky anytime soon. Buying Sky, that has an unhealthy hold over the football and other sports, just encourages and strengthens the Murdoch power base (although he does not own the whole of Sky).
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9 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Biased, 24 Jun 2012
Tom Watson has completely ignored phone hacking and bribery by other British newspapers and concentrates entirely on his pet-hate News International. Why not expose the Daily Mirror for example, that supports his own Labour Party? The book could have been great but it is typically disappointing and biased against one newspaper group. In essence, what else can you expect from Establishmentarians?
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Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain
Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain by Martin Hickman (Paperback - 29 Nov 2012)
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