Australian media companies admit breaching Pell gag order

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian media companies have admitted they breached a gag order in publishing references to Cardinal George Pell’s since-overturned convictions in 2018 for child sexual abuse. But the plea deal avoids any journalist being sent to prison. Dozens of companies, reporters and editors were charged with contempt and breaching a suppression order over their coverage of the convictions. Twelve corporations agreed to plead guilty, and in exchange, prosecutors have agreed to drop the remaining charges, including 46 against individual reporters and editors. A pre-sentence hearing will begin next week, but it’s not clear what financial penalties the businesses could face. Several journalists had faced the prospect of serving prison sentences if they had been convicted.