Sunday, September 15, 2013

Australia: Must not speak of  an 'All-Asian Mall' on TV

Even if there are a lot of East Asians there

Tracy Grimshaw is expected to apologise on Friday night on behalf of the Nine Network for a segment that aired on A Current Affair, which has been found to have breached the television code of practice.

The story by ACA reporter Ben McCormack, titled "All-Asian Mall", aired on the show in November last year and gave the impression that Asian shopkeepers were "taking over" a shopping centre in Castle Hill, Sydney.

Following on from complaints from viewers, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) found the segment breached three clauses of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice, including containing inaccurate factual material and placing gratuitous emphasis on ethnic origin.

Despite not having the authority to force Nine to make an apology, the ACMA recommended Nine make a statement on air, correcting the story, and pull the segment from its website. Nine has agreed to both measures.


The program was inaccurate in that only a minority of the shops were Asian but that was only part of the criticism.  Just singling out Asians at all was condemned as inflamatory.  I quote:

"ACMA also found that the story portrayed people of Asian ethnicity in a negative light by placing gratuitous emphasis on Asian ethnicity in contrast with Australian nationality. In addition, the story was likely to have provoked intense dislike or serious contempt"

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