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Sydney newspaper names and shames drug users on front page

The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney has raised eyebrows by printing photos of the faces of young drug users on the front page of its Thursday paper.

Six young women were charged with drug possession, the first of 110 people due to face Gosford Local Court, on charges of trying to bring illegal drugs into a Newcastle music festival, or with having drugs in their system as they left in December last year.

Daily Telegraph editor Ben English told Tom Elliott publishing the young women’s faces and names was not a decision taken lightly.

“It boils down to five people dying over the past four months,” Ben said.

“It may not be front of mind to the same extent in Melbourne but here in Sydney there is a sense of, a bit of, a crisis.

“There are conversations going on in households all around the state at the moment, because we did that on the front page. If one of those conversations leads to a decision made by a young person to not take drugs, then I would say that the negative consequences of what we did with that publication would be worth it.”


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“It’s a bold move by the Tele,” Tom said.

“I think it’s a good thing.”