News of the World Whistleblower Dies

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

LISA MULLINS: I'm Lisa Mullins and this is The World. The story about phone hacking by journalist Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper took a dark turn yesterday. A former reporter at the paper, who helped blow the whistle on the scandal, was found dead at his home near London. Sean Hoare was 47-years-old. Police say the death was unexplained, but they're not treating it as suspicious. The BBC's Michael Buchanan in London spoke to Sean Hoare frequently after the scandal broke.

MICHAEL BUCHANAN: I think that, to an extent, he bought into the culture of the News of the World, and I think he would have agreed with this himself. By that, I mean the culture was very much get a story. Do whatever it takes, get the story there. Sell the newspaper. He was a hard charging, hard living old fashioned red top tabloid reporter. He used to spend an inordinate amount of time just hanging around with celebrities. His beat was show business news and show business gossip. He used to spend an inordinate amount of time with celebrities, drinking vast amounts of alcohol with them, taking huge quantities of drugs. He openly acknowledged this, and he used to go on some of these binges with some celebrities, and he would barely stop. He would stop merely to send his copy back to his news desk to file the story and then to continue on these extraordinary drunk, drink and drug fueled binges. The consequences of that were two-fold. One was that he was eventually let go by the News of the World because his drug habits and his alcohol problems became, got too bad for him to be able to continue to work properly. And, secondly, it did have consequence on his health. His liver was in a particularly bad condition. But, I think that in terms of the culture that says, "Get a story. Do what you have to do," remained throughout his time at the News of the World. What changed were the methods that he was asked to employ to get a story. So, it used to be taking drugs and drinking alcohol and it became, in his words, it became technology based, it became hacking into people's phone lines.

MULLINS: That's the BBC's Michael Buchanan talking about Sean Hoare. The former reporter for News of the World was found dead at his home yesterday. In March Sean Hoare told the BBC interviewer that unethical reporting methods were widespread at Rupert Murdoch's News International.

SEAN HOARE: People were scared. I'd say if you've got to get a story, you've got to get, you have to get that by whatever means.

BUCHANAN: Were you subject to that pressure?

HOARE: Of course I was. I mean that is the culture of News International.

MULLINS: That's the late reporter, Sean Hoare.