Thinking Anglicans

Telegraph editor admits mistake

Update
This story has now also been reported in both The Times and the Guardian:
Telegraph takes blame for Archbishop’s loss of faith by Andrew Pierce
Editor says sorry to archbishop by Stephen Bates
not to mention a further report by Ekklesia
Sunday Telegraph fails to correct misrepresentation of Archbishop.
It had also been covered by Andrew Brown in his weekly Church Times press columns on 7 January, Archbishop’s Doubt
and again on 14 January, Telegraph proles.
—-

Ekklesia reports that Dominic Lawson the editor of the Sunday Telegraph has admitted his paper made a mistake.
Paper admits it misrepresented Archbishop of Canterbury. In summary form:

The editor of a major newspaper, the Sunday Telegraph in the UK, has admitted that his paper misrepresented the opinions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, by falsely claiming that the tsunami disaster had made the Archbishop doubt whether God exists.

…Ekklesia associate Simon Barrow wrote to the editor, saying “Your headline… makes me question not Dr Williams’ faith … but the capacities of your headline writer and sub-editor.”

He continued: “Did they choose simply not to read the Archbishop’s article, which nowhere states what they attribute to him? Or do they and you now regard news reporting as the creative art of sidestepping facts in order to produce a more sensational story?”

The Sunday Telegraph chose not to apologise editorially last week, though it published letters critical of the headline, and also critical of Dr Williams’ article. Its weekday sister paper, The Daily Telegraph, also published a leader excusing the mistake and accusing the Archbishop of being unclear.

This is evidently not a viewpoint shared by Dominic Lawson. Replying to Simon Barrow, he wrote: “I share your sentiments… It grieves me that we should let down our readers who have the right to expect the highest standards.”

In his personal letter to the Archbishop, Mr Lawson straightforwardly recognises that the headline, “apart from misrepresenting the nature of your argument, was also theologically obtuse.”

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