Channel Nine’s A Current Affair is expected to apologise tonight for airing a story that alleged Asian shopkeepers were forcing out “Aussie shopkeepers” from a Sydney shopping mall.
The Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, welcomed TCN Channel Nine’s anticipated apology.
“Australians are entitled to news and current affairs reporting that is accurate and responsible. It was inexcusable for A Current Affair to suggest there was an ‘Asian invasion’ or that suburbs were being ‘swamped by Asians’,” Dr Soutphommasane said.
“‘All-Asian Mall’ was an example of damaging, fear-mongering reportage. What was also concerning was the suggestion that bearing an Asian background is incompatible with being Australian. Many of those identified as Asian shopkeepers would have been Australian citizens.”
Dr Soutphommasane encouraged A Current Affair to learn from past mistakes and to focus on reporting fairly and without prejudice.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation into the ‘All-Asian Mall’ story found that TCN Channel Nine’s A Current Affair had breached three clauses of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice.
In an ACMA statement released today, A Current Affair’s ‘All-Asian Mall’ story was found to have contained inaccurate material and placed a gratuitous emphasis on ethnic origin.
The ACMA said the ‘All-Asian Mall’ story was likely to provoke intense dislike of and serious contempt for Australians of Asian origin because of its misinformation and inflammatory language.
Media contact for Dr Tim Soutphommasane, Race Discrimination Commissioner: Dominic O’Grady (02) 9284 9861 or 0419 258 597.