Launceston Examiner cops to anti-trans fake news


mark westfield launceston examiner fake news
Image, Mark Westfield, Launceston Examiner editor and former Deves campaign manager.

The Launceston Examiner this week published anti-trans fake news in a letter claiming a man undressed in front of small children in the female change rooms of the local aquatic Centre. The letter writer stated that staff subsequently shrugged off the incident because the person identified as female. The paper’s editor, Mark Westfield, formerly worked as campaign manager for Katherine Deves during her FAILED 2022 election bid.

Despite the frequent use of fake news by anti-trans activists, Mark Westfield made no attempt to verify the letter writer’s claims.

“Recently while getting changed in the FEMALE change rooms, with many young girls present, an adult MALE walked in and started to undress in front of the kids!

“Naturally a man (a father) walked in and forcibly removed the MALE…

“When this was all reported to the aquatic centre staff they shrugged and said there was nothing they could do because the person ‘identifies as female’.

“The father, who in my opinion did the absolute right thing any parent would do, has now received a life ban from this facility. Simply for protecting his child.”

TERF groups quickly shared the letter on social media.

No checks made on fake news claim

But editor and former Deves campaign manager Mark Westfield published the letter without checking with aquatic centre staff, the council, police, or even the letter writer.

The local council refuted the claim the same day.

“It is regrettable that no attempt was made to check the veracity of the claims before publication.”

Mayor Danny Gibson said later that councillors and council staff were subjected to ongoing abuse because of the false claim.

Mark Westfield then published a ‘clarification’ in Wednesday’s Launceston Examiner.

He said that as the person responsible for selecting letters for publication he did not have time to verify claims.

“I have to trust my readers. 99.99 per cent of letters I’m pretty confident are correct.”

However, he later checked with the letter’s author, local woman Olivia Nettlefold.

“I spoke to the writer. I think she made it up. She wasn’t very convincing. I asked her what happened, to give me some detail, a time, date, but she wouldn’t.”

Nettlefold recently shared a post complaining about the drag storytime event at Launceston library. Prior to that, she shared a petition protesting the proposed Tasmanian ban on conversion practices.

Also: Support dwarfs protest at Launceston Drag Queen Storytime.

Another Launceston TERF: Woman appeals tribunal’s finding on Target banning her over ‘transgender views’.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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