The Sunshine Coast Daily‘s front-page image of Queensland’s leader in gun crosshairs was offensive without being in the public interest, the Australian Press Council ruled.
The May 20 picture showed Annastacia Palaszczuk with the words “Anna, you’re next.” After her representatives complained, the Sunshine Coast Daily published an apology, admitting it “made a mistake” and didn’t “condone any sort of violence against women or politicians,” as iMediaEthics has reported.
Palaszczuk’s representatives complained to the press council about the image, arguing it endangered her. While the Sunshine Coast Daily initially stood by its image, it eventually did apologize, the press council noted. The paper denied it wanted to “incite violence” but instead argued it was trying to convey she was “the next political target of the conservative parties.”
The council agreed with Palaszczuk that the image was offensive, but said it “welcomes” the apology.
iMediaEthics has written to both sides to ask their response to the ruling. Palasczuk’s office sent the following statement from her Sept. 2 press conference: “I’ve accepted the apology and I’m very pleased with the outcome. My message there is I don’t want that to happen to anyone else. It was deeply disturbing at the time and I don’t want that to happen to any other person in this state, let alone Australia.”