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60 Minutes’ Lebanon story damaged reputation of media industry, claims HuffPost editor

Maguire

Maguire: 60 Minutes incident involved “an appalling set of decisions”

The editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Australia has suggested the 60 Minutes bungled child kidnapping story in Lebanon has damaged the entire journalism industry, not just the 60 Minutes’ brand.

Speaking at yesterday’s Australian Press Council conference, The Huffington Post’s Tory Maguire said: “It’s damaging for the industry that high-profile cock-ups get so much attention. 60 Minutes has done enormous damage to the entire media industry, not just the 60 Minutes’ brand or just to Nine.

“The general public would say that just reinforces what we knew about journalists. They’ve made it hard for all of us by doing what they did.”

John Dunnet, the past president of Country Press Australia, argued 60 Minutes and Nine “blew its trust” with the public.

“Superficially, it just seems like a shambles from day one, driven by money,” he said.

Maguire described the 60 Minutes incident as an “extraordinary case”.

“Mistakes happen all the time. Journalists are human beings and human beings make errors. Your reputation and character are defined by how you handle those mistakes and hopefully that you don’t make too many of them” she said.

“That story wasn’t just a mistake, it was a set of decisions that were appalling.”

Daily Mail Australia’s Peter Holder and Maguire both asserted that if a journalist within their respective news organisations was responsible for such a situation, “they’d be fired”.

Maguire claimed the situation would never happen at HuffPost Australia, arguing “We don’t pay for stories, ever.”

Nine declined to comment.

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