Guardian deletes Emma Keller post about cancer patient

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The Guardian has removed a post by Emma Gilbey Keller about Lisa Adams, who blogs and tweets about her cancer.

“Following an investigation by the Guardian’s independent readers’ editor, we have removed the article in question from our website because it is inconsistent with the Guardian editorial code,” Guardian spokesperson Gennady Kolker tells Poynter via email. “This decision was taken with the agreement of Lisa Adams.”

Keller’s story (you can read an archived version here) was followed by an opinion piece by her husband, former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, who linked to it. Both posts attracted criticism.

When it first removed the story, the Guardian said “This post has been deleted with the agreement of the subject because it is inconsistent with the Guardian editorial code.” (The Guardian’s Editorial Code says “People should be treated with sensitivity during periods of grief and trauma.”) That language was later changed to “This post has been removed pending investigation.”

Kolker says in a follow-up email the news organization changed the language because its readers’ editor “has informed us that aspects of the investigation are on-going.”

In Salon, Daniel D’Addario wrote that Emma Gilbey Keller “shared private messages she’d exchanged with Adams — ones not intended for publication and ones published without even a warning to Adams.” Boing Boing editor Xeni Jardin said on Twitter the Keller stories were “Shoddy, shitty, heartless, inaccurate grandstanding.”


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