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Media briefs: what you can’t read online … Press Council v Tele …

Why you won’t find today’s biggest story online, and other media tidbits of the day.

The last remaining advantage of print media. Rolf Harris is back in court in the UK for pre-trial hearings, and the British judge overseeing the case has slapped a blanket suppression order on reporting what was said at the hearing. Strictly speaking, that means that no one is allowed to report on it. But Australia’s newspapers have gone ahead anyway, with most of them putting the story on their front pages today. Don’t bother looking it up online, though. They’ve not put the story up online in any form.

Crikey spoke to one of the lawyers advising Fairfax, and he told us that while one could argue what Australian newspapers did wasn’t in the jurisdiction of the British court, he advised Fairfax to tread carefully anyway (on legal advice, Crikey has decided to do the same). Interestingly, Fairfax’s papers carried a disclaimer telling readers not to tweet or talk about the story online if they don’t want to risk being in contempt of court. We think this is the first time a newspaper has done so in Australia. So far, it seems the Twitterverse is heeding the advice.

If you want to know what was said, print’s your only option this morning. We suggest you buy the paper … —  Myriam Robin

Press Council slaps down ‘Green Lunacy’ spread. In August last year, The Daily Telegraph ran two stories under the banner headline “Green Lunacy”. One was about Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore supposedly opposing cars in at James Packer’s Barangaroo casino development. The other was about the council’s membership of Sustainable Business Australia, headlined “Electric car club a shocking waste”.

Stephen Pate filed a complaint with the Press Council about both stories, saying that the first article was unfair because it depicted Moore as opposed to all cars in the precinct (she merely didn’t want an increase in parking spaces due to congestion concerns) and the second was inaccurate because it got the name of Sustainable Business Australia wrong, and implied that the body sold electric cars (it doesn’t). The Daily Tele responded that the full article on Moore made her position clear further down in the body of the text, and that it had published a correction about the errors in the second article once alerted to them.

In its adjudication, the Press Council wrote that it considers the word “ban” in the headline and the words “stop cars from parking in the same sentence” conveyed an inaccurate message the Moore was opposed to all parking in Barangaroo:

It considers that nothing else in the article and accompanying material was sufficiently clear and prominent to correct or compensate for this inaccuracy. Accordingly, the complaint about the first article is upheld. In relation to the second article, the Press Council considers that the publication did not take reasonable steps to avoid the errors identified by the complainant in the headline and the article. Accordingly, this aspect of the complaint is upheld.”

There’s a summary of the adjudication on Page 8 of the paper today. — Myriam Robin

Video of the Day: Sarah “First Lady of the Outdoors” Palin is back with a new TV series — and she wants you to get red, white and blue. Here’s the promo. Will you be tuning in?

2
  • 1
    Electric Lardyland
    Posted Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m not even going to tune into the promo.

  • 2
    Jeff
    Posted Friday, 21 March 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    The Daily Telegraph is consistently polled as Australia’s least trusted newspaper. You don’t achieve that sort of notoriety without some effort.

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