Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace has told a committee looking into privacy and injunctions that he ‘wasn’t a big fan’of the News of the World‘s Max Mosley coverage and he would not ‘necessarily’have published the story in the Daily Mirror.
Mosley received £60,000 in damages from the NoW over a front-page article about his sex party with five paid-dominatrices in a London flat, and has since launched a campaign to ensure newspapers give prior notification to the subject of their stories.
Asked if he would have contacted the ex-Formula One boss before running the story Wallace replied: ‘That’s a difficult question for me to answer because, being frank, I wasn’t a big fan of that story in the first place.
“That having been said, I would hope that I would have gone to Mr Mosley, yes.”
Quizzed on why he didn’t like the story, Wallace added: ‘It was a matter of personal taste. Personally I didn’t think that my readers would have heard of Max Mosley, on the one hand. And secondly, it wasn’t to my personal taste.’
He suggested the public ‘weren’t particularly enamoured’with the Mosley coverage in the paper.
‘Max Mosley wasn’t to my mind something that I would have necessarily published. When it comes to footballers it depends on who the footballer is… and the volume of information out there about them.”
Wallace also warned the Privacy and Injunctions committee that the costs involved in legal actions had a chilling effect on investigative reporting in the regional press.
He told the committee that councils now had ‘very high-powered PR machines’which make it difficult for newspaper editors to ‘hold local government in particular to account”.