Seven News slapped for identifying wrong lawyers criticised by judge


Seven News has breached the Code of Practice after incorrectly identifying lawyers in a story where a Brisbane judge criticised two lawyers in April.

The report included remarks made by a District Court judge that were critical of the defendant’s (current) lawyers along with images of two people walking with the defendant in the vicinity of a court building. The defendant’s lawyers were not named.

But the Australian Communications and Media Authority found the people shown walking with the defendant were not his current lawyers. It was archival footage of his 2013 lawyers who were no longer acting in that capacity.

ACMA considered that the identity of the lawyers, conveyed through the use of recorded images, was a material fact in the context of the news report.

Seven has acknowledged that the images were not of the defendant’s current legal representatives citing that it was unaware of this at the time the report went to air.

Seven also failed to correct or clarify the error when it was brought to its attention by Legal Aid Queensland.

ACMA says Seven has undertaken to bring the ACMA’s decision to the attention of its news and current affairs staff, and to include reference to the decision in future training courses concerning the Code.


  1. Secret Squïrrel

    Seven may have legitimately been unaware that the archival footage depicted different people (altho’, doesn’t anyone check stuff anymore, especially if you’re going to be pointing the finger?) but it was more egregious when they failed to publish a correction (and apology) when advised of their error.

    Yep, tweaking staff training, because that has been working so well up to now.

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