David Marler

David Marler

Queensland reporter at No Fibs
David is a full time Queensland carer for his son and in quiet times contributes to NoFibs.
David Marler

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David Marler

What does it say about a media organisation if a senior member is allowed to continually plagiarise?

News Corp editor & Qld LNP linked Peter Gleeson’s history of intellectual theft continues to be exposed. Not only has he stolen from the ABC but he’s committed plagiarism against his own colleagues.

Nine News Queensland journalist Josh Bavas first raised concerns when parts of an article he had written two years ago when he worked for ABC News in Brisbane appeared as part of analysis by Gleeson in The Courier Mail on October 29, 2022, “Power and Palaszczuk“. It was a12-page special including a front page attacking the character of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Bavas received a phone call from Gleeson and an apology. The parts were removed from the online story.

Like many of Australia’s News Corp editors, Gleeson favours the conservative side of politics. In his time as editor of The Sunday Mail, he supported the re-election of Premier Campbell Newman in 2015 and the election of Queensland opposition leader Tim Nicholls in 2017. In October this year, an Instagram post by LNP MP for Surfers Paradise, John-Paul Langbroek, confirmed him speaking at an event for the party.

The Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade found a second instance where Gleeson had lifted text straight from the Queensland Parliament website for his column, “It’s Time Queensland Got Its Houses In Order“.

ABC Media Watch host Paul Barry reported on these two plagiarism instances and revealed a third. Back to the original offence of Power and Palaszczuk, Gleeson had also stolen from a 2015 report by News Corp’s own journalist, Jason Tin.

That led to another investigation by Australians for a Murdoch Royal Commission (AFMRC) which found Gleeson had written “Oh Baby, the Bush Still Gets Raw Deal” on March 27, 2022. Sections had been lifted from an ABC Southern Queensland story by journalist Jon Daly on February 14, 2022 about a woman giving birth on the roadside after covid-19 overwhelmed the local Chinchilla hospital which Gleeson used as an attack piece on the government.

That brings the total so far to four counts of plagiarism against four different authors, although The Guardian is reporting it as three when it covered the latest AFMRC revelation. AFMRC’s national director, Kirsti Gorringe, told the outlet there may be more instances to follow.

So far Gleeson has not responded to media enquiries with News Corp stating he had taken personal leave.

Update – November 24, 2022

The Courier Mail has published a short statement saying Peter Gleeson has ended his roles with it and Sky News. However, it was unable to use the P-word instead opting for “first written by others appearing in articles published under Mr Gleeson’s byline”.

“I apologise for breaching News Corp’s Code of Conduct and instances where I have not met the standards required,” it quoted Gleeson as having said. Peter Gleeson leaves roles | The Courier Mail

Retired News Ltd journalist and five times Walkley Award winner Tony Koch tweeted that Gleeson’s ‘dishonesty had caught up with him’ but wished him ‘the best in another endeavour’.

Journalist Jon Daly confirmed he had not received an apology.

Update – November 27, 2022

Peter Gleeson has been found yet again plagiarising by AFMRC. National director Kirsti Gorringe posted the revelation yesterday of a piece posted on March 5, 2017 entitled “Australia’s Power Grid Groans: Wind Power Obsession Threatens Lives & Livelihoods” by a group called Stop These Things. Gleeson took sections and published as his own for a climate change denial piece which appears online as “So Much For Promises of Cost of Living Relief” dated June 22, 2022. The same piece also appears under three different headlines across four paper editions of the News Corp empire.

“As The Mercury Drops, Power Prices Keep Rising” appeared in Queensland’s The Sunday Mail. “Greatest Hoax Of Our Time” was published in The Sunday Telegraph. “Chasing Elusive Dreams” made it into both the Sunday Herald Sun and the Sunday Tasmanian.

At its website the group Stop These Things says it began in December 2012. “We started as a kitchen table group of citizens concerned about what is happening across rural and regional Australia, by the harm being done by the wind industry, in partnership with governments,” the About page reads.

The total plagiarism count is five against five different authors.