Thursday, 20 March 2008

Racial? Nah... it's just more sensational this way.

Warning: Since Sydney is a fairly small community as I see it, I want to warn you first. If you are related to the two victims of the recent stabbing/killing in Sydney city area in any way, I suggest you do not proceed to read this post at this time. I have no intention of trivialising the tragedy, nor to increase your pain by being disrespectful to the families and friends of the victims. I don't think this post is offensive in these ways, but when you are distraught, it's easy to take things in a worst way.

The SMH reported a tragic fight(or was it really a fight?) which ended up costing a young man's life.

But... I was surprised at the fact that they had to point out the ethnic background of both victims and suspected killers, or it was when I read it around lunch time anyways. Now it is updated to not have the suspects racial background(maybe the ethnic group pressured the SMH?), but the article still reveals the two victims were Koreans.

At first, I thought whether they were someone I knew. The Korean community in Sydney is still quite small, and with so many of the attending a church or at least having a friend who does, it is possible that it was someone I knew. But the article did not reveal victims names.
Second thought that came to my mind was, whether this news article was biased against the ethic minorities in Sydney. At around 50,000 Koreans living in Sydney, while significant some may say in terms of the number, culturally and socially, we are still a minority here. So I was thinking, hmm, imagine the news article ran something like this:
Two Anglo-Saxon men was attacked by two Greeks in the city last night. One Anglo-Saxon man was taken to the St. George hospital but died shortly after. The other......

Sorry, ok, that might have looked bad and I have to admit, even I struggled to write it down.
Anyways, after giving some more thought(or rather (for)getting the initial reactive mind settled down with another 5 hours of work), I now think it wasn't really a biased/racial mind that produced the article. If it was going to be a racial article, it would've included something like criminal stats of Asians in Sydney or poorly correlated mention of number of immigrants and crime rate, or something of that sort.
I think it was more to do with making the news spread and attracting people to the SMH than the reporter(or perhaps more of the editor) being racists (which I think they aren't). It's just another sign of what a sick state our mass media is in. More you make a news "sensational" without stepping over the line, more people will talk about the news, or rather, the report and SMH more than the news itself, and that's a good business for them, I guess.

Not convinced? Here are two other accounts of the same incident with no specific link to the ethnic backgrounds of the involved.
A police report, and from ABC. How boring are they? I mean, I probably wouldn't have written a blog post for it to start with. Errm... wait.. so... those SMH guys did get me... Dang it!

SMH, I still read you all the time, please don't make the news reports a form of entertainment!

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