The head of media company Mamamia has revealed staff didn't ask for legal advice before publishing a story on Cardinal George Pell's child sexual abuse conviction.
Their story was in breach of a suppression order banning publication of any details about the cardinal's 2018 conviction, which was last year overturned by the High Court.
Mamamia chief executive Jason Lavigne has revealed neither Jessica Chambers, who wrote the December 2018 article, nor her editor Clare Stephens asked if the story was safe to publish.
In court documents ahead of being sentenced for the breach Mr Lavigne said the staff involved "did not believe it was necessary" to seek advice on whether the story was safe to publish.
Mamamia is one of a dozen companies that admitted breaching the suppression order, which banned publication Australia-wide until February 2019.
A number of stories were run by the companies referring to the conviction of a high-profile Australian, and including some references to international media reports about Cardinal Pell's then-conviction.
Mr Lavigne told Victoria's Supreme Court that Stephens believed legal advice wasn't needed because there had already been "extensive local coverage" in newspapers and social media.
"This was particularly because the Mamamia article was what is known as a 'write-around', which is an article reporting on what is already being reported in the media," Mr Lavigne said.
He said the staff were aware the story was legally contentious and had been careful to refer only to matters already published in newspapers on the day.
"If Mamamia had not published something about this story - given what the daily newspapers had published - I believe there would have been serious questions asked by our readership as to why we were totally ignoring what would have appeared to them to be the biggest story of the day," Mr Lavigne said.
A breach of County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd's order was also admitted by Business Insider.
Then associate editor Simon Thomsen told the Supreme Court he had taken the order "very seriously" and believed every caution required had been taken before that publication's story went online.
He revealed he had contacted his international colleagues to make sure they were aware of the suppression order in the case.
"Whilst I knew they were outside the reach of the Australian courts, I still did not want them to breach the order," he said.
He also wanted to make sure they didn't publish an international story that could inadvertently have been published on the Australian edition.
Thomsen's own story, titled "The Australian media wants to talk about a high-profile criminal conviction but can't - here's why" was the one that breached the suppression order.
A dozen media companies, including News Corp and Nine, pleaded guilty to 21 charges over the publications.
They've agreed to pay $650,000 to cover the cost of the prosecution against them.
Prosecutors have also called for convictions and fines.