Debate to take place over this year’s phone-hacking scandal

A debate focussing on this summer’s phone-hacking scandal and its impact on journalism will be held in Peterborough next month. Allegations forced The News of the World to close in July amidst blanket coverage of the scandal across the media.

The debate will centre on the moral and legal line that appears to have been crossed. Both the public and politicians were left incensed by suggestions that The News of the Word had allegedly hacked in to phones that included, murdered teenager Milly Dowler and the parents of murdered Cambridgeshire schoolgirls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Athene Communications will hold the event at The Great Northern Hotel on Friday 11 November, the day after News International Chairman, James Murdoch, is once again grilled by a parliamentary committee over his knowledge of alleged phone hacking practices within his organisation.

Managing Director of Athene, Richard Astle, will take part in the debate that also features Sunday Express journalist, Sarah O’Grady; Editor of the Peterborough Evening Telegraph, Mark Edwards; and Peter Facey, Director of Unlock Democracy, the UK’s leading campaign for rights and freedoms.

The Athene debate will see competing views on whether or not morals are pushed to the side in modern day journalism, how much pressure the public place on newspapers to deliver exclusives and how, if at all, journalism will react to the scandal in the long-term.

Chairing the debate will be award winning broadcaster, Stewart Francis. They’ll also be an open session at the end of the debate, where questions and comments will be taken from the audience.

The debate will be held at the Great Northern Hotel on Friday 11 November between 4.30pm until 6pm. A drinks reception will be held after the debate.

Places are limited; please book your place by emailing