London-based blogger (and UKMW contributor) Richard Millett recently fisked an Oct. 14th article by Donald MacIntyre in The Observer (sister site of The Guardian). Millett noted MacIntyre’s bizarre suggestion that if Israel had treated Hamas with more respect and compassion over the years, the Islamist terror group may have abandoned terrorism and dropped its demand for Israel’s destruction. In order to buttress his claim, Millett noted, MacIntyre included a quote from Tony Blair:
However, Millett revealed that the book which included the Blair quote, Gaza: Preparing for Dawn, was written by none other than…Donald Macintyre himself – a fact he chose not to reveal. Millett pointed out that failing to mention his own authorship seems to be a breach of the Guardian’s Editorial Code on Conflicts of Interest and on Declarations of Interest which states:
“Staff should be transparent about any…financial interests that might conflict with their professional performance, or could be perceived to do so….It is always necessary to declare an interest when the journalist is writing about something with which he or she has a significant connection…”
UKMW contacted Observer readers’ editor Stephen Pritchard (by email and twitter) to express our concerns over these ethical issues.
A couple of hours later, Pritchard responded to inform us that he upheld our complaint. The text was changed to note that MacIntyre was indeed quoting from his own book. Further, the following was added at the bottom: