Jul 24, 2017

Reporting on the Greens’ section 44 stuff-up shows journalism fails the diversity test

A lack of diversity, an ethnic uniformity has narrowed the focus of reporting, writes journalist and media-watcher Christopher Warren.

Larissa Waters, Richard Di Natale and Scott Ludlam

Australia is a country of migrants, built on migration, but you wouldn’t know it from the media responses to the forced exclusion of two senators for dual citizenship.

The responses from journalists and commentators to the retrospective exclusion of senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters were a sort of superior knowing eye-rolling at the Greens’ failure to address what was dismissed as simply a matter of paper-work.

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7 thoughts on “Reporting on the Greens’ section 44 stuff-up shows journalism fails the diversity test

  1. peterh_oz

    You omit to state that the High Court allows reasonable efforts to renounce. So, for Greeks, Israelis and Irish, for example, so long as you have attempted (genuinely) to renounce you are eligible.

    I don’t believe that is an unreasonable requirement for sitting in our national parliament, potentially Cabinet, potentially as Prime Minister, and potentially sending troops to war either with or against your “other allegiance”.

    There was an uproar when the Chinese govt (via proxy) purchased the lease to Darwin Port. Do we want them in our parliament, negotiating our trade deals or deciding on the next foreign purchase?

  2. Michael

    Really doesn’t seem unreasonable for Australian parliamentarians to have allegiance only to Australia. Holding only Australian citizenship is not an impediment to becoming a parliamentarian. Of course, achieving preselection for any of the parties is another matter entirely.

    1. Kevin_T

      I am still not convinced that a person being born to Australian parents being educated in another country, returning to Australia to be an Australian citizen while still a toddler, and never visiting that country again, means that they hold an allegiance to that country, even if they are made a citizen of that country by default.

      The first problem with renouncing citizenship of another country is actually knowing that you hold that citizenship. Given that in some cases, you can be born in Australia, live in Australia your whole life, and still “inherit” the citizenship of a parent’s home country could be a problem under a range of circumstances, particularly if you don’t really know your parents history, or, say, if they died in your childhood.

  3. Barbara Preston

    It’s not correct that “We don’t have a lot of hard data on race and ethnicity of Australian journalists.” We have the ABS Census every five years. According to a quick look at the country of birth of members of the occupation of “Journalists and other writers” in 2011, they are still overwhelmingly Anglo, though a reduction in the percentage born in Australia from the earlier study: 75% were born in Australia, 9% in the UK, 3% in New Zealand, 2% in North America, 2% in Southern and East Africa. In addition in the 2011 Census, 0.6% of those born in Australia were Indigenous. Greater detail is there on actual counties of birth, and there is data on parents’ country of birth, religion, languages spoken at home, international movement, etc. The 2016 Census data is becoming available with more up-to-date data.

  4. Barbara Haan

    Agree completely. Section 44 needs to be altered to reflect the multicultural diversity that is Australia today. I, for one, am fed up with old white men and the young gels Rupie favours – particularly in the Murderoch Media – spewing their nonsense daily.

  5. AR

    As to the question of bearing allegiance to a foreign power, not to ay blind obedience, our governments of both flavours for decades have sworn fealty to the Hegemon, to the lasting detriment and endangerment of this nation.
    Still doing it today and what is the FIVE EYES if not an admission that UK,US,NS,OZ & Canada are an indissoluble and indistinguishable blob?
    That is far more worrying than who may be eligible for a 2nd passport.

    1. AR

      ..or even the “UK, US,NZ, Oz, & Canada“

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