Tuesday, June 04, 2013

No News Is Good News?

A prominent Aboriginal has died, but the Australian press is struggling with how to report this. The news won't mention a full name or show photos of the man because, traditionally, the indigenous don't do this for some time after a death. I find that utterly ridiculous. Like an SNL skit. A world where the media can't even report impartial news because they're too busy falling over themselves to be sensitive.

Here is the official reason: The family of the deceased have requested that his name and image not be used during the mourning period in conformity with current Yolngu practice.

The official reason for not talking about why he died at 56, why Aboriginals have a life expectancy decades shorter than other Australians, or the root problems of what it must feel like to be a conquered peoples forced to assimilate, are only more news topics un-broached for sensitivity reasons. In the meantime, if you'd like to see photos and read about the life of Aboriginal rock star and educator Mandawuy Yunupingu, head over to (note the irony) Wikipedia.

If they censor everything that could be deemed culturally offensive (start with the repulsive swamp-drawl of Julia Gillard) why have news at all? Not that there is any (admittedly a good problem to have). On TV news the other night, the anchors were reporting on how big the moon was that evening. Oh Sydney, you have precious little to say, but you are nice, you take care of your own, and you are so very pretty.

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