On Friday, Guardian columnist Alexander Chancellor’s criticised the News of the World’s recent ‘exposés’ of John Terry’s father and the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson.
I not only disagree with the NoW’s [News of the World’s] claims that it is in the public interest to expose offences that would never have taken place without its involvement; I think the newspaper should be stopped from creating any more of them.
In a letter to the Guardian on Saturday, Bill Akass, managing director of the News of the World, responds to the columnist in no uncertain terms:
The News of the World did not set out to trap the Duchess of York into doing something that was out of character. As was made clear in the story, we had credible evidence that she was already touting access to her former husband to businessmen before we approached her.
Once our reporter had established contact with Sarah Ferguson, she set the terms of the deal and was an enthusiastic participant throughout.
(…) Mr Chancellor clearly did not read the full background to these cases, or worse, selectively chose to ignore inconvenient facts because they do not suit his argument. Either way it shows surprising lack of journalistic rigour from someone seeking to lecture others on press standards.