Australian journalist Mark Di Stefano made his only comment via Twitter on Friday after being accused of reporting on a Zoom meeting of staff from the UK publisher of The Independent and Evening Standard:
“Hi, letting everyone know today was my last day at the FT. This afternoon I offered my resignation. Thank you everyone who has given support. I’m now going to take some time away and log off x” said Di Stefano.
The statement was met by sympathetic comments from friends and former colleagues, many of whom said they expected Di Stefano to bounce back after some time off following this setback. Others were more critical, including this comment from entertainment reporter Peter Ford:
“Hope you learn from this. You’ve orchestrated campaigns against many people, including myself, in the past. You’ve encouraged pile-ons and a cancel culture against anyone you consider ‘conservative leaning’. Despite this I hope in time you bounce back as you’re clearly not a fool.”
The Guardian’s Mark Sweeney reported:
Di Stefano’s actions were in breach of the FT’s code of conduct, which states: “The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by … intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails. Engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge … can generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means.”
“Last week, the FT received a complaint from the Independent that a reporter had joined a staff conference call without authorisation,” an FT spokeswoman said. “Access details had been shared with him. The journalist in question has now resigned from the company.
“The FT wishes to apologise to the Independent and the Evening Standard, which subsequently informed the FT that the same reporter had accessed a meeting it had held.”