Jul 22, 2013

How the media covered the PNG asylum seeker plan

Kevin Rudd broke the news of the new PNG asylum seeker solution in classic media style -- late on a Friday. How did the media react?

Amber Jamieson — Freelance journalist in New York

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

The announcement of the Prime Minister's new hard-line asylum seeker policy had all the trademarks of a classic political how-to: carefully placed leaks throughout the week and then a bombshell new policy at at 4.30pm on a Friday, when most journos had already headed to the pub, leaving minimal time for immediate scrutiny but still enough minutes to splash big with it in that evening's news. The coverage must have kept Kevin Rudd content, with his "Rudd Solution" -- which ensures that asylum seekers arriving by boat will never be resettled in Australia, even if found to be genuine refugees -- receiving supportive mainstream media coverage. Ten News was first with the announcement at 5pm. Sandra Sully introduced the story: "But first, it could be his most important policy of the election. And now we know how Kevin Rudd plans to stop the illegal smuggling of refugees into Australia."

Cue footage of a woman screaming and video of the battered Christmas Island cliff boat wreck, as journalist Matt Moran announces: "The prospect of death at sea hasn't stopped thousands making the journey to Australia. Now Kevin Rudd is adding more reasons for asylum seekers to think again." Over at Seven News, Mark Riley reported the news -- "Arrive by boat, leave by plane, on a one-way-ticket to PNG ... It's aimed at smashing the people smuggler's business" -- before noting that the focus could now return to when the election would be held.


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3 thoughts on “How the media covered the PNG asylum seeker plan

  1. paddy

    It seems that the Govt is not content with full page ads, they’ve now got DIAC releasing (face blured) shots of refugees. Captioned as sobbing because they’ve just been told they’re off to PNG. http://is.gd/z2Iqod
    I can’t quite believe the utter nastiness of it all.
    Deeply shameful stuff.

  2. klewso

    You can’t beat the msm can you – much as you’d like – they own this playground.
    They lined up to bury (or parrot those handling the shovels) Rudd/Gillard/Rudd under an avalanche of negative PR re Labor’s handling of this issue, while letting Abbott and Igor “Reith-Morrison” off “Scott-free” – then when Rudd muscles up (and out-Abbott’s Abbott) there they are, lining up to kick Labor in the arse for going over the top being “heartless”?

  3. Malcolm Street

    “Boat people expecting a new life in Australia will instead be sent to crime-ridden Papua New Guinea and resettled there under Kevin Rudd’s answer to his government’s border control crisis,” wrote political reporter Gemma Jones. “The latest policy change means asylum seekers with legitimate refugee claims would be relocated to a country the government’s own Foreign Affairs Department warns has ‘’high levels of serious crime’, including armed robbery and gang r-pe, and health problems such as cholera and AIDS.”

    Oh I’m so moved by the concern for refugee welfare suddenly showed by Murdoch’s Telegraph.

    As for the Hun – they got their Friday wish and then found something else to beat Labor up on.

    SOP for the Murdoch press…

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