Days after former editor Rebekah Brooks' arrest, new revelations continue to surface from Rupert Murdoch's tabloid News of the World.
A new report from Reuters reveals the atmosphere at the weekly scandal sheet under Brooks' reign.
Brooks has repeatedly denied knowing about the phone-hacking and police-bribing that was occurring under her charge, but her arrest over the weekend might belie her claims. According to the Reuters interview, Brooks endorsed a cutthroat culture in which journalists needed to do anything to get a scoop.
It was the kind of place you get out of and you never want to go back again, one former reporter said.
We used to talk to career criminals all the time. They were our sources, says another former News of the World journalist, who also worked for Murdoch's daily tabloid, the Sun.
It was a macho thing: 'My contact is scummier than your contact.' It was a case of: 'Mine's a murderer!' On the plus side, we always had a resident pet nutter around in case anything went wrong, she added.
The former News of the World staffers insist that Brooks condoned illicit and scandalous practices. They say that Brooks, and her successor Andy Coulson, asked for reports about sources and stories regularly.
It's simply not conceivable that somebody who was editor wouldn't have known, said a journalist who spent seven years at the paper.
Like Brooks, Coulson has been arrested as part of an ongoing police investigation into the hacking allegations.
It was no place for anyone to pipe up and say: 'This doesn't seem ethical to me.' That would have made you a laughing stock, one of the journalists commented.
Apparently, this type of behavior was more rampant at the News of the World than any other British tabloid, even The Sun, which is also part of Murdoch's News International family.
The News of the World was much more secretive than the Sun. At the Sun, you knew what was going on, what people were working on. In the News of the World you never knew what anyone was working on. They'd send you out to a job and wouldn't tell you what it was for. It'd be: 'You're going to meet a man. Don't ask his name and whatever you do don't get him excited. Just take his statement and leave,' one of the reporters said.
The hacking scandal has saddened and outraged many in England and around the world. The investigation started when the Royal Family suspected someone was hacking into employees' voice mails. More shocking, however, are allegations that the News of the World was listening to and deleting the messages of the families of victims from the July 2007 terrorist attack on the London Underground, as well as the families of 9/11 victims.
Brooks resigned from her job as chief executive of News International on Friday.
I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt ... I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, she said in a statement.