A FINANCIAL Times reporter accessed private Zoom calls at the Independent and Evening Standard, it was claimed today.
An account registered to journalist Mark Di Stefano is claimed to have joined the confidential video calls for the two papers as employees were told how the coronavirus crisis would affect staff.
The Independent today claimed journalists saw Di Stefano's name appear on the private video call for 16 seconds before he left the meeting.
Log files later showed his FT.com email address had been on the Independent's Zoom call on Thursday.
And soon after, it was reported an unnamed account joined the call, with the video switched off.
The account was anonymous however it has been claimed it was linked to the mobile phone used by the same Financial Times reporter.
An account linked to Di Stefano's mobile number also reportedly gained access to an Evening Standard Zoom call that saw editor George Osborne announce large-scale furloughs and salary cuts to staff on 1 April.
In both cases, Di Stefano tweeted details of the meetings before they ended.
Articles about both the paper' decisions were then published in the Financial Times.
The Evening Standard's editor George Osborne tweeted: "What’s the FT got to say about this?
"Their own code of conduct says ‘the press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by… intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails'."
The editor of The Independent Christian Broughton said: "We respect freedom of speech and understand the challenges of newsgathering, but The Independent considers the presence of a third-party journalist in a staff briefing to be entirely inappropriate and an unwarranted intrusion into our employees’ privacy.
"Our spokesperson had a full statement prepared for the press – any interested reporters only needed to call and ask."
A spokesperson for the Evening Standard said: "For a journalist from the FT to have illegitimately accessed a private Zoom call is unacceptable.
"We are sure the FT will want to offer an immediate explanation and an apology."
Di Stefano, who is understood to be under investigation by the Financial Times, joined the publication in January from Buzzfeed.
The Financial Times declined to comment.
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