News of the World Phone-Hacking Scandal: Two Publishers Snap Up Book

6:47 PM PST 07/25/2011 by Andy Lewis
Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

"Hack Attack," from British journalist Nick Davies, is scheduled for a fall 2012 release.

Journalist Nick Davies, who broke open the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal for the England's Guardian newspaper, has scored the first book deal about the scandal.

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Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up With the World’s Most Powerful Man, will be published in the fall of 2012 in the United States by Faber & Faber, an imprint at Farrar, Strauss & Giroux. It also was sold to Chatto & Windus, part of Random House, in Great Britain.

A press release announcing the book declared it would "provide an authoritative account and commentary on the News International scandal, including new revelations."

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Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Davies broke open the phone hacking story July 4 when he reported the News of the World had hacked into the phone of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old girl who disappeared on March 21, 2002.  When Dowler's voicemail became full, News of the World reporters deleted messages so they could receive new ones, leading to speculation that Dowler was still alive. Police discovered her body in a field on Sept. 18, 2002.

The revelation of the Dowler hacking set off the current crisis and led directly to the closure of the News of World on July 10, 2011.  

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Previous reports had the News of the World phone hacking confined to public figures and celebrities like the Royal Family and Hugh Grant, who helped expose the scandal.  In 2009, Davies broke the story that News International had paid more than £1 million to settle victims of the company's phone hacking.

NOTW editorial staffers also are said to have hacked into the voicemails and phones of 9/11 victims.

Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp., along with his son, News Corp deputy COO James Murdoch, and recently resigned News International chief Rebekah Brooks, have faced Parliamentary grilling over the hacking. The U.S. Justice Department also is said to be preparing subpoenas as part of preliminary probes related to the allegations.

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News Corp. also was forced to pull out of a bid to buy the remaining shares in BSkyB as a result of the scandal.

Davies' last book, Flat Earth News: An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media, was a bestseller in 2008. He won the British Press Awards "Reporter of the Year award in 2000 and the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2009. Davies graduated from Oxford in 1974 and has been writing for the Guardian since 1989.

Kimberly Nordyke contributed to this report.

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