Press Council releases adjudication on misleading Daily Telegraph article

In early July, The Daily Telegraph ran a story that suggested that same sex attraction was a negative health factor, by placing statistics about teenage same sex attraction next to statistics about drug abuse and obesity – seemingly linking the two.

At the time, the newspaper’s editor Chris Dore was adamant that the publication had done nothing wrong, declaring that readers had misinterpreted the graphic. His response was highlighted on the ABC program Media Watch as ‘non-apology of the week’.

Now, five months later, the Press Council has released an adjudication that is clear in its message: The Daily Telegraph was misleading, wrong and wrongly informed to place the statistics of same sex attraction in such a way that suggested a similarity between one’s sexuality and one’s health.

The Press Council, in their statement, concluded that “the headline ‘Fat Chance of Being Healthy’ and sub-headline ‘Young Aussies have only themselves to blame’ with the statistic that ‘16.8% of secondary school students are attracted to people of the same sex or to both sexes’ associated the students reporting same-sex attraction with people affected by unhealthy lifestyle factors,” declaring that The Daily Telegraph mislead its audience.

The council also noted that the response from the newspaper over the article was only published online and blamed the public for ‘misreading the graphic’.

The Daily Telegraph has responded to the complaint to The Press Council saying that they had created the story when they were close to deadline and that person creating the graphic was a different journalist to the person who wrote the story.

Davis Burke

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