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Any one of these boat people could be a terrorist for all we know! Media representations and public perceptions of ‘boat people’ arrivals in Australia

McKay, Fiona H., Thomas, Samantha L. and Blood, R. Warwick 2011, Any one of these boat people could be a terrorist for all we know! Media representations and public perceptions of ‘boat people’ arrivals in Australia, Journalism: theory, practice & criticism, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 607-626, doi: 10.1177/1464884911408219.

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Title Any one of these boat people could be a terrorist for all we know! Media representations and public perceptions of ‘boat people’ arrivals in Australia
Author(s) McKay, Fiona H.ORCID iD for McKay, Fiona H. orcid.org/0000-0002-0498-3572
Thomas, Samantha L.ORCID iD for Thomas, Samantha L. orcid.org/0000-0003-1427-7775
Blood, R. Warwick
Journal name Journalism: theory, practice & criticism
Volume number 12
Issue number 5
Start page 607
End page 626
Total pages 10
Publisher Sage Publications
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2011-07
ISSN 1741-3001
1464-8849
Keyword(s) asylum seeker
boat people
media
moral panic
Summary In April 2009 a boat (named the ‘SIEV 36’ by the Australian Navy) carrying 49 asylum seekers exploded off the north coast of Australia. Media and public debate about Australia’s responsibility to individuals seeking asylum by boat was instantaneous. This paper investigates the media representation of the ‘SIEV 36’ incident and the public responses to media reports through online news fora. 

We examined three key questions: 1) Does the media reporting refer back to and support previous policies of the Howard Government? 2) Does the press and public discourse portray asylum arrivals by boat as a risk to Australian society? 3) Are journalists following and applying industry guidelines about the reporting of asylum seeker issues?

Our results show that while there is an attempt to provide a balanced account of the issue, there is variation in the degree to which different types of reports follow industry guidelines about the reporting of issues relating to asylum seekers and the use of ‘appropriate’ language.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1464884911408219
Field of Research 200101 Communication Studies
209999 Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Sage Publications
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056589

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Created: Tue, 08 Oct 2013, 13:29:14 EST by Fiona Mckay

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.