News Corp blames ‘production error’ after APC requests re-print of controversial infographic ruling

News Corp’s controversial ‘Fat chance of being healthy’ infographic – which drew parallels between ill-health and sexual orientation –  is once again in the spotlight after the Press Council requested the paper reprint the adjudication which ruled against it.

A press council spokesperson told Mumbrella the initial adjudication’s run in the paper in December “was not fully compliant”, however News Corp claimed nothing sinister had occurred, and blamed the misdemeanour on a production error. 

The infographic was widely criticised when it went to print in July and in its ruling in December, the Press Council said the article “caused substantial offence, distress, prejudice and risk to public health and safety, and there was no public interest in justifying this”.

The infographic featured side-by-side statistics about unhealthy young Australians including “37.5% of 16- to 24-year-olds consume alcohol at levels posing a lifetime risk to health” and “16.8% of secondary school students in Australia are attracted to people of the same sex as them or both sexes”.

The paper ran the adjudication in print on 20 December last year, however at the request of the Press Council, re-ran it with larger font today.

The adjudication as it ran on 20 December (click to enlarge)

A Press Council spokesperson told Mumbrella: “The Press Council requested that the publication republish the print component of the adjudication as it was not fully compliant with its requirements in the first instance.”

News Corp denied any deliberate breaches of the Press Council’s requirements, telling Mumbrella: “Due to a production error, the first time it appeared was in a very small type size and difficult to read. Our commitment to the Press Council is that we publish reports clearly, so we simply decided to reprint in the correct size.”

Noticeably larger font: The adjudication as it ran on 24 January (Click to enlarge)

The Press Council would not be drawn further on what The Daily Telegraph had done wrong in its publication of the adjudication the first time around, but in its Publication of Adjudications Guidelines, which can be found here, it says: “The adjudication must be published with due prominence in a position in the publication which the Executive Director has approved as likely to be seen by those who saw the material on which the complaint was based”.

After suffering backlash last year, The Daily Telegraph’s editor, Christopher Dore posted a statement on social media which said the presentation of the story had been misinterpreted.


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.