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News Corp apologises for erroneously using barrister’s photo in article about ‘dodgy’ lawyer

News Corp has issued an apology to Leslie Nicholls, a barrister whose photo was incorrectly used in an article about a “dodgy” lawyer involved in a “drug cash scheme”.

The story – headlined ‘‘Dodgy’ Sydney lawyer sentenced to jail for drug cash scheme’ – was posted across News Corp’s mastheads including News.com.au, The Daily Telegraph, and The Australian last Thursday.

Yesterday afternoon, News Corp’s newly established newswire, NCA Newswire, posted the apology, which admitted to “erroneously includ[ing] a photograph of distinguished Sydney barrister Mr Leslie Nicholls” in the piece.

The apology [Click to enlarge]

“News.com.au, The Daily Telegraph and The Australian accept Mr Nicholls had nothing at all to do with the proceedings of the subject of the article or any of the matters or persons identified in that article.”

The original article appears to have been removed across the three titles.

Earlier this week, News Corp resumed printing three community newspapers in Sydney due to renewed advertiser and reader demand, after suspending more than 60 community print titles in April. In May, it axed more than 100 print papers and shuttered 14 mastheads completely, and has since announced the closure of its Murrarie print centre.

Despite the severe impacts COVID-19 has had on the company, last week it announced a plan to launch 50 new digital-only titles targeted at the regional populations most affected by the suspensions and closures. The first 15, staffed by one reporter each, are due to start publishing in September.

It has also launched its newswire, which was formed after News Corp pulled funding from the since-saved AAP. Additionally the company has hired former WPP AUNZ CEO Mike Connaghan and promoted chief operating officer Damian Eales.

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