A couple of unusual things about this newspaper apology. First, it appears on page A1 of the Saint John Telegraph Journal. Second, it goes into some detail about the mechanics behind the story; absolving the reporters of blame and placing the fault at the feet of the editors. Usually, newspapers claim collective blame for any mistakes (a sometimes infuriating policy for reporters.)
I'm very curious about how comments were included in a story without the reporters' knowledge. That too is unusual, and way beyond ethical.
Telegraph-Journal apologizes to Prime Minister
Published Tuesday July 28th, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009, the Telegraph-Journal published a story about
the funeral mass celebrating the life of former Governor-General Romeo
LeBlanc that was inaccurate and should not have been published. We pride
ourselves in maintaining high standards of journalism and ethical
reporting, and regret this was not followed in this case.
The story stated that a senior Roman Catholic priest in New Brunswick
had demanded that the Prime Minister's Office explain what happened to
the communion wafer which was handed to Prime Minister Harper during the
celebration of communion at the funeral mass. The story also said that
during the communion celebration, the Prime Minister "slipped the thin
wafer that Catholics call 'the host' into his jacket pocket".
There was no credible support for these statements of fact at the time
this article was published, nor is the Telegraph-Journal aware of any
credible support for these statements now. Our reporters Rob Linke and
Adam Huras, who wrote the story reporting on the funeral, did not
include these statements in the version of the story that they wrote. In
the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge
of the reporters and without any credible support for them.
The Telegraph-Journal sincerely apologizes to the Prime Minister for
the harm that this inaccurate story has caused. We also apologize to
reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras and to our readers for our failure to
meet our own standards of responsible journalism and accuracy in