Australian Press Council response to complaint over placement of adjudication and header

Mr Scott Balson

The Council’s Complaints Committee considered your letter of 7 February at its March meeting, during its review of the publication of adjudications.

The question of prominence of an adjudication published by the Australian in its Media section was discussed by both the committee and the Council. The Council has asked me to discuss this issue with the newspaper to see whether more can be done to ensure that all readers are aware of the published material. However, as one of the main aims of an adjudication is to bring to the attention of all editors the ethical questions at the base of complaints, the Council sees some sense in the publication of its findings in the Media section. I will advise you in due course of the outcome of the Council’s discussions with the newspaper but, in this case, the Council will not be asking for any additional publication by the newspaper.

I should also note that, arising from your letter of concern, among others, the Council its reviewing, at its triennial Planning Day later this year, what constitutes prominent publication of adjudications.

On the question of the headline used on the adjudication, the committee did not agree that it was unreasonable. It will be taking no further action on that question.

Yours sincerely,

Jack R Herman

Point 11b on guidelines in complaints procedure states:

b. At each Complaints Committee meeting, the committee reviews the printing of adjudications in the publications concerned in the previous meeting's determinations. If the adjudication has not been printed in the publication affected, or the committee believes that the publication has misrepresented the finding or not printed it with adequate prominence, it can recommend to the Council such action as would be appropriate in the circumstances.

From this piss-weak response you can see how compromised the position of the Australian Press Council has become.