Journalism

Jan 25, 2017

How the Herald Sun declared war on Melbourne’s homeless

The Herald Sun sounded the drums of war against people sleeping rough at Flinders Street Station. Then crosstown rival The Age joined the fray, writes freelance journalist John Martinkus.

It ramped up in that slow news time between Christmas and New Year. Melbourne sweltered through a series of hot days. The cricket was on, the tennis about to start. But for the journalists of the Herald Sun there was one story so pressing it had to be written again and again: homeless people were taking over Melbourne and ruining the festive season for everyone. The News Corp team crossed the river from Southbank and got to work.

There was a certain narrative as to how the story developed. First the paper reported that the homelessness crisis was out of hand, a blight on the city and that the Melbourne City Council had failed and was weak on the issue.

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