Today’s New York Times appears to have uncovered compelling evidence that phone-hacking at the News of the World was more widespread prior to 2006 than has been previously admitted.
The report states, as Press Gazette did at the time, that mobile-phone hacking – or screwing as it was known – was rife across Fleet Street.
One fascinating snippet unearthed by the New York Times is audio of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire instructing a journalist about how to hack a mobile phone. Click on this link, it is down the left hand side of the page.
Please note that the News of the World has contacted Press Gazette to make clear that the journalist on this tape is not and was not connected to the News of the World.
The big question arising from all this is whether former editor turned Tory communications chief Andy Coulson, and other executives, have been honest when professing their ignorance of mobile phone-hacking.
That phone-hacking was widespread across Fleet Street appears to be a clear. So whether this issue has legs comes down to a question of how it was dealt with at the NoW.
Another question is why the New York Times sent three journalists to spend five months investigating allegations of impropriety at a British tabloid newspaper.
True, the News of the World is the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world. But News Corp insiders will argue that it smacks of commercial self interest, and is more about taking a pop at New York Post and Wall Street Journal proprietor Rupert Murdoch.