News Corp paper The Sunshine Coast Daily has apologised for on Monday publishing a front page that depicted Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk framed by crosshairs, after claiming earlier today that they would not be apologising.
Daily Telegraph: We're the champions of controversial covers.— Dani Bevins (@DaniKBevins) May 20, 2019
Sunshine Coast Daily: Hold my beer (and the front page.) pic.twitter.com/Snapx3cwyQ
In an editorial published this afternoon, editor-in-chief Craig Warhurst said that they had received heavy criticism from readers:
Today I was inundated with letters saying we got it wrong and we needed to apologise for our actions.
Many of the letter writers said our front page could incite attacks on women and politicians and glorified gun violence.
At a time when domestic violence was so high on the agenda, it was unacceptable, they said.
Warhurst defended their intentions with the front page, but conceded that it was a poor choice:
What the front page was seeking to highlight was Labor’s poor performance in the federal election in Queensland, and that the State Government is now in the political sights of the conservative parties in Queensland. . . . That is all the front page was intended to signify to readers. It reflects the sentiment of the outcome of the federal election in Queensland and the way many Queenslanders voted. It was a sentiment that proved decisive in determining the election. . . . That said, in retrospect, I agree it was a poor choice of imagery on the front page. We could have got the message across in a different way.
In no way does the Sunshine Coast Daily condone any sort of violence against women or politicians.
According to the ABC, the Queensland government referred the article to the Press Council. Speaking to ABC Sunshine Coast, acting police minister Craig Crawford said that he believed the image was an incitement to violence: “To some people out there, it is an invitation to shoot the Premier. There is no doubt what a person’s face in crosshairs means. And certainly, from a police perspective, it’s very concerning to see someone do that.“