Our coverage of TheDaily Telegraph’s “Rude Sydney” expose yesterday caused quite a stir. Tele editor Campbell Reid responds:

The Daily Telegraph report is an accurate reflection of how pregnant women are treated when they
travel in Sydney. The Daily Telegraph publicised this issue after hearing the experiences of pregnant staff members
commuting in the city. Our report prompted an enormous response from readers
and overwhelmingly mothers and pregnant women endorsed the view that they are
treated rudely. In our report, when the women were offered a seat we reported
that.

We chose four women for the story, three of whom were staff members, but their
qualification for the story was their pregnancy not where they worked. Is
Crikey suggesting that a pregnant journalist is somehow not eligible to report
their experiences?

Regarding the claims by the passenger, Josh. The reporter, Evie Gelastopolous,
did not get off the bus after two stops and the bus was crowded. Is he
suggesting that because a pregnant woman doesn’t catch his eye he therefore
doesn’t need to offer her a seat?

Campbell Reid
Editor
The Daily Telegraph


So it will be be interesting to see how Reid responds to this legal threat from
the man singled out by the
Tele, Josh Raymond:



To the Editor:

I refer to my email yesterday, Tuesday 15 March 2005, requesting a public
apology for the defamatory publication of my image. Your presentation
intentionally misleads the readers of your publication and exposes me to
ridicule and embarrassment by implying I would not stand for a pregnant public
transport passenger. It implies I am rude in nature by not doing so.

My photographic image, taken without permission is prominent and is clearly
used in relation to the story; “Rude Sydney”. If this request does not occur
within 48 hours of receipt of this message then I will instruct my solicitor to
initiate defamation proceedings without notice.

Yours Sincerely

Josh Raymond



And it also raises questions about where Reid gets his story ideas – like all
good editors, he nicks many of them from where he can find them. Like the
London
Evening Standardwhich on 8 March ran this yarn:

“A badge designed to encourage chivalry on the Tube has been roadtested by the
Evening Standard. Introduced by London Underground, it says ‘Baby on Board’ and
is to be worn by pregnant women in the hope that commuters will give up their
seats to them. But on a 45-minute peak time journey on the Piccadilly and
District lines from Covent Garden to Putney it was met largely with
indifference.

“Only three men offered their seats to Kate Skinner, 28, a senior account
manager. On the first Tube, 24-year-old James Murray, an accountant from West
Acton, stood up immediately but said: ‘I didn’t see the badge. I just saw she
was a pregnant woman, so of course I’d get up.’ In the next carriage commuters
eyed the badge with interest but turned back to their reading material.”

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