You know all about the phone hacking trial, don't you? Rebekah Brooks was acquitted, and Andy Coulson went to jail. But why?
Why was Brooks, the public face of the phone hacking scandal, found not guilty on all charges?
Why did Coulson's expensive defense frustrate reporters?
What impact did Rupert Murdoch's millions have on the trial?
And why did the jurors reach the decisions they did?
Blow-by-blow: Crown v. Rebekah Brooks & Others
Peter Jukes, an award-winning TV crime writer, starts at the beginning: October 2013 and the Old Bailey is gearing up for an eight-month courtroom clash. It's a showdown that will pit tabloid newspaper executives in Rupert Murdoch's News International against the British state.
The journalists are accused of phone hacking, corrupting public officials, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. After years of cover up involving News International, the Metropolitan Police, and the government, the judge tells the jury, "British justice is on trial."
Insight into British journalism and politics
After tweeting the first few days of the case, Jukes runs out of money - and accidentally becomes the UK's first crowd-funded journalist.
New media exposes the old as the trial lays bare the venality and surveillance of the news of the world: its ability to pry into the lives of anyone who matters, at any moment: a Hollywood actress, a missing girl, a cabinet minister.
It's also a battle.
I left this book halfway through because it completely failed to grab my interest. Overall it had been well reviewed, so I was expecting something along the lines of a chronological account of the hacking scandal. But it is more a report about reporting (in this case live tweeting during the trial), raising the money to keep going, and legal points such as which evidence is admissible in court, what can be reported/tweeted, and so on. The author assumes a lot of prior knowledge about the events and the people involved, even the more minor characters. Author narration is always a bonus - you're right there with the author: the voice, accent, and style give a little insight into his/her personality: and you can be sure the material being presented exactly as s/he intends. In this, Jukes does a good job. Journalism students, and possibly law students, will probably enjoy this book.