The Sunday World did not pursue Ross Hussey

Ross Hussey
Ross Hussey

In your article ‘Hussey Story Sparks Flood of Complaints’ published July 26, correspondent Sam McBride makes a number of wholly inaccurate and misleading observations.

As the regional Editor of the Sunday World, criticism comes with the job, some, when it is informed, is welcome.

Uninformed views can often be easily dismissed but not when they come from a fellow journalist in full possession of the facts.

Sam seems determined, obsessed even, with the desire to set the newspaper I work for at the centre of the ‘scandal’.

I’m sure I don’t need to rehearse the details of the Hussey story, but for Sam to assert that the Sunday World’s coverage was ‘similar’ to that of the Sunday Life is plainly wrong.

We did not pursue Mr Hussey, we did not arrange to meet him in a hotel room for a sexual encounter, we did not secretly film Mr Hussey nor did we publish covertly taken pictures of Mr Hussey in his hotel room.

Neither did we allege his behaviour amounted to a security risk. All of which was the work of the Sunday Life.

Like the News Letter and other media outlets our story – under the headline “Nude Snap MLA Says: I’m Sorry” which Sam believes to be ‘lurid’ – centred on Mr Hussey’s own comments and that of his party.

You would have to exist in a very sterile world to consider that ‘lurid’.

When dealing with matters of such sensitivity, the question of balance, objectivity and accuracy become paramount; people’s reputations are at stake.

Sadly, all were lacking in Sam’s report.

For the record, the Sunday World has received not a single complaint over our coverage.

As a former News Editor with the News Letter I write this correspondence with some reluctance.

I have a good deal of respect for Sam’s work as a political correspondent but his treatment of this story is, at best, skewed, at worst, one-eyed.

Richard Sullivan, Belfast Bureau Chief Sunday World, Belfast BT1