Council of African Communities rejects front page article in ruling newspaper not racist

SBS News chose not to identify the women.

The story on the front page of 2020.

Source: The Courier-Courrier

Thursday’s Press Council decision said the story had not broken its rules of standards of practice and that the publication of their identities “reflected the seriousness of the women’s actions” and was not due to ” Personal characteristics”.

“It’s a very disappointing result because it punishes racism, it punishes racial defamation and it sends the message that you can publish an article targeting a particular racial or religious group and that’s okay,” the president said. of the Queensland African Communities Council Beny Bol.

“It shouldn’t be okay, it encourages this kind of behavior and it also lowers the community’s trust in the institution. “

“Given the result and the decision we have seen, who would waste their time filing a complaint with the Press Council hoping that they would correct their wrong? I am not confident in the way they handled the case.

Beny Bol is the Chairman of the Queensland African Communities Council.

Source: Stefan Armbruster / SBS News

The Press Council in its decision said “at the time of publication it was common knowledge that the women … had been charged with criminal offenses” for failing to comply with COVID-19 travel restrictions and therefore “their expectations reasonable privacy had been diminished ”.

“The Council recognizes that the title is provocative given the language used and the prominence of the images of women who rub shoulders with it…. [but] accepts that the reporting reflects the seriousness of the women’s actions and the risk to the community and was not due to a personal characteristic of the women involved.

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The Courier-Mail, in response to complaints lodged with the Press Council, said it systematically published the names and photos of people who had broken COVID-19 rules and that “it could not be held responsible actions of people on social networks “.

“The publication noted that the criminality of their actions had seriously endangered the state of Queensland. As a result, he said appointing them was necessary in the public interest, ”said the Press Council’s decision.

“He said the title was absolutely fair and appropriate given the seriousness of the crimes committed and the impact of the foreclosure on business and disruption to society.”

The two women, and a third who was involved, all in their twenties, spent four nights in Melbourne where they attended a party before returning to Brisbane via Sydney.

All three have pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a public health directive.

They faced a maximum penalty of $ 13,000 in fines and six months in prison, but were sentenced to community service orders ranging from four to eight months and were fined in Victoria for failing to comply with the restrictions. gathering.

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Mr Bol is due to testify on Friday during a Queensland parliament inquiry into reforming the state’s 30-year-old smear laws.

“This is one of the typical examples that I incorporated into my submission,” he said of the Courier-Mail story.

“It’s racist, clearly racist, and sends a strong message to the community that you don’t belong here.”

“There should never be any relation or correlation between crime and the actions of individuals and their racial background and we have seen this time and time again in particular media.”

“We should stand up and speak out against such behavior. “

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