Phone Hacking Scandal

Recently the news has been filled with stories of phone hacking. Phone hacking is when somebody illegally listens to another person’s voicemail without their consent using equipment or software to gain access to their voicemail service.

Traditional and old media such as newspapers are now using phone hacking as a form of getting stories but they have been frowned upon for breaking the law. However even though Newspapers are a type of old media they hold so much power across the country. They have used this to their advantage as individuals working for the News of the World admitted that they bribed police officers for information they could use for a story.

A number of celebrities have had their phones hacked such as Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller and Paul Gascoigne. It’s not just celebrities that the newspapers were hacking to find stories. Victims of the 7/7 London bombing attacks and victims of dead soldier’s families mobiles have been hacked.  It has also been known that the phone of Milly Dowler was hacked. The News of the World hired private detectives to hack into her voice mail on her mobile. They deleted messages, which gave false hope to the police, but more importantly, to the family. They thought she was still alive since she was supposedly on her phone.

Rebecca Brooks was the News of the World’s editor at the time of when Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked. Because of her role in publishing the story, she felt responsible and resigned to show how sorry she was. She was arrested for a suspicion of corruption however she wasn’t charged with anything.

I think the main reason that News international resulted to phone hacking for stories is because New Media is slowly becoming more popular than Old media, as it is easier to retrieve, cheaper and easier to consume. For example, an individual can easily read a online report of a story rather than go outside into a shop and purchase a newspaper, when they can read it at home for free. With television, you don’t have to be sat watching it, you can have it on in the backround when you are busy doing something else. Some people may argue that this would be the same as listening to the radio, however not many homes own a radio in this day and age. The number of televisions owned in the United Kingdom has risen dramatically over the past decade. http://www.barb.co.uk/facts/tv-ownership-private?_s=4

I think the newspapers have hacked phones to get more stories to make the newspapers more interesting as people now rely on new media such as the internet to get their stories. Also there is a lot of competition in the industry to get stories, so phone hacking was a new way of getting material to report about. Not only has it lured the public into reading about the stories that resulted from hacking phones, the phone hacking scandal has been talked about and debated over for months. However people have lost their jobs since the News of the world stopped publishing and now the main culprit of the phone hacking has finally been shut down.

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