The enemy of my enemy ... Hoo, boy. And you thought the Middle East was a writhing mass of bitter hatreds, blind loyalties and uneasy alliances. But all of a sudden The Australian has found something it hates even more than The Sydney Morning Herald: the Australian Press Council. The Press Council ruled against the SMH yesterday in relation to a story the paper had written about Kate Malonyay, who was murdered by her boyfriend, Elliott Coulson. A SMH reporter attened Malonyay's funeral, which the Press Council found to be a breach of privacy.
"The Council considers that, in general, publications should check directly with the family or funeral director whether they can attend a funeral, publish images of it or quote material from the ceremony. It does not consider that coverage of this funeral was of sufficient importance in the public interest to justify publishing the material without the consent of the family. A matter is not in the public interest merely because members of the public are interested in it. "The Council also does not consider it was reasonable to rely on the apparent approval from a police officer for them to attend, especially as the publication already had reason to believe its presence might not be welcome. Accordingly, the complaint relating to attending the funeral and publishing material obtained by doing so is upheld as a breach of privacy."