Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Slater & Gordon’

The mysterious photo no-one took: New evidence for Press Council

In Anne Tan, MSM, News Limited on February 22, 2013 at 3:34 PM

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By Anne Tan
February 22 2013

On 6 November, 2012, an article with accompanying photo appeared on Michael Smith’s blog site. The post included a weblink to The Australian, and the article Gillard call would have ‘ led to fund inquiry’, by Hedley Thomas. Sandwiched between the headline and the article on Smith’s blog site was a photograph of the Prime Minister depicting her behind bars.

I immediately lodged a complaint with the Press Council: ‘…an article/accompanying photo in today’s copy of The Australian, and available through Google, has prompted me to [make] a complaint. I include the weblink and a copy of the page. I believe the photograph impugns the integrity of the PM, depicting her behind bars, and as a private citizen I am appalled at this journalism.’

The Press Council advised that no such photograph had appeared in the digital or hard copy editions of  The Australian and that it was a ‘doctored’ photo posted by a blogger. Obviously, my complaint was prompted by a ‘fiction’ and as such, I did not proceed. The Press Council dealt with the matter in a very timely fashion, contacted me by phone and email, and thanked me for bringing it to attention.

I was and remain shocked by such a blatant and disrespectful representation of the Prime Minister.


But what really happened…
by Margo Kingston

When Anne emailed me her complaint to the Press Council, I suggested she write a piece about her experience and noted that I would seek comment from Mike Smith before publication. I expected a ‘Yes, I photoshopped the pic., big deal, I reckon she’s guilty’.

You never know the truth till you call.

Mike’s response was surprising and disturbing, and we agreed that he would write a considered statement, published in full below.

You make up your own mind about what went on in Murdoch’s stable. I will email this post to the Press Council upon publication and request it to re-open the investigation in the light of new evidence.

We have published Anne’s correspondence with the Press Council under Mike’s statement.


Mike Smith responds:

I recall seeing that photo for the first time very early in the morning of 6 November, 2013 – Melbourne Cup Day.

Hedley Thomas had filed this report.

On reading Hedley’s story I cut and pasted some of his text and republished it on my blog for the purpose of eliciting commentary about the issues he disclosed.

I don’t know if I took the text directly from The Australian’s website or from a re-posting of Hedley’s story elsewhere on News Ltd sites like perhaps www.news.com.au or one of the tabloid sites, dailytelegraph.com.au or heraldsun.com.au.

I know that I lifted the photograph from Hedley’s story, wherever it was published, and thought it an apt pictorial allegory for the imputations I took from Hedley’s story.   I wanted to elicit commentary about the photograph as well as the text. Read the rest of this entry »

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