DUNCAN GRAHAM. Not the Freshest Meat in The Australian.

The Australian has become very liberal with their use of the word ‘EXCLUSIVE’.

My sister-in-law once worked for an Indonesian store erasing use-by date stamps to fool consumers into thinking the products fresh.

Her skills could be employed at The Australian where EXCLUSIVE gets mightily over-exposed.  On 29 April the News Ltd daily used it to promote a page one story: Bats bit crazy: wet, wild world on our doorstep by Amanda Hodge ‘Southeast Asia Correspondent’.

Some hack has a different definition of the noun from Merriam-Webster: ‘A news story at first released to or reported by only one source’ because the yarn appeared on 1 April here: https://johnmenadue.com/bat-viruses-in-indonesia-by-duncan-graham/  It was filed on location.

Maybe the label wasn’t Hodge’s doing.  She’s produced much excellent copy from this region, though along with other Jakarta-based correspondents like the ABC’s Anne Barker has apparently shot through and may now be quarantined in Oz.

I asked Hodge her whereabouts  She declined to reply.  Which is her right.

Just as it’s mine to say: Followers flatter, but don’t fool readers and palm off stale stories as fresh. That’s unpalatable.

Duncan Graham


Duncan Graham has been a journalist for more than 40 years in print, radio and TV. He is the author of People Next Door (UWA Press) and winner of the Walkley Award and Human Rights awards. He is now writing for the English language media in Indonesia from within Indonesia.

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