Yesterday, in its editorial column and in an article in its Media section, The Australian accused Media Watch and me of hypocrisy. The paper attempted to compare an article in The Australian, which Media Watch criticised last Monday, with some news stories I filed nearly four years ago. It was a bogus comparison.

More significantly though, The Australian did not attempt to address the issues Media Watch raised about the newspaper’s front page article that it published two months ago.

In that story The Australian named two girls, one now 13 and one 16, both from a small Northern Territory community. It described their s-xual history when they were 12. In the case of the younger girl, The Australian described on its front page how she had an abortion when just 12. It went on to name the school she’d soon be attending in a different community. The other girl had her photo published on the front page.

You can read Media Watch’s piece on The Australian’s naming of these children here.

The only response from The Australian to the criticism of its identification of these girls was to insist that both had had consensual s-x when they were 12. Really?

Instead, The Australian responded by alleging I had supposedly identified the victim of a p-edophile in Bali about four years ago.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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