STORY BEHIND THE STORY: How the Sunday Age steals stories from rivals without checking them and invents quotes

markforbesvmelissa The long weekend’s newspapers were dominated with the Sunday Herald Sun exclusive story on parliamentarian Theo Theophanous’s writ against his accuser in Greece and an interview with him that appeared in the Sunday Age.

What has intrigued media observers though are the differences between the story that appeared in the Sunday Age’s first edition and second.

The Sunday Age’s Mark Forbes has been accused of stealing the the Sunday Herald Sun’s story and incorporating it in the Sunday Age’s own account as if it was discussed in Theophanous’s interview.

Astonishingly, it also appears that Forbes added in to the article these words:

A creature of vicious ALP politics, who admits to using “dirty, grubby” tactics he knew would “hurt” opponents, revenge and retribution have always been part of Theophanous’s political armoury. In advancing the cause, his cause, the ends could justify most means.

VEXNEWS understands the words attributed to him were never uttered by Theophanous in his interview with Melissa Fyfe or at any other time. They did not appear in the first edition version of the story. And one cannot imagine Fyfe excluding them if Theo had actually said them.

We understand that Ms Fyfe is “feral” about what happened as the incident makes her look like a liar and plagiarist when the whole thing was due to the corrupt antics of Mark Forbes, who clearly spent too much time in Indonesia dealing with dodgy government officials.

The words attributed to Theo would certainly be an odd thing for any politician to concede. Having quotes fabricated against you is perhaps what politicians sign up for in the rough and tumble of life.

But for the rest of us the implications of Mark Forbes’s dirty and grubby tactics are clear.

The Sunday Age and its Deputy Editor Mark Forbes appear perfectly comfortable engaging in plagiarism, deception and fabrication. They are willing to run a rival’s story, pieced together from reading its first edition, quickly paraphrasing it and running it without any checks of any kind. What happens if their rival had been wrong? How long have they been doing this? The implications of all this for the few Age readers left are gravely serious indeed.

We have obtained a copy of the first edition and make it available here.

It can be compared with the second here.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “STORY BEHIND THE STORY: How the Sunday Age steals stories from rivals without checking them and invents quotes

  1. Anonymous

    Sounds like Suzanne Carbone!

  2. Anonymous

    Fyfe was clearly employed for her looks and not her brains

  3. The Faker

    Haha, so true. Everbody here knows that but Mel.

  4. mel admirer!

    she’s a classy journo, something all too missing at the aged.

    her piece on the former Minister was a balanced piece, unlike some of the earlier reporting.

    i look forward to watching her career only improve from here.

  5. Forbes is an experienced hand, particularly down at Spring St where he spent many years and was a first class reporter. If he added the lines, they will be underscored by his knowledge of Theo’s MO and track record. It is the editor’s job to ensure the paper is up-to-date, and changing copy between editions when fresh news comes to light is all in days’s work.
    Theo seems very keen to sue anything that moves; if he has a problem with the quotes, he can always sue the sunday Age. Maybe for another $10 mill.

  6. Oh Please

    Sounds Like Vexnews, the great news recycler.

  7. Get yr hand off it

    Why are so many of the people who post a comment on this blog obsessed with women’s looks? Play the ball not the man people.

  8. Anonymous

    Her career is going places? Please. Mel will be lucky to get work at the Dandenong Journal by the end of the year.

  9. Anonymous

    Fyfe has only got anywhere on her back.

  10. RDR

    Is she needs a lift I am more than pleased to oblige?

  11. lock up your daughters if they are 16 or under, RDR is on the prowl.

    ease up RDR, she is far too old for you given she is over 18.

  12. Anonymous

    Ship Fyfe back to Tasmania… She is a spoon fed reporter and there is little depth in her reporting…. Wasn’t she the environmentalist reporter before doing a 3month internship at the UN which made her so qualified to be the State reporter?

  13. mel admirer!

    its sad but not surprising that all of the various anon’s attacks on Mel are cheap shots. sadder still because she wrote up a fair and balanced piece on the yet to be substantiated allegation against former Minister Theophanous. something that neil mitchell cant cope with either.

    so go ahead and try and attack her and personally vilify her, but in the end it wont work. class always makes its way to the top.

  14. Bearded Burbler

    I thought the article she did was excellent. An immense amount of time spent with Theo, getting his side of the story, it was also well written and edited. Quite a U-turn for the Age. Almost as if Theo had threatened them with legal action and they realised they needed to undo some of the damage they caused with their articles in Spring last year…

  15. RDR

    Even though she is over 18, I’ll still try and have a crack as I am more toey than a roman sandle tonight!

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