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Media Relations

Fiona HannaCommunications Manager

Investigative Journalism: Top 5 Worldwide Media Scoops

As the deadline for the upcoming Northern Ireland CIPR Media Awards approaches, we take a quick look at some of the top scoops in media history.

As watchdogs playing a vital role in society, for more than a century journalists have lifted the lid on scandals and important issues resulting in significant impact on society, policies and demands for justice.

As sponsors of this year’s ‘Scoop of the Year’ award, we recognise the importance of rewarding the dedication of journalists and stories that have shone a light on key issues.

There have been many over the years but here are five of some of the most memorable and jaw-dropping media scoops in history.

1. Watergate, Washington Post, 1972

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post were behind the most famous series of scoops that brought down President Richard Nixon – The Watergate scandal. Through their investigations and commitment to uncovering the truth, two young journalists forced the powerful elected leader to resign

2. MPs Expenses, The Telegraph, 2009

One of the biggest British journalism breakthroughs of all time resulted from a team of 45 Daily Telegraph journalists sifting through one million pages of information about MPs’ expenses. Although The Telegraph may have paid for the data, this scoop led to the end of more than 20 MPs’ careers and extensive government reforms, reflecting the power of journalism.

3. NoW Phone Hacking, The Guardian, 2011

The news story that involved daring reporters uncovering the scandal of phone-hacking by their own trade ultimately led to the closure of News of the World in July 2011 after 168 years in circulation, an MPs inquiry and the launch of police investigations. This astonishing story certainly had the nation, and the journalism sector, checking in for daily updates.

4. Pakistan Cricketers, News of the World, 2010

The News of the World is not only the subject of one of our top scoops, but also the brains behind one of the biggest scoops in 2010 as three Pakistani cricketers found themselves in the middle of a match-fixing scandal. The sensational headlines led to a criminal investigation, three players being banned from the sport and the International Cricket Council commending the News of the World for their “good work.”

5. Ronnie Biggs tracked in Rio, The Sun, 2001

The Sun released its world exclusive after arranging a jet to bring the great train robber Ronnie Biggs back to justice. Securing an emergency passport which allowed Biggs to make a single, one-way trip back to Britain, The Sun editors kept the scoop quiet even from their own staff and shocked the nation as they broke the story with the front page headline “We’re Ron Our Way.”

Get in touch and let us know your thoughts on the best journalism scoops of all time. We’re looking forward to seeing this year’s shortlist from Northern Ireland’s top journalists!

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