The Sunday Age columnist and highly respected ABC broadcaster Terry Lane wins this year for a column what was one part beat-up, two parts blunder. In what Lane himself prematurely described as an “ignominious end” to a long career in journalism, the esteemed columnist was fooled by a fake internet story and cited fake video evidence of massacres in Iraq by the phoney US Army Ranger Jessie Macbeth. Lane acknowleged that he “failed to check his facts” and offered a resignation to his boss, Sunday Age editor Peter Fray, but Fray didn’t let him go. Instead, The Sunday Age ran a column the next week by Lane entitled “No excuses, I was taken in by a fraud.” No excuses, and no recriminations either – instead, Fray promised to review “our fact-checking measures in the light of this column.”

Crikey readers say:

Luke McIlveen’s effort for the Daily Tele on ANZ’s alleged call centres in India, plus numerous other stories on right wing conspiracies around Cronulla riots, looming terror plots including Osama laundering funds through NSW poker machines… it’s juicy pickings. – Anne Davies

2005 Winner: Daily Tele hatchet man Luke McIlveen for pushing John Brogden over the edge.

Peter Fray

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