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Lessons from a Skandal!

Newspapers are beefing up their investigations capability to deliver a point of difference amongst media and added value for their readers, according to Paul Murphy, Investigations Editor at the Financial Times.

The Guardian – which this year expanded its investigations team – New York Times and online platforms such as Tortoise are among media putting time and money into their investigative capability.

Paul, who has headed the FT’s investigative unit since 2017, was speaking at CorpComms magazine’s first Luncheon Meet event which Hudson Sandler was delighted to host this week.

He told an audience of leading in-house corporate communications professionals, bankers and brokers, that young journalists at the FT were queueing up to join his team and he thought greater investigative work was a trend across other papers too as one way to attract increasingly important subscribers.

One of the FT’s most recent high profile investigations was into Wirecard which exposed a multibillion dollar fraud at the German payments company, which before its collapse in 2020 was the country’s fintech champion.

FT journalist Dan McCrum – part of the FT team – wrote a book about the investigation called Money Men and it is the subject of a compelling Netflix documentary – Skandal! Bringing Down Wirecard.
Helen Dunne, editor and founder of CorpComms, interviewed Paul who told a rapt audience at Luncheon Meets the twists and turns of the lengthy investigation which began in 2015. While whistleblowers, private detectives, secretly filmed meetings and dirty tricks all added background colour to the investigation at its heart was a tenacious team of journalists working from an unhackable bunker in the basement of the FT.

Paul gave a fascinating insight into the work of investigative journalists and plenty of food for thought as to the best and worst ways to communicate when a company faces such a probe.

Hudson Sandler can’t wait to host the next Luncheon Meet with CorpComms magazine and Onclusive in the New Year.

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