I’ve just finished reading Hack Attack and it has lived up to my high expectations.
It’s a forensic account of how Nick Davies hounded a big story and held his nerve in the face of official denials, vicious attacks and his own stomach-churning anxiety. An inspiration to investigative journalists everywhere.
This Prospect interview gives a good insight into how Nick began his investigations, and how worryingly disappointing the Met police response has been in some quarters.
Here is how Nick summarises the story in his book:
It is about the abuse of power and about the secrets and lies that protect it.
The rogue reporter turned out to be working for a rogue newspaper which, in turn, proved to be part of a rogue corporation.
And yet, while Nick is one of the very best journalists in the business, doggedly pursuing truth and exposing lies and corruption, he is never self-aggrandising:
It’s fair to say that reporting is a great deal easier than most reporters like to pretend. People tell you things; you do your best to check them out; and then you tell a lot of people what you’ve found. There are some hidden subtleties in there and a few simple skills, but generally speaking there is nothing very clever about it.