Sunday Tele outs The Australian’s journo as part of Young Liberals ‘cover-up’ over Alan Jones row

The Sunday Telegraph has taken the unusual step of outing a journalist on sister newspaper The Australian as what it claims is the source of misleading information over the Alan Jones saga.

The Sunday Tele’s move followed an attempt by critics to claim that the paper breached etiquette when it broke the story last week of Alan Jones’ comments about Julia Gillard’s father having died of shame.

The newspaper argues that there was no obligation to keep the comments secret, and that the transcript reveals that no such request was made to the audience despite claims to the contrary in Fairfax Media’s Sydney Morning Herald.

Today’s Sunday Tele reports:

mitchell nadin“It can also be revealed the guest who told Fairfax on condition of anonymity that reporters were asked to identify themselves and that the events were ‘off the record’ was Mitchell Nadin, a cadet on The Australian.

“The Sunday Telegraph and The Australian are published by News Limited.

“Nadin did not tell his employers he was at the event until the story broke in this newspaper a week later.

“When challenged, Nadin on Friday gave a statement to his employers, insisting he had heard Mr Berger’s remark. ‘Early in the evening, Simon Berger said words to the effect: ‘This is probably a good to time to ask – are there any working journalists in the room’?”‘Nadin’s statement said.”

The Sunday Tele went further, also writing an editorial about Nadin’s role in what it labelled a “cover-up” by the Young Liberals. It said Nadin is a former member of the Y0ung Liberals. It also attacked Fairfax’s Sunday taboid the Sun-Herald. It said in the leader:

“As soon as the first edition of this newspaper hit the stands, it was clear the story was going to be big. Social media buzzed with condemnation of Jones’s remarks. Television and radio led bulletins with it. The Fairfax-owned The Sun-Herald went as far as using The Sunday Telegraph’s quotes to write its own version in a later edition as a “spoiler”, giving the impression it had the story too, when in fact it was a shameless and blatant rip-off with no credit to the source of the information.”

The leader continued: “On the basis of one unsourced comment from a young man more anxious to stem the embarrassment his Liberal club had caused its hero Alan Jones, the SMH ran an editorial saying Marshall’s conduct was “borderline ethical, at best”. This is despite the fact they themselves, on the Saturday night, ripped the story off – a deeply unethical act.”

It added: “The default position of Fairfax seems to be that whenever we get a great ‘scoop’ we have either been unethical or should be jailed.”

The Australian had not responded to Mumbrella’s invitation to comment at the time of posting.

Before his role in the affair came to light, Nadin’s byline appeared in The Australian’s coverage of the Alan Jones affair. Nadin reported John Laws’ comments that Jones’ comments were “a mistake made in haste”.

Nadin Q&A

Nadin on Q&A

Two years ago, a Mitchell Nadin, who appears to be the same person, although he had longer hair then, appeared in the audience on the ABC’s Q&A where he asked former Prime Minister John Howard: “Do you agree that Australia has indeed been without a ‘real’ prime minister since you left the parliament?”


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.