Expensive, time-consuming, redundant – and still necessary. News of the death of investigative reporting has been greatly exaggerated, if Hackgate is any barometer. The story that has dominated (some) headlines in recent weeks has been labelled a “triumph for investigative reporting”, not least for reporter Nick Davies. Nick Davies has been reporting on the failings of the global media industry for years. When Julian Assange wanted The Guardian to publish Bradley Manning’s explosive stash of cables, Nick Davies was the man he approached. They later had a much-publicised falling out.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has written for Newsweek on how the newspaper covered the story. Remembering the million-dollar damages paid to a News of the World journalist who’d been bullied by Andy Coulson in 2009 – ignored by other newspapers – Rusbridger writes, “There seemed to be some omertà principle at work that meant that not a single other national newspaper thought this could possibly be worth an inch of newsprint.” The omertà ended when it became clear that phone hacking was not just a prank played on celebrities but involved a murdered 13 year-old girl.
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