UK newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror apologized today for phone hacking in a page-two statement.
The apology admitted the Sunday Mirror, the Daily Mirror and the Sunday People‘s “unlawful” actions and for the “unwarranted and unacceptable intrusion into people’s private lives.”
Trinity Mirror said it has stopped hacking. “Such behaviour has long since been banished from Trinity Mirror’s business and we are committed to ensuring it will not happen again,” the Mirror said.
“We are taking this opportunity to give every victim a sincere and unreserved apology for what happened,” the apology went on.
The Mirror has settled several phone-hacking lawsuits already, as iMediaEthics has reported. The Mirror settled five phone-hacking lawsuits last month.
According to the BBC, the Trinity Mirror “has now set aside an extra £8m, taking the total to £12m, to cover compensation payments to victims and associated legal costs.”
The apology is “the first significant admission of phone hacking by a newspaper group not owned by Rupert Murdoch,” the Guardian noted.
Both the Sunday People and Sunday Mirror will also publish the apology this Sunday, the BBC added.
Eight phone-hacking lawsuits against the Mirror will be in court March 2, the Press Gazette reported. They are “representative cases” that will “determine the extent of the phone hacking and the amount of damages due.”
The Feb. 13 apology, which “took up a third of page two” in the print edition, reads in full:
“Trinity Mirror, owner of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, today apologises publicly to all its victims of phone hacking.
“Some years ago voice-mails left on certain people’s phones were unlawfully accessed. And in many cases the information obtained was used in stories in our national newspapers.
“Such behaviour represented an unwarranted and unacceptable intrusion into people’s private lives.
“It was unlawful and should never have happened, and fell far below the standards our readers expect and deserve.
“We are taking this opportunity to give every victim a sincere and unreserved apology for what happened.
“We recognise that our actions will have caused them distress for which we are truly sorry.
“Our newspapers have a long and proud history of holding those in power to account. As such, it is only right we are held to account ourselves.
“Such behaviour has long since been banished from Trinity Mirror’s business and we are committed to ensuring it will not happen again.”
iMediaEthics is writing to Trinity Mirror for comment.
UPDATE: 2/16/2015 9:45 AM EST A Mirror spokesperson told iMediaEthics by e-mail: “Yes, the apology appeared in the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People yesterday. No further comment from Trinity Mirror.”