The Daily Telegraph has responded to recent criticisms of its editorial standards by making ‘no apology’ for the way in which it handled a story concerning HSBC’s involvement in facilitating tax dodging, alleging that there may be a political dimension at play fuelling the furore.
A robust statement lays into its chief critics, the guardian and the BBC, of playing to their ‘ideological soul mates in the Labour party’ and says it will ‘take no lectures about journalism from them.’
In its opinion piece the paper said: “We are proud to be the champion of British business and enterprise. In an age of cheap populism and corrosive cynicism about wealth-creating businesses, we have defended British industries…”
Nevertheless the title insists it has not been ‘blinded’ by this support and has previously led critical coverage of the multinational bank at the centre of the storm, citing a 2012 report in which it broke news of an HMRC investigation into offshore accounts being used by UK criminals.
With a general election looming the paper claims that the ‘almost indecent glee’ with which the story has been covered by these outlets, in addition to The Times, as part of an anti-business agenda and stick to beat the government with.
The piece concludes: “For the avoidance of any doubt, we have no regard for the opinions of rival media organisations. None is the paragon of moral or journalistic virtue that their criticisms this week might suggest. All have their own self-serving agendas, both political and commercial.
“However, we care profoundly about our readers. There is indeed a bond of trust between a newspaper such as The Daily Telegraph and its readers. We take that bond very seriously indeed.”
Nevertheless The Telegraph also announced it was in process of drawing up new guidelines in response to the row that will more clearly define the operations of its editorial and sales teams.