Graham Johnson. (2012). Hack: Sex, drugs and scandal from inside the tabloid jungle. London: Simon & Schuster.
Graham Johnson was for years an important member of the Screws of the World news team. His time at the paper predated the phone-hacking scandal, but Hack clearly shows that the culture which led to the criminal behaviour was well-established on the paper.
Johnson owns up to some pretty awful scams himself, including ruining the lives of people who were only featured in the paper to further its commercial success.
At the heart of the paper’s methods was destroying the lives of people who could not fight back. As Johnson puts it, they were usually too poor and powerless to prevent the NotW from giving them a right royal fucking over.
This is a terrible tale of what can happen when a talented reporter goes off the rails. Johnson worked for the News of the World for years and his insider story reveals a rotten culture. So rotten, in fact, that the phone-hacking and police bribery that finally brought the paper undone in July 2011 seem to be the inevitable end-result of endemic corruption and a conscious disregard for morality, ethics and the law. Read the rest of this entry »