RE­PORT­ING CRE­ATES FALSE IM­PRES­SIONS

Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

CHARLES Woo­ley made a num­ber of im­por­tant points in his ar­ti­cle in

Tasweek­end (May 20-21). One par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant com­ment re­lates to the in­creased Syd­ney-cen­tred­ness of the ABC and (in my ob­ser­va­tion) other Aus­tralian broad­cast­ers.

Most news is cov­ered from a Syd­ney-based per­spec­tive.

In my opin­ion, this is un­for­tu­nate for a num­ber of rea­sons. Firstly, be­cause of the ex­ten­sively re­ported ten­sions that ex­ist be­tween var­i­ous racial and eth­nic groups in var­i­ous parts of Syd­ney, many Aus­tralians treat this ten­sion as “nor­mal”, ig­nor­ing the fact that the re­la­tions be­tween the var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties are far bet­ter in most other Aus­tralian cities (in­clud­ing Ho­bart and Launce­s­ton), and in most coun­try towns.

Out­side Syd­ney, Aus­tralians of dif­fer­ent racial and eth­nic back­grounds ac­tu­ally like each other. How­ever, Syd­ney-skewed re­port­ing gives a false im­pres­sion of a “cri­sis” in Aus­tralian mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism.

Sec­ondly, be­cause of the ul­tra-con­ser­vatism of many Chris­tian de­nom­i­na­tions (and many other re­li­gious com­mu­ni­ties as well) in Syd­ney, Aus­tralians have a general (and highly un­fair) im­age of the churches and other faith com­mu­ni­ties as be­ing far more con­ser­va­tive, sex-mad, and outof-touch than they are in re­al­ity.

Thirdly, be­cause of the in­ter­nal shenani­gans that af­flict each of Aus­tralia’s po­lit­i­cal par­ties in New South Wales, many Aus­tralians have an un­for­tu­nately jaded per­cep­tion of the in­tegrity, com­pe­tence and ba­sic in­tel­li­gence of our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Re­port­ing the news from an ex­clu­sively Syd­ney-cen­tric per­spec­tive has the ef­fect of pro­mot­ing an un­nec­es­sar­ily gloomy out­look on the life of Aus­tralia. Thank you to Charles Woo­ley for in­tro­duc­ing this is­sue.

Bob Faser Clare­mont

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