Bauer blames typo for Take 5 story claiming philandering police official committed crimes in NSW instead of UK

Bauer Media’s real life magazine Take 5 has been accused of misleading its readers after suggesting the story of a British “crooked copper” who used the police database to access information about women in order to sleep with them, actually occurred in Australia.

The magazine implies to readers the offences took place in NSW.

The German-owned publisher – which has been increasing the amount of syndicated international copy it uses – claims the change was a typographical error. Bauer claims that the location of “Redruth, Cornwall” was accidentally changed to “Redfern, NSW” because the names were similar.

Take5 said the victim was from NSW

Take5 said the victim was from NSW

The original story came from Lisa Andrew, 40, of Redruth in the rural county of Cornwall, who spoke to magazines and newspapers including The Sun after her husband, a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) was found guilty of misconduct in a public office in a widely publicised case in the UK.

Take 5 cop coverIn the article the PCSO, a uniformed police support staffer , is said to be a police officer, but his name and age, Andrew Bunyan, 40, have not been changed. Whilst the body of the article does not specifically claim the case occurred in Australia, it does not specify to readers that it occurred overseas.

Journalism academic David McKnight told Mumbrella the article is “one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen in journalism” and likely to be part of a growing trend as Bauer Media Group syndicate smore content across its international titles.

McKnight told Mumbrella: “It just shows another example of the erosion of journalism based on facts into a kind of blurring into entertainment values. People think they can do this and it’s just extraordinary.

“I get the sense this is part of the spirit of the time because the core of journalism is being eroded through the disintegration of newspapers, so you get stuff like this, but they just shouldn’t do it. It’s misleading.

Take 5

Take 5

“The trust between a publication and its readers is pretty important. People are not stupid, you can present something as a fictional story or you can present it as factual and there are different rules for different kinds of things and those sort of details shouldn’t be changed.”

Bauer Media Group, formerly ACP Magazines, has made moves to publish content from the UK as well as the US and other countries, Bauer has previously said in response to the appointment of a single editor to work across its Dolly and Cleo titles.

Editor-in-chief Paul Merrill, who took the helm of Bauer’s real life portfolio in May, did not respond to invitations to comment.

A Bauer spokeswoman said: “This piece originally appeared in the Daily Mail which is not a Bauer Media owned publication. It was bought via a syndication service directly from the newspaper which as you know is common practice across all publishing companies.

“It is not unusual for Take 5, from time to time, to run an overseas article with many receiving positive feedback from readers. Yes, the wrong address has been attributed to this article, as they are very similar. Unfortunately in this instance is attributed to human error.”

Earlier this month Bauer Media Group CEO Matthew Stanton told Mumbrella content would not be compromised as the publisher restructures and cuts editorial staff. Stanton also said Bauer was looking at different, non-traditional ways of producing content that would enhance the quality of magazines.

Take 5 has a circulation of around 174,000 and a target readership of women in the ‘heart of middle Australia’ according to the Bauer Media Group website. It has a cover price of $3.10.

NSW Police and the Police Association declined to respond directly to the article.

Megan Reynolds


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