Scott Balson's response to The Australian's response to his complaint

P.O. Box 91
Wellers Hill
QLD 4121

28th November 2007

Mr Jack Herman, Executive Secretary
Australian Press Council,
Suite 10.02, 117 York St, Sydney 2000

Dear Mr Herman

I am in receipt of The Australian's response dated 16th November 2007. I wish to place on record that I now wish to take this complaint to the Complaints Committee.

By way of my response to their letter I would make the first and extremely important observation; either the editorial staff of The Australian treats the APC with absolute contempt or is aware of its failings as an independent body overseeing these sorts of complaints. The manner in which the paper refuses to respond to the core elements of my initial complaint and their contemptible offer in their closing comments is sufficient evidence to me of this fact.

In summary

Reporting ethics:

Aspartame and anti-Semitism:

The allegation that I am a right wing extremist:

I would ask the question of Chris Mitchell and Greg Roberts - what have they done to aid the plight of people of colour? I am sure that I know the answer - nothing - perhaps they are the closet racists who need to be exposed - maybe even paedophiles?

I wonder how they would like that title being associated with them in a widely published article? Just like me, I know they would be understandably horrified and devastated by the suggestion - yet this is what they have done to me and my reputation in the article that is central to this complaint. If I was to use their reporting methods I could also trump up allegations against them that would make the hair curl on their heads - the only thing I lack is their privileged forum The Australian - a forum which they have clearly abused. For the record, if I had such a forum I have too much moral fiber to stoop to their level.

The Complaints Committee need to consider carefully this aspect of my complaint - namely the impact this article has had on me personally.

Right of reply:

Shreddergate/Heiner affair:

In summary it is clear that the article "Far Right behind Shreddergate bid" breached several fundamental journalistic codes including:

As outlined above I decided not to waste my time sending a right of reply based on the manner in which this process has been abused by Christ Mitchell' editorial staff in the past.

I would ask the Complaints Committee to treat the allegations raised here as extremely serious - not just because of the lack of ethics of the editorial staff of The Australian under Chris Mitchell but because of their ongoing slander against my good reputation.

I have attached just two of several examples of how this article has resulted in a ripple effect through the Internet. The articles one, a post in "Fightdemback" and another in "The voice of today's apathetic youth" demonstrate just how damaging this sort of behaviour has already been on my reputation. If you Google "far right heiner balson" you will see that there are already over 30 Internet posts directly associated with this article by The Australian.

I am seeking a prominent and strongly worded adjudication on this issue exposing the paper's unethical reporting methods - to be published in The Australian addressing the issues raised in my complaint. Further, in the interests of the mainstream media's own integrity, I request that the editorial staff at The Australian be called before the APC and be put on notice about using unethical standards of reporting in the future. I also seek a personal letter of apology from Greg Roberts and Chris Mitchell under The Australian's letterhead.

Yours sincerely

Scott Balson

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