Press ‘Omerta’: How Newspapers’ Failure to Report the Phone Hacking Scandal Exposed the Limitations of Media Accountability

THE PHONE HACKING SCANDAL: JOURNALISM ON TRIAL, Bury St Edmunds: Abramis, January 2012

18 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2012  

Daniel Bennett

University of Sussex; War Studies Department, King's College London

Judith Townend

School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex ; Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Date Written: February 7, 2012

Abstract

Explanations for the non-reporting of the phone hacking scandal need to delve beyond simplistic, if valid, assertions of industry cover-up. In order to explain why the majority of national newspapers failed to regard phone hacking as newsworthy, it is necessary to unpick a tangled web of contributing factors. This book chapter explores competing professional, political and commercial interests; the failure of other organisations – particularly the Metropolitan Police – to investigate the matter thoroughly; and the intimidating power of News International.

Keywords: journalism, phone hacking, accountability, press, news, newsworthiness, news values, sources, Metropolitan Police, News International, News of the World

JEL Classification: L82

Suggested Citation

Bennett, Daniel and Townend, Judith, Press ‘Omerta’: How Newspapers’ Failure to Report the Phone Hacking Scandal Exposed the Limitations of Media Accountability (February 7, 2012). THE PHONE HACKING SCANDAL: JOURNALISM ON TRIAL, Bury St Edmunds: Abramis, January 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2000768

Daniel Bennett (Contact Author)

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

War Studies Department, King's College London ( email )

United Kingdom

Judith Townend

School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex ( email )

Falmer
Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies ( email )

Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5DR
United Kingdom

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