A furious News Corp Australia believes a story that rightly deserved to appear in its Brisbane daily newspaper The Courier-Mail may have been stolen.
A Courier reader told The Bug that News Corp had told him the company believed it had been the victim of a heist after he pointed out that a key story about the Queensland LNP’s child curfew policy had apparently gone missing from the morning turbloid’s Thursday edition.
Under the state election policy launched by LNP leader Deb Frecklington police would round up children found on the street after a set curfew time and take them to a refuge until being collected by parents.
A Courier reader, Artie Fishell of the Townsville suburb of Ooonoomba, told The Bug he had discovered the possible theft of the story after reading both The Courier-Mail and its North Queensland sister paper the Townsville Bulletin.
“I read the Townsville Bulletin and the Courier on the same day and both had stories about the LNP’s child curfew policy, but the Courier devoted its front page to it (main picture) and a positive treatment inside,” the reader said.
“And that’s as it should have been because the Courier sells tens and tens of copies up here in the deep norf, A?
“On the other hand the Townsville Bulletin didn’t mention the policy on its front page but covered it in a double-page spread (pictured) which also gave space to critical voices inside the paper including Amnesty International which said the policy, if implemented, could breach international human rights agreements.
“But what got my interest was a story the Townsville paper ran quoting a local anonymous police officer saying the whole LNP policy was ‘stupid’, unworkable, and would tie up police and have them ‘driving in circles’ instead of tackling crime. (pictured)
“The police source said cops didn’t even have the necessary powers to put kids in a refuge or keep them there.
“It was then that I rang The Courier-Mail because that story didn’t appear anywhere in its Thursday edition and I know the people at the Courier are highly trained and qualified and would not have left out a story like that which really sinks the whole LNP policy.
“After all the cops are the ones who would be asked to implement the policy and if they think it’s stupid and unworkable then surely The Courier-Mail would want to tell its readers about that.
“The young lass on the switchboard at the Courier was very helpful and finally put me through to someone in the newsroom who told me the story was probably stolen somewhere in transit between Townsville and Brisbane.
“It all sounded very technical to me. But I do hope they find out what happened to that story and maybe they’ll give it a run in the Courier if they ever find it. Hopefully before election day because I know the Courier will want voters to be fully informed.
“Perhaps the Courier might even run it on the front page?” Mr Fishell said.