The Australian today issued a profuse apology after placing a picture of the wrong man in an article about historical sex abuse in the Anglican church.
The picture ran alongside a story on the Newcastle Anglican church’s history of sexual abuse, revealed at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. The story led with details about the abuse committed by Anglican priest Peter Rushton, who has been dead since 2007. But illustrating the story in both print and online was a photo of Catholic priest Peter Rushton.
In an odd twist, the Catholic Rushton is a relative of the wife of former editor-in-chief (and current media columnist) Chris Mitchell. Over the weekend, former Australian reporter Gina Rushton (now at BuzzFeed) tweeted that the paper had mistakenly published a picture of her great uncle, who has been dead since 1981.
In today’s paper, The Australian says that Catholic Rushton had an “unblemished career”. “Neither Mr Rushton nor his family are in any way connected to the Newcastle Anglican priest Peter Rushton, the subject of the story … The Weekend Australian deeply regrets the pain and suffering this mistake has caused the family of Peter John Rushton.”