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The Racial Hatred Act: Case study 3

 case study3pauline hanson's maiden speech


  • media response to Pauline Hanson's maiden speech to Parliament
  • excerpts from Pauline
    Hanson's maiden speech


Please note that none of the reports in the case studies have been the
subject of complaints or queries under the Racial Hatred Act.


When Independent MP Pauline Hanson delivered
her maiden speech to the House of Representatives in September 1996, she
caused a sensation: fellow MPs walked out during her address; ethnic and
Indigenous communities voiced outrage; the Prime Minister referred to a
pall of censorship having been lifted and urged the responsible use of
these new found freedoms of speech; radio and television talk-shows ran
opinion polls surveying support for her views.

The immediate media response to Hanson's speech varied around the country
- some gave it a lot of attention, others were denied interviews with Ms
Hanson - but relatively few went beyond direct reports of her speech to
analyse the accuracy of its content. It was some weeks before mainstream
media analysis, editorials and opinion pieces about the content and implications
of her speech began to appear.

The Hanson speech provoked debate in editorial and production meetings
across Australia and raises many questions about news values; manipulation
of and by the media; and the media's responsibility to analyse as well
as report events of public interest.

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