This is why media companies have reporting standards: Presumably Reuters will be able to legally prove its claims in an April 2 story about a Greek bank's questionable property deals. It's going to get that chance, because the bank just sued the news agency. Piraeus Bank wants €50 million ($66 million) for what it says was a defamatory report by a company and reporter that wanted to "harm the entire Greek banking system," Reuters reports in a story we're sure no one there wanted to write. In fact, Reuters is the only agency we've seen reporting on the story.
At issue is reporter Stephen Grey's account of a series of property deals the Greek bank made with the family of one of its executives. The bank says the story's patently untrue: "The bank never bought or leased any property, particularly illegal ones, from its chairman or his family," the suit claims, according to Reuters. Reuters is standing by the story, saying it can prove its claims through public records. The bank says it has evidence the story was inaccurate. Grey apparently feels comfortable about the lawsuit to joke about it on Twitter, quipping "time to flee to the Caymans."
Historically, Reuters stays pretty open about challenges to its reporting, of which it has lately had a few. It issued copious corrections to a story about Marco Rubio in January, retracted a factually wrong column by David Cay Johnson last July, and changed the headline on a slideshow about female ninjas in Iran after they complained that calling them "assassins" was unfair (though that wasn't enough to stop the ninjas from suing and Iran from suspending Reuters' press credentials). This time, Reuters is taking its critic to the mat, so its clearly confident in its story.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.