Hackgate: “This may be a story for years to come…”

So says the FT media editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson. It’s a good conversation, but it’s also the kind of thing we all say when we really don’t know what’s going to happen next. And there’s a good deal of impatience around this story. Last night saw an ill-tempered spat on Twitter last night, between the Labour MP Tom Watson who’s been driving a lot of the political force (in initial defiance from his party leader), and the BBC’s Robert Peston, because …

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Any questions for the Culture Media and Sports Committee?

Two Westminster committees will face down key players in the #hackgate scandal… Two policemen at the heart of the scandal face the Home Affairs Committee whilst the Messers Murdoch and Ms Brooks face the culture committee… Can we have your sharpest, most surgical questions please? Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK …

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Twitter v #NOTW: the growing power of social media?

Over on the BBC, Rory Cellan-Jones has some background on an interesting aspect of the News of the World story. For a while now, traditional news outlets have been in competition (of sorts) with social media to feed a developed appetite for rolling news. However, as Cellan-Jones has flagged, this story appears to be bringing the print and broadcast media into conflict rather than competition with social media, particularly Twitter. A quick click on the current picture on trendsmap.com (at 12 pm on 06/07/2011) shows all the …

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If we know where the NOTW ‘phreaking’ story began, where does it end?

It’s hard to find the right words to describe what Glenn Mulcaire appears to have done in the case of the murdered teenager, Milly Dowler. ‘Phreaking’, we’re told, rather than ‘hacking’ is the correct portmanteau term [*see Comrade Stalin’s comment below]. And that word is disturbingly resonant with a News of the World operative not just listening to Milly’s phone messages, but deleting some to make space for more, thereby falsely raising the family’s hopes that she might have still been …

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#Hackgate: An inquiry would go to the detail no one else wants

I honestly thought we’d seen the last of the (or as Dizzy puts it, the unhacked stupidity of individual politicians) #hackgate scandal last summer… According to a lengthy New York Times piece, apparently not. That said, apart from the onset of a judicial review, apart from evidence from ‘unnamed sources’, I cannot see what distinguishes the current situation from the way it was left last summer. The shabby dealings and evasions of News International are the same now as then… But …

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Tory press bullying can only boost Clegg

Embarrassed at having failed to predict the Clegg surge, the Tory press are monstering him before tonight’s debate. Has nobody told them that when in a hole stop digging? This is setting up Clegg nicely for the second half of the campaign. Most attention is focused on the Lib Dem leader, some on Cameron, precious little on Brown. This is probably just as well from Labour’s point of view. The comment on the MSM bullies is mostly negative, not least from …

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If Blair played footsie with the tabloids Cameron has brought them in-house…

The story in Westminster continues, if at a decidedly lower pitch now the Guardian has shot most of the bolts in it possession. For context, the Tory blogosphere until three days ago confident and even bellicose in it’s prosecution of the case against an ageing Labour administration is now unusually silent on any matters of substance. Guido’s list of what’s hot and cooking in the media is normally a highly reliable weather vein towards some of the sharpest comment on …

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Murdochgate: A scandal that’s only just beginning…

If you were watching closely enough yesterday you’ll have noticed that there was a buzz all around Westminster and associated media ports over the revelation that two of Rupert Murdoch’s papers have been conducting regular fishing trips against public figures (some political, some not), and that they had settled with three ‘victims’ for £1 million (or ’shut-the-f*ck-up’ payments as Rick puts in this excellent piece on where all of this is really heading). That’s a public interest story, if ever …

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