"Engaging Responsible Media"

SMH agrees to remove ‘Islamic’ alias

Saturday 30 August 2014

On Monday 18 August 2014 the Sydney Morning Herald
published a report about a 19-year-old man who was
arrested by police for an alleged ‘religious hate crime.’
Just Media Advocacy wrote to the paper with concerns
about: significant omissions including the man’s real name,
why the incident was described as a religious hate crime?;
and the use of the phrase ‘Islamic alias.’ JMA argued that
important, relevant information was omitted from the report and that the use of the phrase ‘Islamic’ alias provoked in the context of the story a negative association that unfairly stigmatised the religion. The paper subsequently included the man’s real name, agreed to remove the word ‘Islamic’ and indicated that it was unable to obtain any further details about the incident from police.

Letter: High Muslim unemployment dig


Monday 25 August 2014

In response to a JMA complaint the Daily Telegraph agreed to publish the following letter to the editor in its print edition:
In the article “Last drinks in Lakemba: Tim Blair takes a look inside Sydney’s Muslim Land” (Daily Telegraph 18/8/14), the author asserts that “the Islamic community’s high rate of unemployment” leads to inevitable conflict. The reference to the high unemployment rate is taken from a 2011 report by researchers from the University of Newcastle using 2006 census data. What Mr Blair failed to include was the fact that the high unemployment rate was unusual given the Muslim population had a higher educational attainment than the population as a whole (18.5 per cent of Muslims had a bachelor degree or higher compared to only 15.6 per cent for the total population; similarly, 27.5 per cent of Muslim Australians had a year 12 or equivalent qualification compared to 17.8 per cent for the entire population.) Significantly, the research concluded that the unexpectedly high unemployment rate was due to Muslim jobseekers struggling to deal with structural obstacles such as inadequacy of services and discrimination. It is ironic that employment statistics are being misused to further stigmatise this section of the Australian community; a community that has been unfairly stereotyped and marginalised since the ‘Post 9/11 War on Terror.’
Zachariah Matthews
Executive Director
Just Media Advocacy Sydney

Harmonious Existence
Feb 16, 2013: JMA wrote to thank Emma Partridge for her report - a welcome contribution to responsible engagement of communities in the media promoting harmonious co-existence. "Ms Smith said those who thought of Islam as a religion that oppressed woman had probably never had a conversation or cup of tea with a Muslim woman."

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Peaceful Coexistence
July 27th, 2012: JMA wrote to Bernard Salt acknowledging his insightful analysis in The Australian on religion in the suburbs based on Census 2011. Particularly his comment on religious communities living harmoniously – a reality that is too often overlooked in the daily preoccupation with conflict in the media.


APC Rules Against Fairfax
SMH 16 September 2013: The Australian Press Council ruled that two passages published by Fairfax about Slater & Gordon "were so serious and adverse that the firm should have been given a reasonable opportunity to respond before publication." Slater & Gordon complained that "two statements in the report inaccurately and unfairly implied it was concealing the existence of a file about incorporation" or "delaying release of the file." The two articles were "about the role of Julia Gillard in the incorporation of the AWU Workplace Reform Association in 1992."

Media Watch Rapped
SMH, 28 September 2012: The Australian Communications and Media Authority ruled that Media Watch breached the ABC code of conduct by not giving a journalist the right of reply. Ironically, the 2011 segment in question had attacked The Daily Telegraph for running "blatantly one-sided" coverage "as the government's poll figures slide."

Alan Jones broke rules
The Age, 15 June 2012: ACMA finds Alan Jones' 0.001% greenhouse claim in breach but tossing the PM out to sea in a chaff bag not. Sydney radio station 2GB "was also found to be in breach on two counts of failing to comply with the complaints-handling provisions of the code."

ACIJ Finkelstein Forum
Tuesday, 20 March 2012, UTS
The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at the University of Technology held a public forum to discuss the Finkelstein Media Inquiry report. The forum featured frank and vigorous debate between panelists: Professor Julian Disney, Peter Fray, Philip Clark, Paul Kelly and Anne Dunn and the audience.
Watch the video online [link]

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