Guardian phone-hack coverage wrongly gives Ian Edmondson the sack

The Guardian has taken up its pursuit of the News of the World with admirable vigour in recent weeks following news that assistant editor Ian Edmondson has been suspended amid new allegations of phone-hacking.

News reporters excitedly tell readers how each bit of “explosive new evidence” threatens to engulf the News of the World in scandal, and how each new revelation is sure to intensify the pressure on Andy Coulson to resign as Number Ten spin doctor.

But the paper’s enthusiasm got the better of it when it inadvertently dismissed Edmondson from his job, as this correction admits:

“An online subheading and picture caption wrongly stated that Ian Edmondson, assistant editor (news) at the News of the World, had been sacked. He has been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation at the paper into allegations of phone hacking, as the text below made clear.”

Meanwhile the scandal rumbles on and on – with various ongoing privacy actions, parliamentary inquiries and another police investigation yet to play out.

Axegrinder understands it is becoming a huge irritation for News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch that the matter of some intercepted voicemail messages is threatening to derail his whole business empire – coming as it does at a time when he is trying to pull off one of his biggest ever deals, the buyout of the rest of BSkyB.

My latest conspiracy theory on the whole sordid business is that rival newspaper bosses are now rather keen that he does succeed in buying-out BSkyB – because they believe he would be forced to offload some of his newspaper interests in order to safeguard media plurality.

It is certainly no fun for the Telegraph – which uniquely among the four mainstream ‘quality’ dailies has to turn a profit – that its biggest rival, The Times, is cross-subsidised to the tune of hundreds of millions by the rest of the News Corp empire.

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