Reporting Diversity
Case Study Two

Reporting on immigrant communities
– Sudanese immigrants in two regional centres


Newcastle– critical incidents

3. Brawl – Islington Park (reporting period October 23-November 6, 2005)

Four articles were published in the Newcastle Herald during this period, all reporting on an “interracial” brawl in a Newcastle park that occurred on October 20, 2005. The first article, published on October 31, reported that Sudanese, Aboriginal and Caucasian people were involved but that police had stated the Sudanese men were from Sydney, not Newcastle. The MRC director stated that no local Sudanese people were involved and that some community members had tried to intervene in the altercation. A November 1 article reported that police were seeking community assistance to determine the cause of the incident, and were hoping to speak to Sudanese elders. This article also stated that Sudanese, Aboriginal and Caucasian people were involved in the brawl. A November 4 article reported on the outcome of a meeting between Sudanese community elders and Newcastle police. It reported that police still did not know what had caused the incident but that the elders had reported that no Aboriginal people were involved.

The final article, on November 5, was a long piece providing an overview of the incident and responses from various community members. Leaders from the Sudanese community made statements about the need for the refugees to adapt to Australian laws, attitudes and cultural differences. The MRC director stated that “our local Sudanese are law abiding … They are well aware anything they do can trigger a public response”. The Newcastle Ethnic Communities Council president praised both the enthusiasm of the refugees in adapting to their new community and the level of acceptance offered by the wider Newcastle community.

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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