Print media self-regulation body the Press Council says it has received a complaint about The Weekend Australian’s front-page splash on January 2, in which the paper featured a pixelated image and the job title of the woman who lodged a complaint against recently resigned government MP Jamie Briggs.

The Australian’s story, written by deputy editor John Lehmann, revealed the text messages between the unidentified woman and Briggs’ chief of staff Stuart Eaton. It also featured an image that was later revealed to have been taken by Briggs on his phone of the woman at the centre of the complaint and Eaton (the image, it was later reported, was sent by Briggs to a few colleagues after the woman made a complaint).

The Australian also gave the woman’s age, job title and the consulate to which she was attached. The revelation of her title and the distribution of her image was slammed by the Community and Public Sector Union, which argued she was entitled to privacy.

It’s possible the complaint will not lead to a full adjudication. Most complaints to the Press Council do not result in a full adjudication, with the body first attempting to resolve the issue between the complainant and the publisher in other ways.

Peter Fray

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