Candidates called to account

The Observer editor Meredith Papavasiliou.
The Observer editor Meredith Papavasiliou. The Observer

I FOUND myself in very unfamiliar territory yesterday. What was intended as a general comment, and a call to action for all five of our local Gladstone electorate candidates, was taken personally, it seems, by incumbent independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham. It caused a bit of a stir.

Mrs Cunningham posted a comment to Facebook accusing me of being biased.

She also accused me of criticising her for making a lot of noise but not taking any action. Both accusations were made after receiving a second-hand account of an on-air conversation between Zinc Central Queensland Breakfast announcer Rob Kidd and myself on my daily radio cross. Yesterday afternoon, Mrs Cunningham confirmed she had not heard the cross herself.

Later, via text message, she said she had listened to it, and, at the time of writing this editorial, the Facebook posts with the accusations stood. The radio cross can be heard online at gladstoneobserver.com.au - so you can listen and make your own call.

If any of the five candidates took offence or exception (or anything personal) to the comments I made yesterday I am sorry.

It's no secret The Observer - and I, as editor, - have always been prepared to concede when we have it wrong. But this is not one such time. I stand by my comments.

We need a state member who can effect real change and be a real and unrelenting advocate for our region.

That person might well be Liz Cunningham. But it might also be Glenn Butcher, Anthony Beezley, Russell Schroter or Andrew Blake.

The Observer - and I personally - adhere to a strict code of balance and fairness at any time, but especially during an election campaign. But that doesn't mean shying away from tough questions and calling all stakeholders to account. That is our job.

Topics:  queensland election 2012 zinc radio

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