- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Gibson Square Books Ltd; First Edition edition (7 Aug. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1908096950
- ISBN-13: 978-1908096951
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 528,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The News Machine: Hacking, the Untold Story Paperback – 7 Aug 2014
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'Gripping… a sordid and cynical web of corruption.' --Peter Oborne, Daily Telegraph
'Brilliant.' --'Lisa Markwell, Independent on Sunday
About the Author
James Hanning, deputy editor of the Independent on Sunday has investigated the story from 2006, questioning key players from reporters to Andy Coulson himself. For The News Machine he gained exclusive access to Mulcaire and his family - who are deriving no financial benefit from this book - over an extended period of time, and interviewed senior politicians, policemen, lawyers and journalists who were involved in the affair.
Top customer reviews
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James Hanning has defended the indefensible. Glenn Mulcaire became the scapegoat and can-carryer for the News of the World's phone hacking. On one level this is the sad old story of the small guy ground to pieces by a corporation. Mulcaire was a good Catholic, a family man who wanted to use his skills to help expose wrongdoing. He was repeatedly assured by his paymasters that what he was doing was legally defensible. Yes, he allowed himself to be pressured into hacking celebs, but in the case of Milly Dowler and elsewhere he had good reason to believe he was working on behalf of the police and the security services.
On another level this books brings back to raucous life the soaraway years when pissed old hacks were baffled by the new technology rather than being made redundant by it. We are taken back to a time before journalists were graduates, to smoke-filled newsrooms and pubs, the banter, the bullying, the nicknames and cruel jokes. Here rascally red-faced men in short sleeved shirts cut corners and used every trick to get a story out before their rivals. They were 'proper hacks' and proud of it. Hacks of this generation may have seemed a bit like dinosaurs to some by the time this book starts, but they recognised the value of what Glenn Mulcaire had to offer and brought him in under their scaly wing.
The newspaper culture for which this book is nostalgic and the rich diversity of the press was one of the glories of British culture. Perhaps we will only appreciate that now it has been thinned out by the new technology and the new Puritanism?
James Hanning is a high minded and much respected journalist, but in this book he allows us to see how deeply he feels the pull of all the other stuff, and that is what gives this books its power. He writes 'Journalism is full of decent people who start off wanting to make the world a better place but who find themselves steered off course by the demands of the market place'.
He portrays a cast of larger than life characters, may of them with a fine mix of motives. But the hacks at the heart of phone hacking were not, for example, politicians or moguls. They were not motivated primarily - if at all - by greedy for money. They were not power-hungry. This excellent, insightful book shows that some, like Glenn Mulcaire, were high-minded - that his nickname at the N of the W was 'matey' shows he was an outsider - but for the most part they were in it for a laugh. It was, above all, a game to them - and that again is a quality in British culture that is perhaps in danger of being lost.
This book is often very funny. It's full of anecdotes from the glory days, and Hanning's own dry humour comes to fore especially, I think, where libel lawyers have obviously suggested rephrasings, and he gives us instead neat little parodies of lawyer-speak.
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