Hey, Quick Q: Which Of These Daily Tele Front Pages Covers Sydney’s Big Hotel Quarantine News?

Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph has taken a unique approach to yesterday’s revelation that a security guard involved in the city’s coronavirus hotel quarantine scheme worked at two other sites across town in the days before he tested positive to COVID-19.

Namely, the News Corp masthead dedicated most of today’s front page to a pool party in China – despite prior reports about Melbourne’s hotel quarantine failures landing massive front-page splashes.

It’s the first time a worker linked to the state’s hotel quarantine system has tested positive, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today saying it’s a “miracle” the state hadn’t counted one sooner.

But today’s Daily Tele front page features the headline ‘China’s big party and a hefty image of a recent pool party in the city of Wuhan. Yes, last weekend’s festival is a world away from the locked-down lives many Australians are living, but the event comes roughly three months after the city confirmed its last case.

This isn’t really about the goings-on in China, though.

As pointed out by Melbourne journo Benjamin Millar, The Daily Telegraph has used previous editions to highlight Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and the state’s hotel quarantine failures.

Back in July, the paper ran with a headline ‘Dan-made disaster’ over a jumbo photo of Andrews.

Yesterday’s revelation about the Sydney security guard, who likely contracted the virus from a returning traveller, warranted column space on the side of the page, underneath a story about an NRL player landing a four-match ban for biting a competitor.

The Sydney security guard was unknowingly infectious when he worked at Sydney Markets Flemington and Parramatta Local Court, and there is no suggestion he did anything improper while carrying out his duties.

The circumstances of his infection are under investigation.


Previous Tele front pages, referring to the (genuinely shithouse!) situation in Melbourne, have used headlines like ‘Genome tests on virus prove we are right to be… Victoria Bitter’, ‘Bordering on madness’, and ‘Sick state of affairs’.

That’s to say nothing of the contrast between Melbourne outlet The Herald Sun and Queensland’s The Courier-Mail, as evidenced by this particularly harrowing juxtaposition.

There are serious and ongoing questions looming over Melbourne’s failed hotel quarantine system and its reliance on private security contractors, and a government inquiry is underway to find out how, and why, things went wrong.

That said, is it possible that News Corp papers are all-but gloating over the blowback on a Labor leader, while avoiding the same front page scrutiny for NSW’s Liberal Government?

Who could possibly say.