Stephen Glover: The Troubles are still raging for The Guardian's media pundit

Media Studies: Few people are aware The Guardian's media sage has links with Sinn Fein

An extraordinary item appeared last Tuesday on Professor Roy Greenslade's MediaGuardian blog. It was a harsh attack on his colleague Henry McDonald, the long-serving Ireland correspondent of The Observer and The Guardian. The Prof noted that the previous Friday a story by Mr McDonald had appeared in The Guardian wrongly attributing a Belfast murder the night before to "Republican paramilitaries".

Mr Greenslade was right that in the heat of the moment Mr McDonald had got his facts wrong, apparently relying on incorrect information from Republican dissidents. A man and a woman with no paramilitary connections were later charged. Yet it seemed odd that the Prof should have launched a public attack on a colleague for a pardonable mistake. Mr Greenslade, who has long-standing links with Sinn Fein, evidently resented the imputation of Republican involvement.

Before writing his piece he did not contact his colleague. Nor did he do so last August when he wrote a blog criticising British newspapers, including Mr McDonald's, for not covering the annual Sinn Fein conference during which a Presbyterian minister and former British Army chaplain, the Reverend David Latimer, called Martin McGuinness one of the "true great leaders of modern times". Had the Prof spoken with Mr McDonald, he would have learnt that he had intended to attend the conference but did not do so because his mother was dying.

Few people are aware that The Guardian's media sage has affiliations with Sinn Fein. During the late 1980s, when he was managing news editor of The Sunday Times, he secretly wrote for An Phoblacht, the Sinn Fein newspaper, which then served as a propaganda sheet for the Provisional IRA. His pseudonym was George King. We know this from Flat Earth News by Nick Davies, a Guardian colleague and instigator of the journalistic investigation into phone hacking. When Mr Greenslade reviewed Mr Davies's book on his blog in 2008, he did not deny what some may regard as a pretty serious allegation. In a more recent blog, he described Mr Davies as his friend.

The connections endure. Last June, Mr Greenslade spoke at a Sinn Fein conference in London on the 30th anniversary of the hunger strikes, and he wrote an article on the same subject for An Phoblacht . He has had a house in County Donegal for many years. One friend is Pat Doherty, from 1988 until 2009 vice president of Sinn Fein, who has been named as a former member of the IRA Army Council.

Given his sympathies, it is fair to surmise that Mr Greenslade dislikes Mr McDonald's articles about Sinn Fein's links to organised crime, and saw his recent piece as an attempt to blacken the organisation. Mr McDonald is certainly no friend to Sinn Fein but, equally, he has received Loyalist death threats, and his house in Belfast has been fortified against Loyalist attacks. (By the way, I have never met him.) I'd say he was a brave and honest reporter who, unlike Mr Greenslade, is not parti pris.

May I suggest that when he next writes about Northern Ireland Mr Greenslade should be open about his allegiances? And also that he should talk to colleagues before attacking them? Both are considered good journalistic practice, and he is, after all, Professor of Journalism at City University, where there must be impressionable students who look up to him. Roy Greenslade would do well to ponder on what, one way and another, is a bit of an ethical tangle.

Sometimes Leveson careers out of control

What should we make of the article in The Daily Telegraph last Friday by Rebekah Brooks' solicitor suggesting the former chief executive of News International may not receive a fair trial? My first response was that it is interesting her lawyer seemingly concedes that charges might be brought against her.

But is Stephen Parkinson right that "much prejudicial material has come into public domain" as a result of the Leveson Inquiry? He cites Paul McMullan, former News of the World deputy features editor, who told the Inquiry last November that Mrs Brooks had been the "criminal-in-chief". He also mentions Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who recently spoke of a culture of illegal payments at The Sun.

These allegations are surely too unspecific to have prejudiced a fair trial, though the Attorney General is considering whether the second case could amount to a contempt of court. But they do indicate how the Leveson Inquiry has sometimes careered out of control. Let's hope there will not be any more remarks that might interfere with any criminal proceedings.

Is the Sun on Sunday Murdoch's fifth column?

Yesterday's Sun ran a prominent piece by Yvette Cooper, shadow Home Secretary, attacking the Coalition's record on crime. I doubt such an article would have appeared in the Monday to Saturday Sun, which is unremittingly pro-Cameron. Might Rupert Murdoch be using the Sunday Sun as a fifth column to get back at the Prime Minister, whom he blames for the Leveson Inquiry?

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Legal Recruitment Consultant

Highly Competitive Salary + Commission: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL BASED - DEALING ...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape