Journalism

Jul 23, 2014

100 AIDS researchers on MH17? Why and how the media got it wrong

In the midst of generally careful, sensitive reporting on the MH17 tragedy there was one large misstep. Here's what happened, and why people believed it.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

In the midst of generally careful, sensitive reporting on the MH17 tragedy there was one large misstep. For much of Friday and the next day, most of the Australian media gave its readers the wrong impression over the number of AIDS researchers travelling to Melbourne for an international AIDS conference onboard the flight.

14 comments

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14 thoughts on “100 AIDS researchers on MH17? Why and how the media got it wrong

  1. Pete from Sydney

    “most of the Australian media” ..I think you’re overstating just a little Myriam?

  2. klewso

    So the media – with their heads for figures while jumping to conclusions – add one and one and get 100 this time?

  3. Ian Brown

    ‘…and MH17 was connecting to a Melbourne-bound flight. And around 200 of the passengers were Dutch — which seemed a high number to many at the conference. Why would so many Dutch be heading Australia’s direction in the middle of winter?”

    Why assume they were all heading to Australia – no doubt MH17 was also connecting with many other flights to Asian ports. My understanding is that the 200 Dutch passengers were on MH 17, not the connecting flight to Melbourne.

  4. stuart richardson

    If only crikey could print a similar article showing that the growing trend demonizing Putin has exactly the same basis;no facts, just hearsay.Evidence is no longer required by journalists.

  5. klewso

    Is journalism all about “reaction” nowadays?

  6. Harold Rogers

    “the growing trend demonizing Putin has exactly the same basis;no facts, just hearsay”

    My god such naivety and incredible head in the sand. Take a walk down the street into any Moscow bar and have a talk to the people who have to live under this regime. I wonder why all the ones with money seem to leave. Dont insult the poor bast..s who cant get out. Please move there and get a first hand view before gob opens!

  7. Colin D

    “In the midst of generally careful, sensitive reporting on the MH17 tragedy …”

    Hmmm. Getting the AIDS Conference delegates numbers wrong was unfortunate but to some extent understandable amid the inevitable confusion in the early hours after the event.

    Going off half-cocked and blaming the Russians point blank, with no evidence whatsoever apart from some dodgy You Tube video and social media stuff, like almost all mainstream media here and in the western world (given the ease with which so many westerners would believe Russia to be the bad guys) was totally inexcusable.

    The fact is that Mr Putin has been demonised by the media for this incident without any hard evidence. Whatever else he might do in Russia, where he is the elected leader in what passes for democracy in that part of the world (and who are we to lecture Russia on democracy – our PM is leader of a party that got just over 32% of the primary vote last election: http://results.aec.gov.au/17496/Website/HouseStateFirstPrefsByParty-17496-NAT.htm), there is as yet no evidence that a court of law would accept as implicating Russia to the death of anyone on MH17.

    Such evidence might come after a proper investigation, but unless and until it does, I suggest the politicians and the media SHUT THE HELL UP about the cause of this disaster and stop spreading hatred and vilification. This is how wars start. Stop it.

  8. Harold Rogers

    Colin D,

    Wonderful typical diplomatic blurb which Putin always relies on to come from the “talkers”.

    Has the site been looted? Where are all the wedding rings?

    Lets follow the typical diplomatic process like with Qaddaffi, Idi Amin, Rwanda , Somalia ad infinitum lest we get in trouble . Tut tut.

    Yes exactly shut everybody up and lets all become Chamberlains.

    Pathetic.

  9. Ross Carnsew

    Harold Rogers,
    “Has the site been looted? Where are all the wedding rings?”
    Well gosh, Putin must have stolen them! Invasion Now!!

  10. Harold Rogers

    Ross C

    Wonderful to see the kow towing and excuses in these columns and total apathy to the deaths of innocents.

    So typical these days with the condescending attitudes. Gee we might cause a war or OK shoot down a few more planes no problem for us we’ll find a myriad of ways to show our condescension to a bigger power. The poor victims .

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