Mark Di Stefano of the Financial Times is accused by The Independent of accessing private Zoom meetings held by The Independent and The Evening Standard as journalists were learning how coronavirus restrictions would affect them.
A Financial Times reporter ‘accessed private Zoom calls at Independent and Evening Standard,’ the Independent (UK) reports today.
The Independent contacted the Financial Times and Mark Di Stefano, neither would comment.
Log files show an account registered to Di Stefano’s FT.com email address joined the private video call for Independent staff on Thursday for 16 seconds. The caller’s video was disabled, but journalists saw his name flash briefly on screen before he left the meeting.
Five minutes later, a separate account joined the call, this time unnamed. Again, video was switched off so that only a black square was displayed among the screens showing up to 100 people who had been invited to attend. The anonymous user account, which remained in the meeting until the end, was later shown to be linked to the mobile phone used by the same Financial Times reporter.
Di Stefano posted the news on Twitter while The Independent’s staff were still being told details of and reasons behind salary cuts and furloughs, and before the editor, Christian Broughton, and senior management at the title had contacted other journalists who could not join the video call, including those based in the US.
Shortly afterwards, the Financial Times published a report by Di Stefano, including confidential details about the company’s advertising downturn and quoting chief executive Zach Leonard. The article stated that “people on the call” were the source of the story.