The Guardian's investigation into phone hacking had been running for a long time, mainly ignored by the rest of the media until it was revealed that Milly Dowler, the murdered schoolgirl, had, posthumously, been one of the hackers' victims. Suddenly the story broke through, reaching people who had previously been unmoved. Politicians, including the prime minister, until then studiedly mute on the subject, now felt obliged to speak and to promise to act.

© Guardian News & Media Ltd

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