Alec Hogg's response to the article by IRR CEO Frans Cronje on the controversy over Coca Cola's funding of the Institute's sugar tax research:
Subject: Re: Relationship between Biznews and Fin 24
Have just read the IRR's statement on Politicsweb stating there is a funding relationship between News24 and Biznews. Seriously? How do you come to that conclusion after my clear articulation of the facts in the mail below?*
Also, please let your colleagues know that the reporter who wrote the Noakes-supporting articles, Marika Sboros, left Biznews well over a year ago. Since then we've produced virtually nothing on the subject. How is that possibly leading the charge against sugar?
The IRR statement is misleading but for us especially disappointing in the light of some excellent IRR research we have published on Biznews.
Rather than lashing out at the messengers, surely the rational thing for the IRR would have been to apologise for not volunteering the Coca Cola funding connection up-front.
* In response to a query from an IRR researcher (13 December) as to the relationship between Fin24 and BizNews Alec Hogg replied by email (14 December): “It is a content partnership where Fin24 republishes some of our content and we share advertising revenue derived from readership of the Biznews section on Fin24. There is no shareholding relationship. Biznews is 100% owned and funded by myself.”