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There Ought to be a Law... #SydneySiege #mediacoverage #IIIridewithyou

If ever a successful terrorist action was demonstrated, you'd have to say the Sydney Siege in Martin Place was mostly a success thanks to virtually every major TV station in Australia dropping their programming and replacing it with live, rolling coverage for hours.

Not only live coverage but seemingly endless talking heads looking at every possible angle, waxing on and on to fill the gap between nothing has happened since the last time we reported nothing had happened. Which, although nothing happening is a good thing, doesn't make for very interesting TV.



I don't want to take anything away from how police handled the siege. In hind sight it's always easier to see that something could be done differently but at the time you can't know what you don't know. I also don't want to take anything away from the people caught up in the ordeal. Especially those that lost their lives. I can only guess at what they all went through and how all have been affected.

You also have to wonder if it would have made any difference if the gunman, who appeared to be acting alone, was on any terror watch list (as our Prime Minister was questioning before more information was known - though it does seem the gunman was well known to police)?

But back to my point. Although the gunman tried to link his cause to a terrorist group, he wasn't actually linked in any way to that group beyond his extremist views. However, such groups may be looking at the world wide attention he received and be thinking... is it really that easy to stop a country and draw attention to a cause?

Other than people in Sydney, who really needed ongoing media coverage of the events unfolding?

Why did the media need to draw so much attention to what looked like a possible terrorist attack where wide media coverage is usually a desired outcome for the perpetrators?

Far from being helpful, nation wide coverage often fans the flame of cultural ignorance. Creating a need for campaigns like the hash tag #Illridewithyou (which I think is the single most awesome community response to such an extremely confronting event in recent years. You're wrong George Christensen. You know perfectly well there are segments of the Australian community in every state that would see this as their moment to speak up and harass people just going about their every day lives. I'd go so far as to say,if you weren't an MP, you'd be one of them based on your history).

I'm not one for making laws but if the media can't reign its self in and just report enough so that we're aware that something is happening, and perhaps a special 'breaking news' report if something significant happens, then maybe there ought to be a law restricting coverage of these attention seekers? Did this really need to stop the country?

Thankfully the media did seem to dial it back some what and didn't report the gunman's demands at the request of police. Even though I'm sure many were curious as to what they were (myself included... and it would've given all those talking heads much more to talk about). Sometimes it is better not to know.

The media I happened to watch (because, like I mentioned it was on virtually every station) also seemed to make a point of distancing the gunman's beliefs from the wider Islamic community. If this kind of nation stopping news reporting is going to continue then more of that 'one nutter or extremist group isn't representative of an entire culture/religion' reinforcement is definitely a step in the right direction. (It shouldn't be necessary but it is, Mr Christensen, for the same reason #Illridewithyou shouldn't be but is a great response).

I really don't get why the various media need to compete on something like this? It just seemed like a 9/11 response to a small scale hold up. Would it have received this kind of attention without the links to a Terrorist Group?

Maybe we need to start going back to pre 9/11 thinking where you could have gun man shut down your street for hours in a stand off with police and it barely makes the local news (yes that did happen in my street just over a year prior to the 9/11 attack).

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