Legal journo outed as a fake

By Brigid O Gorman|07 May 2013

Folklaw’s eyebrows were raised recently when one of our rival publications appeared in the press for a less-than-impressive reason – using a fake byline...

Folklaw’s eyebrows were raised recently when one of our rival publications appeared in the press for a less-than-impressive reason – using a fake byline...

It has been widely reported that the byline of ‘Michelle Boatley’ recently reappeared on the Australasian Legal Business (ALB) website.

Media blogger Jim Romenesko wrote that Boatley’s byline had appeared on the website regularly a few years ago, before it disappeared – only to reappear in recent weeks.

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However, it wasn’t that Boatley was travelling the world to ‘find herself’ or anything, she had simply been reinstated by the editors – as a fake byline.

That’s right, Boatley, despite the fact that she appears to have been busily covering deals, appointments and acquisitions, exists in name only.

A source told Romenesko that the byline was created to “make it look as if the ALB teams were bigger than they really were”.

As far as Folklaw is aware, editor Renu Prasad is the only current Australia-based member of the ALB editorial team, following the recent departure of journalist Olivia Collings.

Romenesko also wrote that a fake Gmail account was set up for the reporter a few years ago after a PR firm tried to contact her and was unable to; with a fake Facebook page, which has since been removed, also established for this female figment of imagination.

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Folklaw reckons it was the Facebook page that really gave away the lie: Boatley only had two ‘friends’ – one being her editor Prasad – and even the biggest loner has more friends than that on Facebook!

This rather embarrassing publishing faux pas has been widely covered in the press, with a story about it even appearing on popular American news and gossip site Gawker.

Folklaw would like to assure our readers that none of the journalists here at Lawyers Weekly are made up.

Any figments of our imagination would be better paid, better looking and less overworked than we are...

Lawyers Weekly contacted ALB but they declined to comment on this story.

Legal journo outed as a fake
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