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Guardian issues correction: No, Rupert Murdoch does not own Sun TV Add to ...

There hasn't been this much confusion over the Sun TV News debate since Snuffleupagus signed the petition against it.

Britain's The Guardian has published a story on its website claiming that the Quebecor Inc. project to launch a new 24-hour news channel in Canada is actually masterminded by media baron Rupert Murdoch.

The paper subsequently issued a correction on the site saying that the article "incorrectly suggested that Rupert Murdoch has a stake in the Canadian company," but did not change or remove any of the incorrect information.

The confusion apparently comes from reports that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had met with Mr. Murdoch in New York in 2009. Mr. Harper's director of communications at the time, Kory Teneycke, became head of the Sun TV News project a year after leaving his government post - though the story suggested he stepped down and immediately jumped to Quebecor. But the Guardian piece labels Sun TV as "Rupert Murdoch's attempt to create a U.S.-style right-wing news channel in Canada".

Though factually inaccurate, the piece does give The Guardian an excuse to run a jaunty photo of a group of Mounties on horseback.

The story also says that pressure by activist group Avaaz.org, which organized a petition against the channel's license application, led to the project being dropped. In fact, Quebecor simply changed its application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, to remove certain special conditions it was requesting for the network, and to make it a regular application for a Category 2 specialty channel.

The article prompted CRTC commissioner Timothy Denton to leave a comment on the site calling the report "factually wrong in every respect."

"The CRTC will hold hearings, probably before Christmas 2010, on the application by Sun TV for a category 2 cable television licence. That is my current information," he wrote.

A Quebecor spokesperson, Serge Sasseville, wrote in an e-mail that The Guardian had not contacted anyone at the company about the story. A CRTC spokesman said the regulator had not been contacted. The editor responsible for running the story did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.

 
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