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Herald Sun front page coronavirus headline is offensive

Mark Fletcher
February 1st, 2020 · 13 Comments

The headline, Chinese virus pandamonium (sic) on the front page of the Herald Sun yesterday was, in my opinion, racist and unnecessary.

I wish I had been at the shop because had I been and had I seen this I would not have put the newspaper out for sale.

Yes, I get that such a move is editorial in itself. However, in my shop I get to choose what I sell. This issue of the Herald Sun is not something I’d want to knowingly sell.

Back in mid 1996, a few months after I bought my first newsagency, we made the decision to stop selling cigarettes. We turned err back soon $2,000+ a week in retail sales. This was a decision based on what we felt was right for the business, for what it represented. It was the right decision.

Click here for more on this from Mumbrella, which was also the source of the image.

Footnote: now, before people say this is News Corp. bashing. I don’t care. I did not decide to run the headline in the Herald Sun. What I did do is label it racist. However, I think any reasonable person would reach this conclusion. News Corp. needs to be responsible for these race based and shrill editorial decisions.

22 likes

Category: Ethics · Social responsibility

13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jim // Feb 1, 2020 at 10:36 PM

    Really?!?!?!

    0 likes

  • 2 Colin // Feb 2, 2020 at 8:15 AM

    Classic gutter press. Heralds other headline “our students wait for Chinese” has similar overtone but more than a little truth.

    Borders now closed to incoming Chinese students, 20% of total ? Same for tourism, $20b per annum. Qantas suspending China routes to mid March as cannot roster flight crews.

    Property investors, businessmen, artists, trade delegations … not if you are from China.

    Canberra has closed the border to China , against WHO guidelines. We will see what the stock market thinks on Monday.could be a good buying opportunity.

    4 likes

  • 3 Graeme Day // Feb 2, 2020 at 3:06 PM

    Colin you’re right in that it could be a good buying opportunity, however a heat of the moment one as we know the market sorts it out and it takes ‘real” threats before a serious crash becomes reality.
    And this long term maybe real stuff however it’s just World migration Tourism that is the all alert at the moment one that can be expected from all Govenments World wide and all instututions from Schools Universities and Businesses. My newsagency business for 12 years was in Eastwood Sydney NSW beautiful community trip shopping mall and great atsmosphere. Gradually it was taken over by more than 70% Asian population. It’s now an Asian influence community. Last week Thursday I believe the pharmacies sold over 2000 masks in a few hours the rest of the shopping centre was dead quiet.
    Asian communities are taking this really bad. Why, even yeasterday I was in a bottle shop where there was One bottle of Corona Beer aside from a six pack of Peroni with a mask wrapped around the Peroni not a sign not a word just an image.

    0 likes

  • 4 Jason // Feb 4, 2020 at 10:33 AM

    Cherrypicking which titles you let people buy and which you remove from the shelves isn’t really going to do anything other than reduce the number of papers you sell though.

    Sure, it’s racist. Lodge a complain with the APC and stop selling Newscorp publications all together, then maybe it can compare to stopping the sale of ciggies in a store.

    1 likes

  • 5 Andrew T // Feb 4, 2020 at 1:10 PM

    So just for the benefit of the less cerebral of us please explain how this is racist.
    You’re becoming more and more part of the problem with PC Australia.
    Yes yes, I know you won’t publish it or allow comments but I like to participate.

    1 likes

  • 6 Graeme Day // Feb 4, 2020 at 1:39 PM

    It is a “Play” on words. I really don’t think it is racist in the sense that it’s a “put down” rather than a bad taste bit of playful headling which is done by in most newspapers by a few journos.

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  • 7 Jason // Feb 4, 2020 at 2:12 PM

    True, Graeme.

    If you watch Mad As Hell on ABC he gets is spot on about the play on words Newscorp like to use. Very funny stuff (the skit, not the headline in question)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YQiOUs8ViM

    0 likes

  • 8 Graeme Day // Feb 4, 2020 at 3:49 PM

    It’s exactly what I mean it’s more crappy than intelligent and can even put one off from reading it, but I guess it has an amusement for some as the skit shows.
    An aside the ‘pun” usued clevrly used to be a major part of English/Australian humour however and can be very clever if it is done with taste.

    0 likes

  • 9 Graeme Day // Feb 4, 2020 at 3:52 PM

    Jason, you may have the two Ronnies they did it so well in many an act.

    1 likes

  • 10 Mark Fletcher // Feb 4, 2020 at 6:07 PM

    It is a racially based play on words about a health crisis that is killing people and wreaking health and economic havoc. News Corp, through this headline, racially profiles and attacks. It is typical of them. That people pay to consume this shocks me.

    Australians deserve better.

    6 likes

  • 11 Peter // Feb 4, 2020 at 6:30 PM

    I think it’s insensitive and lazy journalism, but I do think we jump to the “racism” word far too easily. I wouldn’t buy a newspaper with that headline personally as it smacks of low brow journalism. It’s like Austen Tayshus has got the copy editor job at News. “How much can a Koala Bear(sic)”

    0 likes

  • 12 Graeme Day // Feb 4, 2020 at 8:42 PM

    yes Peter it is exactly that in this case. It’s using a delightful of our language in the worst possible way however I believe it to be an inappropriate headline and an insensitive skit but not intentionally racists.
    Move on don’t buy it let’s exercise our choice and allow the paper to fall on it’s own sword. As for Murcdoch I don’t opiniate on him I don’t know the man however he was married and had children with a Chinese wife so I wouldn’y think he influenced this thinking.
    let’s not look for problems they are here to be solved.

    1 likes

  • 13 Jason // Feb 5, 2020 at 10:44 AM

    Never heard of the Two Ronnies before, thanks Graeme. Very funny stuff to watch

    0 likes

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