Breaking the News Corp. Phone Hacking Scandal

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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:


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