The Guardian apologized to News International for its front-page report claiming the company had a Sun journalist “doorstep a barrister involved in the Leveson Inquiry,” Press Gazette reported. According to the BBC’s editorial guidelines, doorstepping is the term for an uninvited or unsolicited interview attempt. The BBC notes “it often involves an infringement of privacy.”
The Guardian’s Marina Hyde claimed in her column that “doorstepping was a routine practice for the paper.” She added that “others might deem it the equivalent of blowing a giant raspberry at Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry, or perhaps casually defecating on his lordship’s desk while doing a thumbs-up sign”.
In response, News International’s’ lawyer Rhodri Davies rejected the claims, and the Guardian noted that the Sun sent a “strongly worded complaint,” according to the Press Gazette.
The Guardian’s apology says in part that “we incorrectly stated that the Sun newspaper sent a reporter to the home of a junior counsel to the Inquiry…We apologise for the error and any suggestion that there was an intention by the Sun to show a lack of respect to the Inquiry or Lord Justice Leveson.”
The Sun reported in its own story on the apology that “It is understood Hyde fell for false rumours which circulated at the inquiry yesterday. Her piece was published by Editor Alan Rusbridger without any checks or calls made to The Sun.”
According to the Press Gazette, the Guardian is published the correction in its Nov. 24 print edition.
StinkyJournalism wrote to the Guardian to ask if the Sun’s claim that the newspaper didn’t contact for comment is accurate. We also asked how the error occurred and if the Sun’s suggestion that Hyde “fell for false rumours” was accurate.
A spokesperson for the Guardian provided StinkyJournalism with the following comment in response and told StinkyJournalism the Guardian had no further comment:
“The Sun’s complaint to the Guardian was dealt with in the usual way by our independent readers’ editor. The article was amended on our website and we ran an apology online on our corrections and clarifications page. The apology was also printed in the paper at the top of our daily corrections and clarifications column, which sits alongside the leader column and at the heart of the newspaper. This is where all corrections and clarifications have been published each day since the readers’ editor’s office was established 14 years ago and is where our readers expect to see it.”