By ERWIN CHLANDA
Today’s readers of Google Alerts for Alice Springs may have been surprised and concerned by the headline “Flooding at Alice Springs” Submit to an online site of Darwin based Murdoch NT News.
They would have read under the headline “ALICE Springs inundated with flood waters after heavy rains”.
Including a series of photos.
People can be seen on the Stott Terrace Bridge above the caption: “NTES volunteers line the Stott Terrace Bridge with torches searching for the body of a 24-year-old man who drowned. PHOTO: Barry Skipsey.”
The man is not named.
People clinging to tree are rescued from washed-away car.
And: “Power and water personnel have been employed” under a picture of a dangerously downed power pole.
And: “Mad Harry’s staff are cleaning up after their ceiling collapsed overnight, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.”
Disturbing stuff, unless, of course, the reader finds himself in dry Alice Springs and is amazed at the newspaper’s apparent invention.
The 23 photos, mostly by Mr. Skipsey, a well-known photographer in Alice Springs, were actually stock photos and not actual photos. This is not specified. He says they were published without his knowledge or permission.
Mr Skipsey told that News from Alice Springs: “Those photos are from a long time ago. Mad Harry’s was about eight years ago when rain poured down on the city from a supercell.”
The undated spread was picked up by a Google Alert service, which emails news about topics or locations that users choose, in this case Alice Springs, and is thought to be available worldwide.
At the top of the Google Alert it says: alice springs. Daily update. September 12, 2022.
Clicking on this will take you to the NT News ‘Report’.
We have offered the right of reply to the newspaper’s editor, Denise Cahill. At the time of our publication, we have not received a response.