Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Asylum Seekers’

Abbott-v-truth on ‘illegals’

In Federal Election, Refugees on April 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

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By Tony Yegles

April 24, 2013

Leigh Sales won a Walkley Award for her interview with Mr Abbott on the 730 Report in August 2012. Part of this interview dealt with the issue of using the term “illegal” when referring to asylum seekers. Below is a quick reminder.

LEIGH SALES: Why have you referred repeatedly to illegal asylum boats coming to Australia? Do you accept that that’s illegal and that seeking asylum by any means is legal?

TONY ABBOTT: Most of the people who are coming to Australia by boat have passed through several countries on the way and if they simply wanted asylum they could have claimed that in any of the countries through which they’d passed.

LEIGH SALES: But I don’t believe that it’s actually illegal to pass through countries on your way to somewhere where you want to have asylum.

TONY ABBOTT: You try turning up in America without documents, without a visa, without a passport; you’ll be treated as very, very much illegal, Leigh. The other point I make, from recollection at least, is that the very term that the Government has officially used to describe these vessels is “suspected illegal entry vessel”.

LEIGH SALES: Do you – I’m asking you though, not about the Government. I’m asking: do you accept that it’s legal to come to Australia to seek asylum by any means – boat, plane – that it is actually legal to seek asylum?

TONY ABBOTT: I think that people should come to Australia through the front door, not through the back door. If people want a migration outcome, they should go through the migration channels.

LEIGH SALES: That’s an answer to the question if I asked you: how do you think people should seek asylum?, it’s not an answer to the question: is it legal to seek asylum?

Jon Faine also took Mr Abbott on about illegals in August last year, when the alternative PM conceded the point, but stuck to his script anyway.

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:

All people have a fundamental human right to seek asylum from persecution.

Leigh Sales not only won a Walkley Award but she was also cleared of bias in that interview by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Yet Mr Abbott keep using the term, and in Perth on April 24 he joined his custom’s spokesman Michael Keenan to put it on a billboard Read the rest of this entry »

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Morrison’s brick wall on how he’ll stop the boats

In Federal Election, Peter Clarke, Refugees on March 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM
Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison

By Peter Clarke
March 26, 2013

Yesterday, we published a detailed de-construction of an interview between the ABC 730’s Leigh Sales and Prime Minister Julia Gillard. It was a critique of Sales for what we opined were her inadequate interview techniques in that specific context and of Julia Gillard for her blatant refusal to answer questions and her use of media training 101 avoidance techniques to manipulate media interviews. Neither came out of that encounter with much credit, least of all the PM.

Here in the comments section and on Twitter the responses have been vigorous and varied. A very worthwhile discussion is still flowing online.

As always, partisan passions appear to animate many people’s perceptions, judgments and opinions. A very few observers were able to bring a sense of disinterested appraisal to bear that rose above merely backing sides.

This is not about being a cheer squad for one of the political parties over another. That’s way too easy really. This is about effective, ethical journalism. And (look away now if you must) THE TRUTH. I know, I know, THE TRUTH is a highly contested idea and many would argue it barely exists, certainly within journalism as widely practised, but it is still a guiding ideal to aim for in some reasonable form.

Any other suggestions? Post-modernists, come on down!

We celebrate and critique journalistic practitioners using a range of measures and factors, depending on each case we examine. We critique politicians who, out of one side of their mouths, extol the notion of a ‘free press’ in the abstract, especially within a parliamentary political debate such as around media reform, and then, in their daily political encounters with legitimate questioning, seem to do their best to hobble and intimidate journalists and avoid the tough enquiries of that free press as they fulfill their democratic, fourth estate roles and functions.

Mind you, they and their media minders keep the avalanche of media releases, leaks and duchessing of favoured scribes flowing and rejoice if slabs of their propaganda appear in print, come out of broadcaster’s mouths or get picked up as talking points or assumptions during interviews by journalists too time pressed and/or lazy to do their own original research.

A free press? Sure thing.

Or even worse, as Tony Abbott has done and continues to do, avoid forensic interviews almost entirely. What does an outlet such as the ABC do then?  Media entities are institutions within the media-saturated democratic ecology too. The ABC, historically and today, holds a special and vital place in our system despite its flaws and the many and growing pressures upon it. Both sides of politics despise it more than love or even respect it.

The commercial sector is just as vital. The strong advocacy (often overtly, corporately self-serving) character of much of News Limited’s contemporary journalism, recently most stridently around media reform, is a major blot on the journalistic landscape. Read the rest of this entry »

Roaring at the man drilling tattoos into my sensitivities

In Nancy Cato, Refugees on March 5, 2013 at 4:24 PM
Survivors of Unthrown Children - 2001

Survivor Family of Unthrown Children – 2001

By Nancy Cato
March 3, 2013

At my usual early hour on a sunny Melbourne Saturday, I pushed back the covers along with the urge to go back to sleep and wondered why I felt discomforted.

I’m a happy soul, usually.

And then I remembered; the images of Scott Morrison’s many interviews the day before on his pea-sized understanding of the asylum seeker debate were drilling tattoos onto my sensitivities.

Before I had much chance to let my brain catch up to my outstretched hand. I’d sent out this message via Twitter for all to see:

Your words @ScottMorrisonMP have punctured my skin, entered my bloodstream & sadly for you, boosted my adrenaline levels. #fightnotflight

 I stand by them.

Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she equipped us with the instinct to take flight or stand and fight when sensing danger. The animals of the wild also know it well, and you Mr Scott Morrison have turned me into a wild Mother Lion today. A very wild one.

You see, Mr Morrison, I have two tiny granddaughters. They’re innocent, loved and free and I want them to remain that way, at least while I’m around to tear anything to pieces that would destroy their rights or foul the very air they breathe.

That’s just what you’re threatening to do, Mr Morrison. Do you realise that? Do you have the faintest idea of the impact your words have the minute they settle somewhere, anywhere?

No?

Of course you don’t. You’re far too busy stirring your inner crucible aren’t you. Let’s take a look in it shall we? I hesitate, but see it for what it is we must.

Ugh.

It’s bile. It’s slimy and deep. Look, I can see the ingredients that refuse to integrate: superiority, affluence, ambition, greed, power and opportunism. And what’s that down at the bottom? Ah yes. Hatred, all fine-tuned to the latest recipe of racist thought your alignments dictate.

Can you see what your words turn into, the minute they leave your mouth and mix with the hot air you’ve summoned around you Mr Morrison?

No? I’ll tell you.

They become as blowflies. Each one blowing in the wind to settle and leave its new hatching to poison and rot the environment we love and care about.

Oh yes, I’m a Mother Lion today but not just for my grandchildren. I’m roaring in rage for all the children who hope to grow up in this beautiful country of ours, free from the despicable discrimination that you wish to impose on their thought. And I’ll tear into you as much as you deserve – albeit just with my words.

You do not seem to understand, Mr Morrison, that it’s far too late for you to pretend that this society of ours is pristine white and problem free. Like it or not we already are a Multicultural Society with skins ranging from black through red and yellow to white. Read the rest of this entry »