Chris Elliott, readers’ editor of British newspaper The Guardian, has admitted that the paper made a mistake in phrasing an article it printed on 4 February about the wealth of ousted President Hosni Mubarak being as high as US$70 billion.
According to Elliot, the newspaper consulted two professors for their estimates of Mubarak's personal wealth. One of these professors gave an estimate, while the other did not offer any figures. However, the reference to the professors in the headline and opening paragraph was changed from an "expert" to "experts".
“An Egyptian reader told me the article raised anger among Egyptian demonstrators and might have inflamed the revolution, given the credibility of this newspaper,” Elliott said, adding that journalists asked him to confirm the information while he was visiting Cairo.
He said that a political science professor of Princeton University was the source of the figures quoted. “The problem was with the source of the news,” he said, adding that the paper had also interviewed a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Durham University, who failed to estimate Mubarak’s wealth.
Translated from the Arabic Edition