Books

Journalist in UK hacking scandal signs book deal

July 26, 2011

The last edition of News of the World newspaper goes on sale alongside other British Sunday newspapers in London in this July 9, 2011 file photo. — Reuters picThe last edition of News of the World newspaper goes on sale alongside other British Sunday newspapers in London in this July 9, 2011 file photo. — Reuters picNEW YORK, July 26 — The British journalist whose dogged reporting helped uncover phone hacking that has rocked media giant News Corp and its chairman Rupert Murdoch, has agreed to write a book about the scandal, his publisher said yesterday.

Nick Davies, a reporter for The Guardian newspaper of London, broke the story in 2009 that News International, the UK division of News Corp, had paid £1 million (RM4.8 million) to settle legal cases dealing with hacking by staff members at the company’s now defunct News of the World tabloid.

Davies spent two more years following the case and tracking down sources who could verify that reporters had illegally tapped into cell phones of celebrities, politicians and even a young murder victim to get private information the News of the World could trumpet in headlines.

The scandal has inflamed passions around the world and spurred investigations into News Corp’s other operations. Arrests of top officials have been made, and Murdoch and his son James, chairman of News International, were forced to testify in front of a British parliamentary committee.

Murdoch, the tough-minded businessman who sits at the head of a multibillion-dollar media empire that includes the 20th Century Fox movie studio and Fox TV network, called his appearance “the most humble day of my career”.

Davies’s book will be titled “HACK ATTACK: How the Truth Caught up with the World’s Most Powerful Man”, his publisher Faber and Faber Inc, an affiliate of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, said in a statement.

“Davies, author of the bestseller ‘Flat Earth News’, intends to provide an authoritative account and commentary on the News International scandal, including new revelations,” the publisher said. Publication is planned for late 2012. — Reuters