An open letter to media news executives and editors, producers, reporters and all with a stake in current affairs broadcasting on behalf of Alan and Omran
These two images have shaken the world. They have appeared in Australian media with the appropriate horror and a sense of the tragedy of war. These two little boys — one the 3 yr old drowned while escaping war and the other now right in the thick of war in Syria.
And now the father of Alan Jurdi has spoken up over the weekend (3-4 Sept) ‘Photo of my dead son has changed nothing’, says father of drowned Syrian refugee boy Alan Kurdi
“The politicians said after the deaths in my family: Never again!” Mr Kurdi, 41, said.
“Everyone claimed they wanted to do something because of the photo that touched them so much. But what is happening now? People are still dying and nobody is doing anything about it.”
There is plenty of sentiment about the issue of war yet there is no reflection in the media in Australia of those who are opposed to war.
The media concentrates on the ANZACs and the celebration of a Vietnam War battle. We do not object to this but would like the amount of text and pictures devoted to them to be less fulsome.
It is the military in Syria and other countries using weapons developed over years of military spending and training and non-state forces using the same equipment which is creating the tragedy we see on our screens every night or in the papers in the morning.
Yet those in Australia who criticize the amount of military spending, the US alliance and the massive military exercises in our country from time to time are shut out of any discussion. For example, for the last 4 years not one media organization has covered the Hiroshima Day marches against nuclear weapons and war. The huge US-Australian Talisman Sabre military exercises are funded by the Commonwealth but are relegated by the media to just a central Queensland issue.
The devastation and tragedies of war are discussed in our media as if it is a problem for over there nothing to do with us. There is no serious examination of military spending, preparations for war or how our alliance with the US may be pulling us into wars that are against our best interests.
To redress the balance, we challenge the media to report on the issue of PINE GAP as it nears its 50th anniversary. Report on the pros and cons by all means but report it. There will be meetings, protests, a conference, national and international speakers and more. We hope that this will not be censored as happens so often. We hope that the media will not ignore the criticisms of nearly 50 United States military bases in Australia or dismiss the events in Alice Springs as merely a central Australian issue.
If you are truly horrified by the fates of Alan and Omran, we believe you should also be reporting on Australia’s preparations for war and Australia’s role in destabilizing the region. We ask: are you genuine or hypocritical?
Prepared by the Anti-Bases Campaign contact Denis Doherty for more information:
0418 290 663