The Guardian says there is "not a scintilla of truth" in a Daily Telegraph article which claims the liberal broadsheet is planning to give up print.
The Telegraph's media, telecommunications and technology editor Katherine Rushton posted an article online claiming that "senior figures at Guardian News & Media (GNM)" were "seriously discussing the move to an entirely online operation."
The article claimed that editor Alan Rusbridger opposes the drastic change but has become "increasingly isolated," as the Guardian's trustees push for a prompt transition to cut the paper's £44m average annual loss.
However, shortly after the article went online, Rusbridger tweeted that the story was "simply untrue" and "largely copied" from another article published by More About Advertising which is "also untrue".
"Numbers for going digital only & junking print just don't add up. So Telegraph has written the opposite of the truth," Rusbridger wrote.
Rushton's article cited More About Advertising and its editor, former Marketing Week chief Stephen Foster, as her source.
Rusbridger's denial was followed by a comment penned by The Guardian media commentator Roy Greenslade, accusing The Telegraph of spreading falsehoods.
Greenslade wrote that "I understand Rusbridger and the chief executive of the Guardian Media Group, Andrew Miller, are baffled by this story" because "there is not a scintilla of truth" in it.
He continued: "When a story is published that is so obviously wholly inaccurate it is hard to know quite how to describe it. A mistake? A falsehood? A flyer?" Greenslade wrote.
"In Fleet Street parlance, this could be deemed a flyer - a story you run up the flagpole hoping someone will salute. But no-one will be lifting an arm. It's just wrong. Plain wrong."