An Australian newspaper broke press guidelines when it reported in 2019 on the murders of two children that took place in 2007, the Australian Press Council ruled.
The Toowoomba Chronicle‘s Sept. 2019 article, “Killer shows no remorse,” reported on the 2007 deaths of two young children and the criminal trial, but one of the victims’ fathers complained that there was no reason for the article and details to be published again. He added that the paper didn’t contact him before publication.
Toowoomba is in Queensland, about 90 minutes away from Brisbane.
“The article was part of a historical series,” the press council reported the paper said, and admitted it didn’t contact the family, but defended the article as factual. The Chronicle noted that it “inadvertently” didn’t put a historical label on the article.
The council criticized the Chronicle for not labeling the article as historical and for not contacting the family beforehand. “Given the significant lapse of time since the reported crime and the graphic details included in the article, the Council considers the article should have been clearly presented as a historical piece to give context to the story,” the council wrote.
Because of those failings, the council ruled the paper “failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing offence, distress or prejudice.”
iMediaEthics has written to the Chronicle.
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