Daily Telegraph article on wind farm breaches Press Council guidelines for accuracy

An article which appeared in The Daily Telegraph claiming the Australian Greens and Senator Richard Di Natale opposed a wind farm in Tasmania was inaccurate, the press watchdog has found.

Di Natale brought forward the complaint, claiming the article was inaccurate and misleading, and that the publication had failed to issue a correction when notified of the issues.

The ruling in today’s paper (Click to enlarge)

The article kicked off with: “The Greens are opposing a proposed wind farm in Tasmania which would inject $5 billion into the economy and produce 100 megawatts of clean energy into the grid.”

Di Natale said the party didn’t oppose the wind farm, and the publication never contacted his office to clarify the party’s position.

The article also made links between the position of former leader of the Greens Bob Brown and the party’s stance. Di Natale, however, said Brown is no longer in any position of leadership within the party, had no authority over the party’s national position, and did not represent Di Natale’s views.

Di Natale sought a correction, however The Daily Telegraph refused. After the complaint was made to the Press Council, the paper offered to publish Di Natale’s response, however he declined. He viewed it as an error which required a correction.

The Daily Telegraph defended the article, saying it was accurate, however the Press Council disagreed.

By not verifying the party’s position directly with the party, it failed to take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy, the watchdog said.

“The Council considers that the inaccuracy in the report was substantial and that in failing to publish a correction, the publication failed to take reasonable steps to provide appropriate remedial action,” it explained.

The Press Council ruled the publication had breached General Principles one, three and four.

The Principles require publications to take reasonable steps to:

1. Ensure that factual material in news reports and elsewhere is accurate and not misleading and is distinguishable from other material such as opinion.

3. Ensure that factual material is presented with reasonable fairness and balance, and that writers’ expressions of opinion are not based on significantly inaccurate factual material or omission of key facts.

4. Ensure that where material refers adversely to a person, a fair opportunity is given for subsequent publication of a reply if that is reasonably necessary to address a possible breach of General Principle 3.

The ruling was published on page two of today’s paper.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.