Breaking the News Corp. Phone Hacking Scandal

Share:
Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch at the Stafford Hotel, London, Britain - 10 Jul 2011

Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch at the Stafford Hotel, London, Britain - 10 Jul 2011 (Rex Features via AP Images)

March 22, 2012
Stay tuned for Murdoch’s Scandal, a FRONTLINE investigation scheduled to air March 27 (check your local listings).

We may never have heard about the still-unfolding News Corporation phone hacking and bribery scandal were it not for “a Manchester lawyer, … a reporter for The Guardian and a few members of Parliament,” who somehow managed to bring a feared global media giant to its knees.

FRONTLINE correspondent Lowell Bergman recounted how a few chance incidents sparked an international scandal on NPR’s Fresh Air today. FRONTLINE’s film on News Corporation, Murdoch’s Scandal, airs Tuesday, March 27 (check your local listings).

Bergman also discussed what happened to some of those who took on News Corp., including Mark Lewis, the lawyer who would ultimately represent more than 80 victims of phone hacking:

He and a woman who he was going out with and worked with were put under surveillance, as was his ex-wife and child by a private investigator hired by News International. It isn’t that they just go out and hire private investigators. We now know that some of these private investigators worked in the newsroom. Or were told, ‘Become journalists. Join the journalism union.’ They were integrating these investigators into their newsroom operations. These surveillances were ordered. In fact, James Murdoch has now publicly apologized to Mr. Lewis and Tom Watson, a member of Parliament, for putting them under surveillance.

You can watch a preview of the film trailer above, and for much more, including Bergman’s take on the unique challenges of reporting on News Corp., listen to the full Fresh Air interview below:


In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

German Neo-Nazis Are Still on Facebook. And They’re Using It to Make Money.
Dozens of German far-right groups continue to leverage mainstream social media for profit, despite Facebook’s and other platforms’ repeated pledges to purge themselves of extremism, our reporting parter the Associated Press found.
September 24, 2021
Cadmium Spiked Inside a Tampa Lead Factory. Workers Didn’t Get Help.
For years, the company’s contracted doctor failed to flag abnormal test results and provide the required follow-up.
September 23, 2021
What Utah Police Can Do to Reduce the Times They Shoot at Minorities
A decade of data clearly shows police in Utah disproportionately shoot at racial and ethnic minorities. What isn’t so clear is what to do about it.
September 22, 2021
New Data on Utah Police Shootings and Race Called ‘Extremely Uncomfortable,’ ‘Disappointing’
Racial and ethnic minorities account for a third of the people shot at by Utah police over the past decade — despite these groups making up just a quarter of the population.
September 20, 2021