(Image: AAP/James Ross)

The Australian broke media guidelines in its coverage of the head of a high-profile children's gender clinic, publishing incorrect information, failing to ensure fairness and causing substantial distress, an Australian Press Council ruling has found. 

Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service director Dr Michelle Telfer said that the Oz's coverage — which comprised 45 articles including reporting, editorials and opinion pieces — wrongly claimed that gender-affirming surgery was experimental.

The newspaper did not tell readers the “experts” cited in the pieces did not treat gender-diverse children, or that the articles referred to discredited theories. The sheer amount of coverage and its tenor was harmful to trans people, their families, and Telfer herself, she says.