The story – comparing media coverage of the one-punch death of Queensland teenager Cole Miller, with the coverage around the one-punch death of Aboriginal man, Trevor Duroux a month earlier – went viral. And with all things social media these days, it attracted its fair share of criticism (and in our defence, plenty of praise as well).
Much of the criticism was focused on the claim that Fairfax ignoring the death of Mr Duroux had nothing to do with race… because, of course, racism and indifference to Aboriginal suffering is not a problem in Australia.
Instead, critics claimed Fairfax didn’t report Mr Duroux’s death because Cole Miller was aged 18, and Mr Duroux was aged 40.
In other words, the deaths of older people are less newsworthy than the deaths of young people.
So here’s some screencaps of what the Brisbane Times reported on the day Mr Duroux was assaulted; the day after Mr Duroux was assaulted; the day Mr Duroux finally died (almost two weeks after the initial assault); and the day after Mr Duroux finally died.
For ease of explanation, we’ve highlighted each story which deals with the killing of a person with a red box.
On December 4 (ABOVE) – about 12 hours after Mr Duroux was admitted to hospital after the alleged one-punch assault – the Brisbane Times found space on its home page for no less than four stories about murders.
The lead story is about the murder of a 22-year-old in Gladstone in northern Queensland by a 45-year-old man. The Times also included coverage of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp by Oscar Pistorius… almost three years ago… in South Africa.
Closer to home, The Times also reported on the murder of 37-year-old Greg Dufty. He was allegedly killed by Lionel Patea (and others), a young man from New Zealand. At the risk of pointing out the bleeding obvious, readers might recall that Mr Duroux, aged 40, was allegedly killed by 18-year-old Tristan Heather, also from New Zealand.
The Times also reported on the arrest of a 26-year-old Australian in Thailand for the murder of a 25-year-old in Sydney.
On December 5 (ABOVE), the day after Mr Duroux was assaulted, The Times reported prominently on the murder of a 51-year-old man in Capalaba by a 32-year-old woman.
On December 14 (ABOVE), the day Mr Duroux finally died from his injuries, surrounded by family and friends, the Brisbane Times prominently featured a story on the stabbing death of a 54-year-old man in Logan, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
The Times also covered the story of the death of 42-year-old Shaun Kumeroa, another New Zealander, who was killed by police after a four-hour stand-off.
The day after Mr Duroux died, the Times led with a story (ABOVE) about the death of Chris Howell, aged 41, who died in Brisbane after a crane collapsed. The Times also reported on the death of a grandmother, and the jailing for 11 years of the man who caused the fatal car crash.
By way of brief addition, Mr Duroux was finally laid to rest yesterday. Again, the Times featured stories (ABOVE) about the death of Cole Miller on the front of its website. There was still no reporting of Mr Duroux’s death, or funeral.
And finally, criticism of our blog post has also suggested that the Brisbane Times, by virtue of it’s name, only covers stories about Brisbane. The Gold Coast is not in Brisbane, and that’s why Fairfax wasn’t interested in the death of Mr Duroux.
Sigh… leaving aside the fact that in the days after Mr Doroux was assaulted and then died, the Times reported on murders all over the state, and as far away as South Africa (a murder which occurred almost three years ago) here’s a screencap of what you get when you search the term ‘Gold Coast’ on the Brisbane Times website.
42,134 stories… only one of them which mentions Mr Duroux… he gets a passing mention in a story about one-punch assaults, which was filed after New Matilda highlighted the Times’ indifference to his death.
The defence rests… but not before pointing out, we’re not suggesting individual reporters who worked on the various stories are racist, or even ignorant… just that the organisation they work for most definitely is.
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