The Australian Apologizes, Retracts after 'Erroneous' Report on PM Julia Gillard

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The Australian apologized to Julia Gillard and retracted an opinion report about her. (Credit: The Australian, screenshot)

Rupert Murdoch-owned The Australian retracted, corrected, and apologized for publishing fake claims about Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, the Guardian reported.

The Australian had published an “erroneous report linking her to a former boyfriend and the alleged embezzlement of union funds,” the Guardian explained. The Australian hadn’t sought comment from Gillard in its report.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the report by Glenn Milne claimed that Gillard “had unknowingly shared a home in Fitzroy purchased by a union official with embezzled funds.”

Despite The Australian’s apology, Gillard has reportedly indicated she might pursue “legal action” over the story, which she called “in breach of all known standards of journalism.”

She is quoted as saying that “the only issue” for her with the newspaper is the fake report and how it got published.

News Limited CEO John Hartigan rejected Gillard’s complaints and stated that the story in question was an opinion article, in which “comment is rarely, if ever, sought.”


But, the story reportedly has prompted a “war” between the government and News Corp’s Australian titles owned by News Limited because of “perceptions the article was part of an orchestrated push” among News Limited publications, the Australian Financial Review explained.

The Australian Financial Review noted that Australian “federal cabinet” minister are currently looking at “strategies for dealing with News Ltd.”  Some potential actions may include cutting advertising or supporting a call to “examine ownership concentration” in Australian media.

News Corp’s Australian branch, News Limited, owns about 70% of the print media in Australia.

iMediaEthics wrote in July and August when Australian politicians suggested revising media and privacy laws in Australia in light of the phone hacking accusations against News Corp’s UK newspapers.

iMediaEthics has written to the Australian and Julia Gillard’s office for comment and will update with any response.

Hat Tip: Editor & Publisher

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The Australian Apologizes, Retracts after ‘Erroneous’ Report on PM Julia Gillard

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