NotW Reporter's Letter Blows Lid Off of Top-Level Cover Up Goodman: hacking was 'widely discussed' By Mark Russell, Newser Staff Posted Aug 16, 2011 9:43 AM CDT 3 comments Comments A 4-year-old letter by former News of the World journalist Clive Goodman says that phone hacking was "widely discussed" at the News of the World and former editor Andy Coulson sought to cover it up. (Getty Images) (Newser) – A 4-year-old letter by News of the World's disgraced royal reporter—who went to jail and was fired for his admitted role in the phone hacking scandal—contends that senior figures at the newspaper and at News International knew phone hacking was widespread and sanctioned, reports the Guardian. The letter by Clive Goodman, just published today, is '"absolutely devastating," said one MP. "It completely removes News International's defense. This is one of the largest cover-ups I have seen in my lifetime." Goodman wrote a letter on March 2, 2007, protesting his "perverse" dismissal from News of the World, saying "the actions leading to this criminal charge were carried out with the full knowledge and support of" senior journalists at the paper. Further, phone hacking "was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor." Goodman also claims that he was promised he would not be fired from NotW, even after pleading guilty, if he "did not implicate the paper or any of its staff." Goodman wrote the letter to NotW brass in hopes of getting his job back; you can see the original here.