Last week, the Sunday Times in Ireland angered readers when it published a column by Kevin Myers that was widely seen as anti-Semitic. The July 30 column argued that two BBC female hosts were well paid because they are Jewish. The Times unpublished the online version of the column, apologized and fired Myers, but the fallout continues as numerous complaints have been filed with both Ireland’s press ombudsman and the UK press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation.
Yesterday, August 6, the Sunday Times in Ireland published a print apology for the column. The apology didn’t name Myers, The Irish Times (which is owned by a different newspaper publisher than the Sunday Times) noted. The Sunday Times also published reader comments in its Letters to the Editor section, the Irish Times added.
Despite the controversy and high-profile attention to the Myers column and apology, the print apology this weekend wasn’t on the Sunday Times‘ front page. iMediaEthics has contacted the Times to ask where the apology appeared in the print edition.
In addition to the apology, the Sunday Times has begun an internal review to examine how the offensive column made it into print, Irish news site the Journal reported. iMediaEthics has written to the Times‘ publisher, News UK, to confirm the internal review and ask what it will entail. News UK has previously declined to respond to questions about whether anyone besides Myers was disciplined over the column.
An image of the print apology was published in theJournal.ie. It stated,
“Last weekend we published a column about BBC presenters’ pay, which included unacceptable comments that caused offence to many, in particular the Jewish community.
“We removed the article and apologised promptly to Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, who had been named in the column. Now we apologise to our readers.
“Newspapers publish controversial articles that often cause upset. It is important to generate forthright debate about issues affecting our lives.
“It is also important, however, not to publish comments that overstep the mark. Where the column did so, we are deeply sorry.”