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Jan 28, 2013

Signs of failure at AFR grow

As a keen but increasingly troubled reader of the AFR this morning's contribution to the search for a 2nd Sydney Airport site saga suggests severe quality failures at the paper.

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As a keen but increasingly troubled reader of the AFR this morning’s contribution to the search for a 2nd Sydney Airport site saga suggests severe quality failures at the paper.

The report says:

The federal government is set to receive the scoping study on Wilton as the site for Sydney’s second airport amid growing support for Badgerys Creek – land Labor already owns.

Labor doesn’t own the site at Badgerys Creek. The Commonwealth owns it.

To make an error like this in what claims to be the newspaper of authority and excellence in business and public administration reporting is an alarming indication of failure in the sub-editing of the story’s presentation.

It isn’t the type of error that is tolerable in a business newspaper which for a long time had built its brand on formidably well informed and sensible reporting. If it can’t get such fundamentals as to the ownership of the site right, even in the write-off to the story, and no longer has the sub-editing capabilities to maintain standards, it will suffer loss of brand value, and readers.

The AFR would be onto something if it were to ask what interests might covet the site at Badgerys Creek, and what if any links might exist between them and various branches of various parties.

The determination of Labor, and the coalition partners, to avoid doing the obvious at Badgerys Creek, is very, very peculiar.

Investigating such matters would of course require money, time, effort, and legal guidance, way beyond the resources of one person publishing on-line.

It’s what newspapers alone can do, and do well, and with respect, the AFR should do that.

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