Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Inferior Book Group #5:

I'm both ashamed and disappointed that this Inferior Book Group post is going up late, but at least I actually finished reading the book before writing my review.  Dial M for Murdoch by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman is one of the more challenging books I've read recently, but I'm glad I got there in the end.  I now feel much more informed on a topic that (as a student journalist) there is no escape from.

Dial M for Murdoch is essentially a 'what not to do' guide for aspiring journalists, or - alternatively - 'signs the newspaper you work for is up to no good'.  If you're living in the UK, you're probably somewhat aware of the News of the World phone hacking trial that has been  all over the news in recent months.  This book is a fairly comprehensive explanation of the events that lead up to what has arguably become the most infamous case in media history.

Source: here

The 2012 account was written by Watson (a Labour Party MP) and Hickman (a former reporter for The Independent), who were at times quite deeply involved in exposing the phone hacking scandal.  The authors do not just implicate media tycoon and title character Rupert Murdoch (former owner of the News of the World) but also a staggering number of journalists, lawyers, law enforcement and politicians.  I was absolutely astounded by the number of powerful and influential people who turned out to be at the heart of this worldwide cover up.

To be completely open, it took a fair bit of perseverance for me to get into Dial M for Murdoch.  Although it was sold to me as a thriller, the book is - of course - first and foremost a work of non fiction.  There were a lot of unfamiliar names, a sizeable chunk of legal jargon and a great deal of backstory to get through before the juicy action started.  Still, once I grew used to Watson and Hickman's factual writing style, I got caught up in their unravelling exposé.

I would definitely recommend this read to anyone looking to learn more about the hacking trials.  It may have taken me a while to get through, but I'd say Dial M for Murdoch is the closest thing to a dummies' guide.  And, honestly, the truths you'll discover in this book are shocking, sickening and absolutely unimaginable.

To give my brain a bit of a break, I've decided to read the famous children's story Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie during February.  I'm looking forward to reading this classic for the first time finding out what Disney changed!

No comments:

Post a Comment