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Mirror group ‘to review procedures’ in wake of phone-hacking scandal

Trinity Mirror denies involvement in phone-hacking, though a New York Times report has implicated five journalists.

Piers Morgan has denied claims that he was aware of phone-hacking during his tenure at the Daily Mirror, where he worked from 1995 until 2004.
Piers Morgan has denied claims that he was aware of phone-hacking during his tenure at the Daily Mirror, where he worked from 1995 until 2004.
Image: Andy Butterton/PA Archive

THE TRINITY MIRROR newspaper group has announced a review into its editorial procedures following the explosion of the tabloid phone hacking scandal at its News International rival.

Trinity Mirror PLC spokesman Nick Fullagar said the inquiry was not an investigation into claims of phone hacking, but acknowledged that the scandal over the News of the World’s espionage campaign helped prompt the review.

“In light of recent events, we thought it was timely to look at our controls and procedures,” Fullagar told AP in a telephone interview.

Clearly, after any significant event, it’s just good corporate governance.

The Daily Mirror tabloid has come under a cloud of suspicion following revelations that rival newspaper the News of the World — recently shut down by publisher News International — routinely intercepted voicemails left for public figures.

One former Mirror journalist has alleged that phone hacking was rife at the left-leaning title when former editor Piers Morgan was in charge.

Last week the New York Times cited five unnamed former journalists at another Mirror title, the sports-and-celebrity-focused newspaper The People, as saying hacking was commonplace there as well from the late 1990s to early 2000.

The Trinity Mirror has not commented on the claims, although British media commentators have long suspected that the hacking extended well beyond the News of the World.

In recent weeks particular attention has been focused on Piers Morgan, with bloggers and journalists zeroing in on references to phone hacking made by the CNN host in his 2005 book, “The Insider” and in past interviews.

“Loads of newspaper journalists were doing it,” Morgan said in an interview with supermodel Naomi Campbell published in 2007.

Morgan went on to say that Clive Goodman, the News of the World reporter whose conviction for phone hacking the same year first lifted the lid on the practice, “has been made the scapegoat for a very widespread practice.”

Morgan had since denied being involved in phone hacking.

Fullagar, the Trinity Mirror’s spokesman, said the media group’s review would cover how editors were made aware of where stories came from. It would also cover how and under what circumstances the Trinity Mirror paid for stories.

Fullagar said that the review panel would also include editorial, legal and financial directors. It will be chaired by Charmian Steven, the company’s director of risk and audit.

AP

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