Stories from 2009:

The PCC give themselves a black eye

Published November 2009.

The Guardian November 9 2009 (Following publication of the Press Complaints Commission inquiry into phone-hacking at the News of the World) If you write news stories, you know sometimes they’ll be attacked. But this is the weirdest attack I’ve experienced in 33 years of writing: the Press Complaints Commission has thrown plenty of punches from […]

The sex trafficking trawl which failed to net any traffickers

Published October 2009.

The Guardian October 20 2009 The UK’s biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government ministries, specialist agencies and every police force in the country. The failure has been disclosed […]

How misinformation flooded the sex trafficking story

Published October 2009.

The Guardian October 20 2009 There is something familiar about the tide of misinformation which has swept through the subject of sex trafficking in the UK: it flows through exactly the same channels as the now notorious torrent of falsehood about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programmes. In the story of UK sex trafficking, the careful conclusions […]

Naming the victims of media spying

Published August 2009.

The Guardian August 2009 The Guardian today reveals the identities of scores of public figures whose confidential details were extracted from supposedly secure datbases by a network of private investigators working for news organisations. The victims include politicians, union leaders, a high court judge, sports personalities, film stars, rival journalists and thousands of members of […]

How the media broke into confidential databases

Published August 2009.

The Guardian August 2009 From his cramped office at the back of his family home on a quiet street in New Milton on the Hampshire coast, Steve Whittamore worked for years as the link between news organisations and a network of sources who could penetrate the security of confidential databases. Eastwards, on the Sussex coast, […]

What have they forgotten – and when did they forget it?

Published July 2009.

The Guardian July 22 2009 The News of the World has finally found a story it can’t crack. Its former and current editor, its managing editor and in-house lawyer took it in turns yesterday to confess their failure to find answers to the most important questions which still surround the phone-hacking affair. Last week the […]

Phone-hack evidence was never passed to prosecutors

Published July 2009.

The Guardian July 21 2009 Scotland Yard will come under fresh pressure today to reopen its inquiry into phone-hacking and the News of the World after prosecutors said they were never handed a document that appeared to implicate another of the paper’s senior staff. The Crown Prosecution Service told the Guardian that detectives did not […]

Phone-hack charges ‘were only a sample’

Published July 2009.

The Guardian July 17 2009  with David Leigh Prosecutors evaluating evidence in the royal phone message hacking case were faced with so many potential offences that they deliberately limited the number of charges to prevent the inquiry becoming “unmanageable”, a statement from Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, said last night. Police and lawyers […]

Clifford leads phone-hack legal actions

Published July 2009.

The Guardian July 14 2009 The celebrity publicist Max Clifford is starting a legal action against the News of the World to uncover any role its journalists may have played in intercepting messages left on his mobile phone. He has hired the same legal team who successfully won more than pounds 1m from the paper […]

Second phone-hack victim named

Published July 2009.

The Guardian July 11 2009 The Guardian can disclose today the identity of a second person to whom the News of the World’s owners have paid secret damages, following the hacking of her phone. She is Jo Armstrong, a legal adviser at the Professional Footballers Association. The emergence of a second victim whose silence was […]

Back to top