Article 1: ‘What’s next for asylum seekers under a re-elected Turnbull government?’
This article was written by Maria O’Sullivan, who is the senior lecturer for the Faculty of Law at Monash University. She depicts the possibilities that can occur based on the Turnbull government’s actions in her article which was published in The Conversation.
The Conversation, as a media platform, prides itself on academic referencing, which can be seen throughout the article, as all factual claims by the author are referenced, and as such, their accuracy cannot be disputed. However, the article remains an opinion piece, with the author using well-researched facts in an attempt to suggest views that she is in line with. This can be seen due to her research and publication history, where she has published four articles slamming Australia’s treatment of refugees in the last three years, though this is common in academic circles.
This is further evident when you consider that the author is part of the Castan Centre for Human Rights, a research body of Monash University which publishes many pieces similar to this. On the bright side, her qualifications and immersion with these ideas make her highly qualified to write about these issues and, as stated above, while her articles all lean in the same direction, their factuality is beyond dispute. Personally, I agree with O’Sullivan’s views in addressing the global refugee situation as well as resolving the issue with sustainable solutions such as Canada’s response in private sponsorship.
Article 2: ‘Meet the asylum seekers who fled a bloody conflict and started a whole new life in Australia’
This article is written by International Affairs Reporter Allan Clarke, an Aboriginal Australian, who specialises in Indigenous Issues for Buzzfeed News Australia. In this editorial, he showcases the stories of multiple refugees who have assimilated into Australian society.
Buzzfeed is generally considered to be a click-bait website however this article is one of substance. This can be seen because it is unusually long and text-based for a Buzzfeed article, as well as the fact that he has interviewed many different refugees, along with taking a photographer. This process is lengthy and the time spent on it is evident in the article.
Clarke has written extensively about these issues previously, as it is part of his domain as Indigenous Affairs Reporter. His previous roles were at SBS Current Affairs and ABC News. He is active on social media, as well as his regular contributions to Buzzfeed. However, the article in question is not cited, though not many factual claims are made, so it may not be necessary in this case. It is hard to determine whether the article itself is incorrect, because it is mostly a account in the first person, so there is nothing to verify it with. I personally agree with Clarke’s article, which advocates for allowing assimilated refugees a platform to change the negative perceptions of asylum seekers, as well as showcasing the possibilities inherent in welcoming them into Australian society.
Article 3: ‘Manus Island detention: Asylum seekers offered ‘huge amounts of money’ to go home, activist says’
This article was written by journalist Matt Watson for ABC News. His article reports claims made by the Refugee Action Coalition Committee where the federal government is coercing refugees on Manus Island to return back to their home country.
ABC News is generally considered to be a neutral news source, and in this investigative article, it is apparent that there is some truth to this piece where Watson considers both sides of the issue by questioning spokespersons from both the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the RAC Committee. He is able to give both sides an opportunity to state their opinions and allow the reader to form their own opinion.
Whilst Watson has over ten years experience working for ABC News, he doesn’t have a specialisation in Refugees and Asylum Seeker issues, and rather covers a range of topics from Environmental Issues to Sports. However, it is evident that he is linking previous ABC content as he includes references to it in the article. In my opinion, I think the government’s offer is a waste of time and does not resolve the issue at hand on Manus Island. Instead, I think the government should re-evaluate their procedures with asylum seekers and seek to find a more long-term and humane resolution.
Article 4: You are terrorists, you make bombs’: racist taunts help keep Nauru refugee kids out of school’
This article is written by Nicole Hasham, who is the Federal Politics reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. In this piece, Hasham reports the bullying and harassment of refugee children by locals on Nauru island as a result of a schooling program by Save the Children Australia being shut down by the federal government.
The Sydney Morning Herald is generally considered to be a left-wing publication, and this can be seen by the article’s focus on the abuse that the detainees received. Hasham has a wide range of experience in the journalism industry, as she has written extensively for both News Limited and Fairfax Media. Her articles mainly focus on federal government issues due to her current position at Fairfax Media, so she doesn’t specialise in this issue.
However, because of her experience in the industry, it can be relied on that she is reporting accurately. I believe she effectively communicates the refugee crisis and the reported discrimination against refugees by local children. This also highlights how out of hand the refugee issue has gotten, to the extent where children begin to discriminate against each other.
Article 5: Meeting the people from around the world protesting our treatment of refugees’
This article is written by Shami Sivasubramanian, who is the Social News Reporter at SBS Australia. This article highlights the work of the International Alliance Against Mandatory Detention, a network of activists around the world protesting against Australia’s current system of detention. She can be considered trustworthy because of the reputation of SBS and the fact that she is the Social News Reporter.
Sivasubramanian has had a vast array of experience inside, and without, the journalism industry, including having worked in India and at the Buzzfeed News offices. She probably wrote this article in line with SBS’s view that global news is just as important as local. SBS’s has a reputation of trying to keep multiple viewpoints in their articles, where in contrast this article is one-sided in favour for compassion of refugees. Whilst factually accurate, Sivasubramanian tends to sway to a more left-wing approach and this is evident also in her previous works for Vertigo magazine and The Gruen Transfer – where she focuses on the issue of refugees.
In my opinion, the International Alliance Against Mandatory Detention is a great initiative to highlight how the current refugee system falls short of it’s goals.
After undertaking this secondary research, three possibilities that I may undertake further investigations include the differing perceptions between refugees and the local community, national refugee policies and effective particular countries are in in comparison to others as well as further research into how current refugees are received whilst integrating into Australian society.
Clarke, A. 2015, ‘Meet the asylum seekers who fled a bloody conflict and started a whole new life in Australia’, Buzzfeed, 24 November, viewed 28th July 2016, <https://www.buzzfeed.com/allanclarke/refugees-escape-bloody-conflict-for-new-lives?utm_term=.owGYP5b6Y#.beN0Mdve0>
Hasham, N. 2016, ‘You are terrorists, you make bombs’: racist taunts help keep Nauru refugee kids out of school’, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 July, viewed 1st August 2016, <http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/you-are-terrorists-you-make-bombs-racist-taunts-help-keep-nauru-refugee-kids-out-of-school-20160729-gqglcp.html>
O’Sullivan, M. 2016, ‘What’s next for asylum seekers under a re-elected Turnbull government?’, The Conversation, 18 July, viewed 28th July 2016, <http://theconversation.com/whats-next-for-asylum-seekers-under-a-re-elected-turnbull-government-62357>
Sivasubramanian, S. 2016, ‘Meeting the people from around the world protesting our treatment of refugees’, SBS, 27 June, viewed 28th July 2016, <http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/life/culture/article/2016/06/22/meet-people-around-world-protesting-our-treatment-refugees>
Watson, M. 2016, ‘Manus Island detention: Asylum seekers offered ‘huge amounts of money’ to go home, activist says’, ABC News, 30 July, viewed 1st August 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-30/manus-island-asylum-seekers-offered-double-to-return-home/7674606>
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