Yesterday I noted that a Press Gazette fishing expedition for answers about possible phone-hacking at organisations other than News International had been met with a “wall of silence“.
I’m pleased to report that Guardian News and Media has now responded to the questions which we also sent to the Daily Mail, Trinity Mirror, Telegraph Media Group and the BBC.
Considering The Guardian’s forensic and dogged pursuit of greater transparency at the News of the World over the intercepting of mobile phone messages, it would have been odd if they had opted to keep quiet when asked a few questions about their own conduct.
Anyway, here’s what they said:
PG: How seriously do you think the News of the World phone hacking allegations have undermined the reputation of British journalism?
GNM: “It has serious potential to do so, but much now depends on whether NI has the resolve to deal with the issue with greater candour and how the PCC responds. If not, it will play out in the courts over many months, if not years.”
PG: Have you ever had a complaint about one of your journalists being involved in phone hacking?
PG: What steps have you taken to ensure that none of your journalists are involved in phone hacking?
GNM: “We have our own code of conduct in addition to the PCC Code; we have regular legal training sessions. It has never been raised as an issue by any readers, subjects, reporters or lawyers. We have had an independent readers’ editor for 13 years. The issue has never been raised with him/her.”
So we now know that phone-hacking has never been raised as an issue at Guardian News and Media. I wonder if all of the other four news organisations can say the same? My strong suspicion is that the answer is no.