HWL Ebsworth, acting for Posetti, wrote in a reply today that Posetti denied defaming Mitchell and that she would not publish an apology or correction. Posetti holds that the tweets constituted fair reporting of proceedings of public concern.
“Whether or not the matters stated by Ms Wahlquist were right or wrong, they were matters that nevertheless related to a matter of public interest, namely, the conduct of journalism and the editorial policy of a major national newspaper in relation to climate change, being in itself a significant question of public interest, especially in the lead up to a Federal election,” the reply said.
Ms Posetti also responded to Mitchell’s kind offer of a tour of the Oz’s operations:
The letter also responded to Mitchell’s offer for Posetti to visit The Australian’s offices to observe its day-to-day operations. Posetti indicated that she would be glad to assent: provided that Mitchell attended some of her lectures at the University of Canberra.
In a sneering response published on The Australian’s website, Mitchell claimed that Posetti’s actions showed that she would be an incompetent lecturer.
“It is fascinating that a journalism lecturer and a university are risking public money to defend their right to publish lies, already admitted as such by the speaker,” he said.
“I marvel at the lessons Ms Posetti’s students must be taking from her action and that of the university. They are lessons that will have to be forgotten quickly should any of Ms Posetti’s students ever become journalists.”
To all of Ms Posetti’s former students currently applying for jobs at The Australian, I wish you the very best of British luck.
UPDATE: The full version of Julie Posetti’s letter is on the Vice Chancellor’s blog.