DUNCAN GRAHAM. Not the Freshest Meat in The Australian.

May 1, 2020

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

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