Reporting Diversity
Case Study Two

Reporting on immigrant communities
– Sudanese immigrants in two regional centres


Newcastle – critical incidents

1. Brawl – Islington Baptist Church (reporting period December 4-18, 2004)

During this period, only three articles referring to the Sudanese community were published in the Newcastle Herald. The first was a short article on December 14 that reported on a brawl between members of the Sudanese community at an Islington church on December 11. The article reported that the incident occurred during elections for a leader and board members for a new community group and that mediators had been asked to conduct a meeting between the opposing groups. Simon Parbek, who made numerous statements on behalf of the Sudanese community following the January 2005 critical incident, was reported as saying the altercation was based on personal issues.

The second article was an opinion piece published in the weekend magazine section of the newspaper on December 18. It related the story of one Sudanese refugee woman and some of the difficulties her family had experienced in adapting to life in Australia. The third article, also published on December 18, was a short piece describing a Christmas concert being held to raise funds for the Sudanese community.

These articles made no mention of any tensions or problems with the Sudanese refugees within the wider Newcastle community. The second and third articles made references to the contributions and support offered by Novocastrians to the Sudanese community, and implied that the refugees were a welcome addition to the city. The first article constructed the incident as an internal community issue and noted that although police had been called to the scene, no charges had been laid. This critical incident was later referred to in some of the reports on the January 2005 critical incident.

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Member : Murdoch UniversityMember: Griffith UniversityMember: University of South AustraliaMember: Media MonitorsMember: SBSMember: University of CanberraMember: Journalism Education AssociationMember: University of Western Sydney
Department of Immigration and Citizenship