The Guardian's Readers' Editor, Ian Mayes, has written ("with considerable reluctance") a further comment in the newspaper today about the interview with Noam Chomsky by Emma Brockes, having received a long and detailed complaint about his ruling:
The new complaint, which has prompted this column, is concerned with what Noam Chomsky, and Diana Johnstone, who was also referred to in the Chomsky interview and in the correction, do or do not believe with respect to the events at Srebrenica and to the description of the massacre itself. It comes in the form of a letter to me of about 4,500 words (an estimate) signed by three people: David Aaronovitch, Francis Wheen and Oliver Kamm. All three write for other publications. Oliver Kamm in addition runs a lively website. They all have opportunities to extend or debate the issues raised in their letter.
So we all do, but Ian Mayes's manifestly incorrect "correction" to the Chomsky interview ran in The Guardian, not in any other publication. Hence our approach to The Guardian, and specifically to its Readers' Editor.
Ian Mayes continues:
I return to my terms of reference, which can be found on the Guardian website. In particular, I refer to the penultimate clause which reads: "The readers' editor can refer to the external ombudsman any substantial grievances, or matters whereby the Guardian's journalistic integrity has been called into question."
There is a temporary difficulty here in that the position of external ombudsman is vacant, although steps are being taken by the Scott Trust, the owner of the Guardian, to fill it as a matter of urgency. I believe that it is the external ombudsman who should review my conduct of the inquiry leading to the publication of the correction to Emma Brockes's interview if those now dissatisfied with my resolution of the matter wish to pursue it.
So he is passing the matter to a third party. Forgive the fact that I am not going into details here about the content of our complaint. As I have written here several times, we shall be pursuing the matter through whatever channels The Guardian has in place till the newspaper has had the opportunity to consider it thoroughly. Be assured that it is not being allowed to rest.