Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith has called for an apology from the the Northern Rivers Times over their front page story about the nomination of general manager Shelly Oldman for the NSW Government Minister’s Awards for Women.
‘The Northern Rivers Times must immediately apologise to the General Manager of Lismore City Council Shelley Oldham, the Lismore community, and their own readers for the very personal hatchet job they did on its front page this week,’ he said in a press release this afternoon (Friday, 9 October, 2020).
The article is headed ‘YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING!’ and finishes stating that, ‘The anger when the announcement was made was apparent on Social Media and the people in the street of Lismore and surrounds.’ [sic] The Northern Rivers Times further claimed that, ‘more than 3,000 readers made comments’ on Facebook or contacted their office.
‘The attack on our General Manager is totally without substance. It is cheap lousy “journalism” and our community deserves better,’ says Mayor Smith.
‘The Casino-based paper appears to have a personal vendetta against Ms Oldham and Lismore City Council. It is the second time they have personally attacked our General Manager. Last time they were forced to print a retraction for its factually incorrect story.
‘The current article, which was mostly a lazy cut and paste from social media, claims that “more than 3000 readers made comments (on Facebook)” or contacted its office following Ms Oldham’s nomination for a NSW Government Ministers Award for Women.
‘This not only reflects badly on Council but on all the great women nominated for these awards and the Minister’s office who promoted it.
‘In fact, just over 50 people made a comment across a number of Facebook pages.
‘Many of us in the community were very keen to support this new paper and were prepared to accept early missteps, but it has gone from bad to worse and has now lost our trust.
‘Newspapers and the media have great power in our society, but with it comes great responsibility.
‘The Northern Rivers Times has failed the responsibility test and must apologise.
‘Lismore City Council will no longer support the paper or assist its “journalists” as the paper has shown it is has no journalistic integrity and does not even attempt to provide fair, accurate and balanced reporting.’