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Old 07-09-2011, 09:32 PM   #31
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We're learning more about the culture that operated in the NOTW newsdesks - a culture of intense pressure and bullying, by the look of things.


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The pressure on journalists at the paper to satisfy the demands of the editor was immense, says Mr McMullan. These demands ranged from requiring groundbreaking stories to ridiculous requests made for the amusement of executives. On 9/11, Mrs Brooks demanded a reporter, who had been designated the News of the World’s Harry Potter correspondent wear his costume for her and Mr Coulson’s amusement. The reporter refused, believing it was in poor taste, and later quit.

But the pressures to produce exclusive stories conspired to create the collapse.

“The people who did the hacking were driven to it,” said one source. “The pressure is massive. It’s endless. If you don’t produce stories you’re abused in conference and threatened with dismissal.” Mulcaire, who said he was under strain to justify the £10,000 a month he was being paid, began to hack mobile phones on an industrial scale. At first, the hacking was used as a secondary tool, a means, said a source, of “filtering out” the hundreds of tips that would be rung in to the newsdesk.

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The pressure on journalists at the paper to satisfy the demands of the editor was immense, says Mr McMullan. These demands ranged from requiring groundbreaking stories to ridiculous requests made for the amusement of executives. On 9/11, Mrs Brooks demanded a reporter, who had been designated the News of the World’s Harry Potter correspondent wear his costume for her and Mr Coulson’s amusement. The reporter refused, believing it was in poor taste, and later quit.

But the pressures to produce exclusive stories conspired to create the collapse.

“The people who did the hacking were driven to it,” said one source. “The pressure is massive. It’s endless. If you don’t produce stories you’re abused in conference and threatened with dismissal.” Mulcaire, who said he was under strain to justify the £10,000 a month he was being paid, began to hack mobile phones on an industrial scale. At first, the hacking was used as a secondary tool, a means, said a source, of “filtering out” the hundreds of tips that would be rung in to the newsdesk.

Phone hacking: Swagger that sowed the seeds of destruction - Telegraph
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:03 PM   #32
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NOTW reporters may have tried to hack 9/11 victims

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DESPERATE Rupert Murdoch yesterday flew to London to try to save his crumbling empire.

He arrived in a cowboy-style hat to be hit by claims News of the World reporters hacked the phones of 9/11 victims.

Murdoch held talks with News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, amid fears nine staff and three cops may face jail.

--------------------------------------------

HIS media empire is crashing around him, he’s just shut down a scandal-hit newspaper and his BSkyB bid is in tatters, but Rupert Murdoch still came out grinning yesterday.

And this cosy picture of him giving his backing to smiling Rebekah Brooks will no doubt infuriate the 200 loyal staff at the defunct News of the World who were sacrificed while she clung to her job.

As Labour leader Ed Miliband vowed to scupper Mr Murdoch’s bid to own all of BSkyB, the News Corp boss seemed to brush off his troubles to joke with the under-fire News International chief executive – who was editor when murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked. Asked what his first priority was, he gestured at Mrs Brooks and said: “This one.”

Mr Murdoch arrived in London yesterday, wearing a Panama hat and clutching a final copy of the News of the World, in a bid to save his crumbling organisation after the phone-hacking scandal saw the 168-year-old paper axed.

But he flew straight into another storm as it was claimed 9/11 victims may have had their mobiles tapped by News of the World reporters. And there was more bad news when it was revealed nine reporters allegedly at the centre of the phone scandal and claims of police corruption could face jail, along with three officers.

After he spent time at News International’s Wapping HQ in East London, 80-year-old Mr Murdoch held crisis talks with Mrs Brooks, 43 - who denies any knowledge of the Milly phone tapping - at his home in Mayfair.

The pair chatted behind closed doors as a former New York cop made the 9/11 hacking claim. He alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.

Now working as a private investigator, the ex-officer claimed reporters wanted the victim’s phone numbers and details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading up to the atrocity.

A source said: “This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data. He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their relatives.

“His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.

“The investigator said the journalists seemed particularly interested in getting the phone records belonging to the British victims of the attacks.”
No way it could have gone on this long without knowledge.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:57 AM   #33
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In the next hour ex-PM Gordon Brown is apparently going to unleash hell on the Sunday Times, making them 'the centre of the story'. That would be very interesting, as they're, obviously, not easy to brush off as a trashy tabloid gone rogue or whatever. Could say a lot about the News Corp 'news' attitude and culture across the board, but let's wait and see...

Also people starting to speculate that News Corp might dump News Intl. (UK newspaper arm) all together. If so, not sure what value there would be in it. The Sun performs well but is definitely on the downward as all print media is, and The Times loses £45m a year, was subsided by Sun/News of the World.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:04 AM   #34
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Also, loads of speculation over what both Rebekah Brooks meant when she told staff that the worst was yet to come, alongside similar hints from other media/politicians who seem to perhaps have visibility to things they can't for legal reasons mention right now. Guesses on "How could it possibly get worse than it is?" include...
- Something national security related.
- Or something otherwise directly related to loss of life (although its well known that they've hounded people to suicide before, so they've already got that one on the books really.)
- Something that rockets this across the Atlantic. You match this anger and atmosphere in the US, and the Murdochs (if not News Corp) are toast.
- Something related to Diana. That sounds like not much of a leap from already existing revelations, but for the Murdoch-tabloid key demographic, it certainly is.
- Or she's just talking about what we expect, that as the criminal side of this plays out (police corruption, executive obstruction/perjury etc) it's just going to get shittier and shittier. It certainly does however sound like it's less this, and there more revelations to come.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #35
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Background for Brown stuff here, but he's talking to the press in the next hour: News International papers targeted Gordon Brown | Media | guardian.co.uk

And Murdoch has said they are not going to spin off Sky News from BSkyB anymore - that was what they needed to do to satisfy regulators that they could own BSkyB without having too much influence. So this is a sign that he's intending to dump other assets - ie, he is going to dump *all* the newspapers.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:43 AM   #36
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It looks like while Rebekah was being friends with Gordon Brown and his wife, NI was hacking into phones to learn about the Browns' son who is ill. Nice friend, right?

I'm not at all surprised by the reports about the bullying at NOTW. The news business is filled with that. I used to work full time in the field and saw a lot of people literally willing to kill for a story or to be promoted. The term cut throat is not to be taken lightly there.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:58 AM   #37
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Not phone hacking, but theft of medical records. They ran with this story as Gordon Brown and his wife were coming to terms with the illness themselves. And you can still see The Sun boasting about breaking that 'cracking' story on their website here: Print Friendly Page Presumably this link will be taken down soon...

Absolute fuckwits.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:55 PM   #38
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7.22pm: Sarah Brown has been using twitter to comment on the Guardian's report that journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted her husband, attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account and the family's medical records.

She tweets here:

so sad to learn all I am about my family's privacy - it is very personal and really hurtful if all true #notw et al

and here:

Thanks for your thoughtful messages this eve, really appreciated. Thinking of other families affected who did not ask to be in public eye.
Phone-hacking scandal – latest developments | Media | guardian.co.uk
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:07 AM   #39
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Really interesting dissection of the events on last night's Media Watch (they dedicated the whole episode to it, they rarely do that) hosted by the delightfully smug Jonathon Holmes.

Media Watch: To be or not to BSkyB? (11/07/2011)
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:30 AM   #40
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BSkyB bid withdrawn. That means he can't try again for six months. I'd be amazed if they don't try again - News Corps entire future is based on deals like this - and that this isn't about just turning the heat off. Six months where people aren't screaming about it. Six months to sell off the newspaper business to clear the ownership hurdles. Six months for people to get bored of slow-dragging commissions and whatnot. Six months to shake up the executive level of News Corp. But at the same time, definitely looks like the heat is trying to be turned on in the US? Will it ignite? Whether or not the charges extend to the US arm of the business, the parent company is US based and there are pretty strong laws there relating to how US companies behave overseas, and this story kind of hits a jackpot in terms of doing everything wrong, and goes straight to cross-Atlantic executives.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:39 AM   #41
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I thought Murdoch makes the big money with Hollywood movies, not with the bloody UK tabloids?
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:46 AM   #42
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Content AND distribution together are where he makes his coin. So a mix of owning things like 20th Century Fox, Fox TV studios, shitloads of sports rights, and then the channels in the middle (Fox, Fox News etc), and then the cable/satellite networks that broadcast them. So no, the print media side doesn't make money anymore (or very little.) It's long been said that the wider News Corp executives (and shareholders) would love to see them get out of print altogether, but that's what Murdoch started with and built off and it's a personal affection thing (and newspapers are still his key to political persuasion and power, particularly in the UK and Australia.) Everyone has always expected News Corp to sell all their newspapers off the morning after Murdoch either retires or dies. So being forced to do it now won't be such a big deal.

But that's why the BSkyB bid was important. Without getting it (and there's a slim chance he might lose all of it) they've got no future in the UK, and it's a significant hit for News Corp globally. It's a huge hole in the network. The wider public victory is about that influence - too much influence, and it's a corrupt influence too. But... this surely won't be the end of News Corp trying to get BSkyB. They'll definitely try again. Might just not be with a Murdoch running the show.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #43
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Gordon Brown, in a speech better than he ever made as Prime Minister, neatly fillets what is left of News International's reputation:

‪Gordon Brown parliament speech on hacking, part1/3 (13July11)‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:54 PM   #44
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I don't have much to comment on (yet) in this story. But thanks, FG and Ernie, for keeping us up to date. Good analysis.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:00 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
I don't have much to comment on (yet) in this story. But thanks, FG and Ernie, for keeping us up to date. Good analysis.
I am hoping that you will comment on this at some stage as I'd be interested in your take.
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