Nov 27, 2017

How Australian news outlets are covering the Manus crisis

With visiting costs high and visas intentionally scarce, Manus Island provides some particular challenges for journalists. So how are we following the crisis so closely?

Emily Watkins — Media reporter

Emily Watkins

Media reporter

The continuing crisis on Manus Island provides some particular challenges for media trying to report on it. It’s an expensive trip for reporters at cash- and resource-strapped news outlets, and, even if they’re willing to send someone, getting a visa is a struggle.

SBS told Media Watch a few weeks ago they’d been turned down for a visa to cover the closure of the centre, and Fairfax said its photographer was refused entry. The Australian‘s defence reporter Rory Callinan spent days trying to get to the detention centre while on Manus Island after it was shut down earlier this month.

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4 thoughts on “How Australian news outlets are covering the Manus crisis

  1. zut alors

    Today I telephoned Peter Dutton’s office in Parliament House, Canberra, with the intention of leaving a comment supporting voluntary medical aid to travel to Manus to tend the refugees. I was told by an underling, Josh, that no comments are being taken, the only method of sending a message is via email or letter.

    Imagine how easy emails are to ignore…or, in the case of writing, how long the Minister may take to send a rote letter of acknowledgment. Weeks? Months? Never?

    So here we have it, Australia: government MPs such as Dutton are keen to kiss our babies, schmooze at shopping centres & generally make our skin crawl when rallying votes leading up to an election. But once ensconced in Canberra they don’t want to hear, see or know us. They are public servants, as are their staff – we are providing their bloated salaries/expenses/perks but, apparently, we can no longer leave a comment with an underling in the Department, we should simply naff off.

    Democracy in action? Or should that read democracy inaction.

    1. graybul

      “Naff Off” is now the norm. Be it government, private sector, non govt . . . no-one wants communication with . . . only AT!

      At a time when technology enables anyone and everyone to interact . . . we experience less/no ability to actually contact, speak to a person; a real person. Increasingly we now find departments, private sector entities no longer provide means to access their office locations??? The closing down of citizen, customer, personal communication access widespread. Meanwhile, social media becomes more and more irrational, angry and reactive. Loss of access carried to end conclusion can only mean . . . everything ends in tears.

      1. AR

        Excellent point – “computer sez NO!” is increasingly common both online or per phone.
        I’ve been trying for a week to get a user manual for an Alcatel dumb phone – ain’t nobody home for such low end products.

  2. DiggerDawson

    Surprised not to see more coverage of Jarrod McKenna’s few days smuggled into Manus.

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