Murdoch says what goes and politicians ask if they jump through hoops

A handy reminder, via Jonathan Holmes on the ABC, why the Murdoch press in Australia is about as honest and transparent as mud:

On Sunday March 15 2009, The Sunday Telegraph in Sydney and several other News Ltd Sunday papers around the country published pictures of a semi-naked young woman whom they identified as a young Pauline Hanson, allegedly taken by her lover during a naughty weekend in the mid 1970s.

Within days it emerged that the pictures were not of Ms Hanson, and the next Sunday the Tele had to issue a humiliating apology. But that first Monday, Media Watch asked what conceivable public interest was served by publishing the pictures – even if they were genuine.

To which Sunday Telegraph Deputy Editor Helen McCabe – now the editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly – responded:

“That’s for our readers to tell. That will be determined by the number of people that buy the paper.”

That a senior News Ltd editor could be so profoundly ignorant of the meaning of the phrase ‘public interest’ was a worry.

And the Murdoch press still believes it has the right to call the shots (something that successive political leaders have indulged).

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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