Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Watson resigns from Toronto Star Writer claims paper refused to publish story about discovery of wrecked Franklin expedition ship Jul 08, 2015 4:46 PM ET

Watson says experts and civil servants who worked on the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition that found the wreck of the Erebus are outraged at what they see as “distorted and inaccurate accounts” of that discovery, which allegedly originated with a person close to the Prime Minister’s Office who also has influence within the Star.

Watson’s says his efforts to report on that person’s influence were stymied, and that editors put him under “a six-week reporting ban” he only broke free of upon his resignation.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Watson says he quit the Toronto Star for what he calls its “refusal” to publish a story about last year’s discovery of a ship in the Arctic. 

On his blog, arcticstarcreativity, Watson said that federal civil servants and others involved in searching for Sir John Franklin’s lost ships are accusing an expedition member of spreading “distorted and inaccurate accounts.”

“For months, these individuals have been angry at what they consider distorted and inaccurate accounts of last fall’s historic discovery of Erebus in the frigid waters of eastern Queen Maud Gulf,” Watson wrote. “They identify a peripheral member of the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition, who has access to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office as well as editors at The Star, as the source of these accounts.”

Star spokesman Bob Hepburn said the newspaper has a strong track record of reporting information in the public interest. Hepburn says the Star does not suppress such stories.

Watson, who announced his resignation on his blog on Tuesday, said he will post updates on Twitter and on his Facebook page.

© The Canadian Press, 2015

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