We here at Sidebar are not making ourselves up. And neither is anyone else.
We felt compelled to offer this assurance after reading a recent report that Australian legal-news reporter Michelle Boatley does not exist. Also, she seems to be dead. The news came from JimRomenesko.com, the well-respected news industry web site authored by the journalist of the same name.
The return of Boatley’s byline to the pages of Australasian Legal Business after a period of inactivity piqued Romenesko’s curiosity. He poked around and found sources who told him that editors at the Thomson Reuters legal publication created the fake byline. They wanted to make it look like they had more reporters on staff than they actually do. The fake reporter came with her own Gmail account and Facebook page, which was subsequently removed.
Since some of you may never have met us in person, we wanted to let you know that that we are real people, not fictive beings of our editor’s imagination. And we have the Twitter accounts to prove it. Plus, if our editor were to dream up a staff of reporters, its members would no doubt produce far more copy and spend far less time reading tweets aloud in the office than his real staff does.-