Victim anonymity

The hoax press release which saw the share price of Whitehaven Coal drop is certainly enlivening today’s financial pages.

As Fairfax Media’s BRW puts it: “a number of news outlets fell for a fake press release purporting to announce ANZ’s withdrawal of support”.

And Fairfax Media’s Sydney Morning Herald says: “Still, it was good enough to leave some running with it”.

But which titles were within that”number of news outlets”? And who were the “some running with it”? Dr Mumbo was unable to find an answer among the acres of coverage from the Fairfax titles.

Happily Crikey can assist: “”Much of the media — including Fairfax’s metro mastheads and The Australian Financial Review website — were immediately sucked in”.


Update,  Jan 9: Today’s AFR sets out the events thus: ‘The first false report was by wire service AAP in its ‘stocks to watch at noon’ article sent to news outlets at 12.05pm. By 12.18 AAP released an article saying ANZ was pulling its loan facility and Whitehaven shares went into freefall. By 12.20pm The Australian Financial Review’s website had the story, 10 minutes later the Business Spectator site was running it, followed by Bloomberg and Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald.”


  1. Offal Spokesperson
    9 Jan 13
    1:25 pm

  2. Its ok, these people are running our economy and therefore our lives.

    Nothing could possiblie go wrong.

  3. Gromit
    9 Jan 13
    6:57 pm

  4. If any of them had been at work there probably would have been a few opinion pieces based on it. Though I see they’ve still managed a few hypocritical whines, even those that ran the story!