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New guidelines for government ghost-writers

Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham continues on the case ($) of Conroy’s NBN spinners:

COMMUNICATIONS Minister Stephen Conroy’s department has been forced to change procedures after placing ghost-written articles lauding the NBN in newspapers and magazines around the country.

The Australian revealed last September senior public relations staff from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy had offered publications pre-prepared stories praising the National Broadband Network.

Emails from a departmental official to one journal offered the items “quite gratis” and told its editor: “I have no problem with you by-lining it from your team.”

A spokesman for Senator Conroy said at the time the minister believed “all articles should be properly attributed to the people who wrote them”.

“We will be taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Phew! Now all the public servants employed at taxpayers’ expense will just spin for the government openly instead of covertly. What a relief.

This all started with an email to the IPA suggesting an article for the IPA Review, covered on FreedomWatch here and here. You can read the full article pitched to the IPA Review in our December edition, or online here, and John Roskam and my take on what it means for the media.

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