The footage of the latest boatload of people to chug through our waters is currently on loop on Sky News. Images of our prime minister parading around on a patrol boat dominate the front pages today.

Here’s a breakdown of the media mentions of boat people/asylum seekers since Monday across print, television and radio (care of Media Monitors):


Lay those huge numbers against this neat graphic (care of Tim Bennett at Electron Soup):


You could be forgiven for thinking the importance the prime minister is placing on this issue vastly outweighs the lonely little orange person on this chart.

There is one set of numbers we haven’t considered yet. That’d be the Labor government’s internal polling. We’re guessing that’s the maths that really explains all the fuss over this lone stick figure.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey