Rebekah brooks encouraged use of demeaning names for women and use of false info - NOTW reporters
A lot of amazing info in an AP piece relating stories from from News of the World employees, here are just a few samples:
With their former boss under arrest, tabloid reporters are beginning to reveal secrets of what it was like to work in Rebekah Brooks’ newsrooms.
Disguises, bullying, lies dropped into copy — all were part of the pressure-cooker atmosphere that prevailed, according to former journalists who spoke to The Associated Press.
Michael Taggart, who worked at The Sun in 2003, said the paper under Brooks was marked by “ruthlessness and misogyny.”
“The reporters who were prepared to subject themselves and others to the most ridicule were the ones earmarked for success,” said Taggart, who now works as a consultant for London-based MRM.
And here’s a story that almost too crazy to even wrap your head around…
At Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids, refusing to play ball meant being pushed to the sidelines. One reporter who said he went through that was Charles Begley, News of the World’s Harry Potter correspondent in 2001 when Brooks was its editor.
The then 29-year-old reporter said he wore a Harry Potter costume to work and officially changed his name to that of the fictional boy wizard, all part of the paper’s attempt to tap into the Pottermania sweeping both sides of the Atlantic.
On Sept. 11, hours after the fall of the Twin Towers, Begley was stunned to be chewed out by News of the World management for not wearing his costume. He said he was then ordered to attend the next news meeting in full Potter regalia.
Shaken by the demand, Begley never showed up, and soon afterward parted ways with the paper.
Another reporter who spent seven years with the News of The World said the humiliation described by Begley was routine.
And why not some good old fashioned sexist attitudes towards women?
“We were regularly encouraged to refer to women with misogynistic names like ‘tarts,’ ‘slappers’ or ‘hookers’ in our copy if there was conceivably any question mark over their sexual proclivities,” he said.
“We were expected to childishly objectify women. So blonde-haired women were described as ‘beauties’ and generously chested women ‘looked swell’, whether they’d wanted the attention or not.”
Faking facts was also part of tabloid life under Brooks, reporters said.
A third News of The World reporter, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he too is still working in the media industry, said some editors at the News of the World deliberately inserted bogus details to sensationalize copy.”
The full story is here. I encourage to read it all.
More than that, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg on this investigation. It seems almost a given that’s its only a matter of time before it extends to the U.S. and entities like Fox News.
Unfortunately, I fear Rupert Murdoch won’t see a day in prison for any of this, he’ll just let people like Brooks take the falls for him.