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Nick Davies, author of Hack Attack (c. Judy Goldhill)

In February 2008, the Guardian journalist Nick Davies went on to the Today programme to talk about his book, Flat Earth News, an examination of the “scale and origins of falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the media.” Mischievously, the programme’s producers had put up as Davies’s interlocutor Stuart Kuttner, then managing editor of the News of World and a man whose reputation for ruthlessness went before him.

When Davies began to enumerate the “dark arts”,…

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