In Jacksonville, when certain journalists are proven utterly wrong and totally unfair, they don't apologise or correct the record – they don't even miss a beat – they just keep on smearing. Peter Wicks reports.
The Gillelands, who have been subject to financial stress, as a result of invoices that have yet to be paid by the HSU, have had a tough time in the press.
Over the last 18 months, they have had their property raided on the basis of misinformation and a concocted conversation. They have also been smeared all over the press just for being a HSU supplier; this has, in turn destroyed their business. Their legal bills have continued to mount while they try and avoid calls from journalists who are seem interested only in smearing them.
In summary, the Gilleland’s provided legitimate services to the Union and, as a direct result of speaking out about the misuse of members' funds, had their services drastically cut back by Michael Williamson. Other companies have profited from Communigraphix's loss, also without going to tender ― however we are not seeing them treated in the same manner.
I question why after a year of insinuating that this couple have been up to no good with Williamson, who was just last week accused by this same "journalist" of acting under Williamson's instruction to hinder police, the press aren’t now singing their praises upon finding out the opposite.
I don’t think there is a “handsome” enough payment for what these people have endured; their involvement with the HSU has left them totally devastated and destroyed their professional lives. These people are not exceedingly wealthy, they do not own combined properties worth over $3 million as the Jacksons do. These are regular people, with a mortgage, who were unlucky enough to provide a service to the wrong client.
I wonder what it takes to get favourable press coverage these days. It seems that when assumptions were being made, based on nothing but hearsay, that this pair were helping Williamson, that was bad. Now it seems they were not, and were actually helping the members and police, but somehow that is also bad?
At what point can these people do something right? Have I missed something? The article in the Fairfax press today sends a message to anybody who ever wants to help police, or distance themselves from criminal acts, they will be smeared from pillar to gatepost by the press.
The next time police choose someone to trust when putting information out there, and giving the heads up to on upcoming police raids, as they have reportedly done recently, I hope they remember who runs articles that actively deter people from co-operating with them.
The attitude of the press in relation to this family has been a disgrace.
They wouldn’t recognise a real whistleblower if they fell over one, instead they’d rather promote the jaundiced opinions of a turncoat.
I hope they've learnt something, but I won’t hold my breath.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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independent journalist, michaelwest.com.au