By Naz and Anisha
More than 800 people added their voice, calling out the racist Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph headlines that targeted the Chinese community, and demanding greater media accountability.
Hundreds of people shared their concerns and how these headlines impacted their lives:
“As someone who has been targeted with racist abuse, it horrifies me that in this day and age media outlets continue to stoke the flames of racism. Please do not let this go without consequences for these newspapers.”
“My family and I are of Cambodian Chinese descent. Recently we were aggressively stared at in anger while we were at our normal coffee place. People looked at Asian looking people as if we are all infectious. Something bad may happen soon and there is no value to whipping up this frenzy.”
“There is nothing more degrading than using other’s suffering as an excuse for racism. Journalism needs regulations.”
In our complaint to the Press Council, we showed that the Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph’s headlines went against the Council’s Advisory Guidelines regarding the reporting of race, and health and medical matters.
Not only that, the headlines breached several of the Press Council’s General Principles. These included the need for published content to be fair and balanced, not misleading, and not contributing to ‘substantial offence, distress or prejudice’.
The Press Council’s Principles and Guidelines are important standards that uphold the standards and integrity of journalism. NewsCorp has flagrantly broken the rules with no thought for our communities.
And as we have seen over the last few weeks, Asian Australian communities are definitely feeling the impact of the newspaper headlines.
Other media outlets are reporting a sharp increase in racist attitudes towards Asian Australians – with people being harassed and made to feel unsafe. This is also clear in many of the stories shared with us.
The racist Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph front pages clearly have real world effects and NewsCorp cannot be allowed to get off lightly.
Our communities should never be targeted simply because of what we look like, or where we’re from.
Our complaint, with concerns and stories from people across the country, makes a statement that racist media will not be tolerated and must be held accountable.
With our complaint on its way to be assessed by the Press Council, we now wait to see what action will be taken. Stay tuned!