Sunday, 6 November 2011

Sunday Times: 'NoW cricket scandal story shows investigative journalism can be power for good'

The Sunday Times today runs an article by the News of the World's former investigative journalist Mazher Mahmood, who has joined the paper since the NoW closed in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, on how he broke the story of the Pakistan cricketers bet fixing scam.

It shows the high price of running such an operation with Mahmood handing over £150,000 in cash to win the trust of the man who fixed the bets, the agent Mazhar Majeed who was last week jailed for 32 months.

Mahmood's investigation also prompts a leader from the Sunday Times which says: "This story showed the power for good that can come out of investigative journalism. It is bitterly ironic, of course, that while one part of the newspaper was doing such valuable and demanding work, its reputation was being damaged by the earlier lazy hacking of telephone messages.

"That corruption of journalism led directly to the closure of the News of the World and overshadowed its fine record over the years for exposing corruption and wrongdoing.

"At a time when journalism is being put under fierce scrutiny, and its enemies are looking to use its inexcusable excesses to hobble free speech, we should not lose sight of the invaluable role it plays week after week. Without investigative journalism we would not have had the exposure of MPs’ expenses, of the Fifa bribes scandal, of cash for honours, of corrupt peers and, indeed, of phone hacking.

"Journalists who shine a light on the murky recesses of how institutions work, of cosy cartels and of how we are governed, perform a valuable public service that must be protected at all costs."
  • The Sunday Times is behind a paywall

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