The Guardian's relentless phone hacking reporter Nick Davies landed in New York on Monday evening to investigate the possibility that the Rupert Murdoch's empire committed similar crimes in the United States. Adweek's Lucia Moss reports, "[Davies will] be there until Friday, and then he's going to Los Angeles in pursuit of hacking-type practices that might have been carried out on U.S. soil by Murdoch’s U.S. reporters, by his U.K. reporters working in the U.S., or by private detectives hired by News Corp."
Davies arrival comes just three days after News Corp. instructed its employees at the New York Post "to preserve and maintain all documents and information that are related in any way" to phone hacking or paying officials. (And that's just one of many legal headaches the company faces in the U.S.) Davies tweeted when he touched down:
Appeal for help. I just arrived in New York. Who can tell me truth about Murdoch in the US?
Based on his background, Davies will welcome any good tips. He's the same reporter who's hawked the phone hacking story in the face of widespread denial and eventually broke the story that News of the World hacked the phone of the 13-year-old murdered girl Millie Dowler. Peter Osnos and Clive Priddle at The Atlantic mention how Davies has garnered support from us Yanks in the past and describe him as if he's The Guardian's secret weapon:
Initially, Davies and the Guardian were greeted by what investigations editor David Leigh described in an interview as a "fusillade of lies" from News International and the police, some of whose officers had illegally sold material to reporters. Even Britain's Press Complaints Commission accused the Guardian of "exaggerating." For two years, Davies kept going, amid considerable hostility. The Trinity Mirror papers, Associated Newspapers (publishers of the Daily Mail), and News International, which includes the London Times, were all but silent about the hacking story. When the story might have flagged, the Guardian finally got support not from the British press but from the New York Times, which sent three journalists to write a long piece for the New York Times Magazine in September 2010, adding new details and fresh life to the investigation.
The opportunity to pitch in and help a muckraking journalist only comes along so often. It's worth considering that those who sign up could get a mention in Davies' already contracted book on the News Corp. scandal, Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up With the World's Most Powerful Man.