The Sun’s managing editor Richard Caseby asked the Guardian to correct 26 of its reports claiming “the News of the World deleted Milly Dowler’s voicemails,” the BBC reported. Caseby argued in his Dec. 16 letter requesting corrections that the Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, “has a destructive agenda against the entire popular press, as evidenced by the regularity by which he publishes false stories about the NoW and The Sun.”
He noted that in the past five months, the Guardian has apologized and corrected three “extremely damaging false statements of fact about The Sun.”
In November, the Guardian apologized for its incorrect claim that a reporter for the Sun tried to interview a lawyer from the Leveson Inquiry unsolicited, as we wrote.
The Guardian apologized in July to the Sun after claiming the newspaper broke into Gordon Brown’s son’s medical records in order to report about the son’s cystic fibrosis. See our story on that here.
And, as we wrote, the Guardian corrected its July story that first reported the claim. Earlier this month, the UK police claimed that News of the World journalists didn’t delete Dowler’s voicemails in the days after she went missing but before she was found murdered in 2002. The police do still maintain that News of the World hacked her phone, but instead say that her messages auto-deleted after a certain amount of time. The Guardian’s Nick Davies defended the report, suggesting that the newspaper didn’t report bad information; rather, evidence changed.
According to the BBC, the Guardian added its Dec. 12 correction to 20 of its reports “which repeated the claim.” The BBC noted that the Guardian’s spokesperson rejected Caseby’s claims about Rusbridger, and explained that the newspaper’s readers’ editor is addressing Caseby’s letter. The spokesperson added that “News International had refused to confirm or deny whether NoW journalists did delete Milly’s messages.”
We have written to the Guardian’s readers editor asking for more information about the complaints process and will update with any response.