Brian Cathcart is professor of journalism at Kingston University London and was a founder of the Hacked Off campaign. He served as specialist adviser to the commons media select committee in 2008-10. Irish by background, he was a journalist at Reuters, the Independent papers and the New Statesman, and has written books about the murders of Stephen Lawrence and Jill Dando, as well as on the history of nuclear science.
Brian’s book, Everybody’s Hacked Off: Why We Don’t Have the Press We Deserve and What to Do About It, with an introduction by Hugh Grant, was published as a Penguin Special in September 2012. His latest book, The News From Waterloo, was published by Faber in Spring 2015.
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THE NEWS FROM WATERLOO: THE RACE TO TELL BRITAIN OF WELLINGTON’S VICTORY — Buy it here
The Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon in 1815 at Waterloo ensured British dominance for the rest of the nineteenth century. It took three days and two hours for word to travel from Belgium in a form that people could rely upon.
This is a tragi-comic midsummer’s tale that begins amidst terrible carnage and weaves through a world of politics and military convention, enterprise and roguery, frustration, doubt and jealousy, to end spectacularly in the heart of Regency society at a grand soiree in St James’s Square after feverish journeys by coach and horseback, a Channel crossing delayed by falling tides and a flat calm, and a final dash by coach and four from Dover to London.
At least five men were involved in bringing the news or parts of it to London, and their stories are fascinating. Brian Cathcart, a brilliant storyteller and historian, has visited the battlefield, travelled the messengers’ routes, and traced untapped British, French and Belgian records. This is a strikingly original perspective on a key moment in British history.
PUBLICATION DATE: 7th May 2015
EVERYBODY’S HACKED OFF: WHY WE DON’T HAVE THE PRESS WE DESERVE AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT — Buy it here
A brilliantly written, concise and accessible summary of the Leveson inquiry and a convincing argument for why we need press reform from an expert on the subject, with an introduction by film star Hugh Grant, a Hacked Off campaigner and a recent witness at the Leveson inquiry.
When most of the British press conspired to cover up the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World, what did that tell us? That it wasn’t just the News of the World that had something to hide. And when the Leveson Inquiry lifted the lid on their activities we saw what it was: illegal practices, dishonesty, a disregard for the rights of ordinary people and an arrogant assumption of unaccountability. Now the battle is on to decide whether anything will change and the editors and proprietors, with their vast propaganda power, are determined to ensure nothing will. This book, by a long-time journalist who is a founder of the Hacked Off campaign, paints a damning picture of press corruption and makes a passionate case for journalism that doesn’t bully and lie – journalism that is truly answerable to the public while remaining free from government interference. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get this right, and we must not allow powerful media corporations to snatch that chance from us.
Brian Cathcart has been a journalist for more than thirty years, working for Reuters, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday (where he was deputy editor) and the New Statesman (assistant editor and media columnist). He is the author of several books, including Were You Still Up for Portillo? and the award-winning The Case of Stephen Lawrence. As a journalist he has campaigned for justice for Barry George, who was wrongly convicted of killing Jill Dando, and for the families of the young soldiers killed at Deepcut army barracks. In 2008-10 he was specialist adviser to the Commons media select committee and he has since written about the hacking crisis and media reform for Index on Censorship, Hacked Off, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Independent, the Daily Beast, CNN, Inforrm and others. He has been professor of journalism at Kingston University London since 2005.
PUBLISHER: Penguin Specials
PUBLICATION DATE: 20th September 2012