Council writes to the Meander Valley Gazette seeking corrections to misreports

Posted on February 08, 2021

Council is aware that some members of the community have raised concerns around the accuracy and an apparent bias of reporting in the Meander Valley Gazette.

In recent months, Council has written (several times) to the editor of the Meander Valley Gazette seeking corrections on factually incorrect reporting about Council staff and business. The editor has refused to publish Council’s most recent three letters, or correct the public record through a printed retraction. Incorrect facts, bias and misreporting are things to be avoided as they are contrary to the public interest and hinder transparency. Given that almost all articles are written by the one person who is also on the management committee for the publication; the processes to ensure standards of accuracy, the labelling of opinion and the avoidance of non-bias reporting are particularly vital.

The reporting standard and refusal to correct errors seems to be at odds with The Australian Press Council standards. Most community newspapers in Australia are members of the Australian Press Council. This governing body upholds ethical standards with regards to the accuracy of reporting and holds members to account. It is also one of the only avenues available to those who have been impacted by the printing of incorrect and factually wrong information in the media.

After operating outside the Australia Press Council’s standards for many years, the Meander Valley Gazette has recently become a member after Council inquired about its complaint process. Council as well as members of the public now have an avenue available to allow us to correct the public record.

To view copies of Council's letters to the Editor of the Meander Valley Gazette, please follow the links below:

Letter to Editor, 23 July, 2020 (published in Gazette, August 2020)
Letter to Editor, 29 October, 2020 (unpublished)
Letter to Editor, 20 November, 2020 (unpublished)
Letter to Editor, 4 January 2021 (unpublished)