What could the story possibly have been?

The thing which is baffling me about the New of the World scandal is what they thought could possibly generate a newspaper story from their hacking victims. Even at the most cynical view of the newspapers as having the sole purpose of selling papers, I really can not see how hacking the phones of people who were unlucky enough to get on the wrong bus and were killed in a terrorist atrocity could have produced a story. That friends and family were worried and trying to get in touch can be taken as understood, it’s not necessary to get a sample of phone messages to know that.
The only stories which came out of the Milly Dowler phone hacking were one where they claimed that some “sick woman” had given missing Milly’s phone number to a job agency (which turned out to be no “sick woman” at all, but a misdial by the agency) and the story that Milly’s family still had hope that she was alive – a story caused by their own people deleting messages.
When the hacking culture got so endemic that it seems to have become an automatic thing to do, it looks as though the journalists have forgotten what they are supposed to be doing, reporting news and exposing genuine wrongdoing, including by the press!

1 Comment

Thursday 7 July 2011 - 12:39 pm

Hey Jackie,

They may not of found a story so much as ideas for who to contact regarding the story. Knowing someones social circle and the privileged information therein is incredibly valuable when constructing narrative (“news” for News Corporation means reality + their imposed narrative).

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