Papers uphold principle

The Financial Services Authority’s apparent decision to end its investigation into the Interbrew case is a welcome one.

The agency had been pursuing five news organisations – The Guardian, The Times, the Financial Times, Reuters and, initially, The Independent – over the source of leaked documents they published that affected the share price of Belgian brewer Interbrew.

It was not, in truth, a story that covered the news teams in question in glory – the leaked documents, it transpired, were forgeries – yet their costly legal battle to see off a company determined to undermine a fundamental principle was important.

Had they not fought it, financial journalism would have been severely compromised.

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