Human rights group slams story on crime as ‘racist’
HUMAN rights group Amnesty International has slammed A Current Affair's Alice Springs youth crime story, labelling it as "racist" and claiming it would "lead directly to children being harmed".
In a letter sent to Channel Nine seen by the NT News, Amnesty International Impact manager Tim O'Connor accused the program of breaching Australia's journalistic standards code by placing unnecessary emphasis on race - specifically the Indigenous population - and failed to report fairly and accurately on the issue of youth crime.
"We have very real concerns that due to your misleading and reductive reporting, more Indigenous children will be trapped in the quicksand of the criminal justice system, and be totally unable to access the support and services they need to live happy and healthy lives," Mr O'Connor said.
"Issues affecting Indigenous children, who are 25 times more likely to end up in prison than their non-Indigenous counterparts, are wide ranging and complex.
Your report reduced this complexity to facile 'kids running wild' trope which is not only racist, but is outright dangerous.
"In a cynical bid to create a report to drive viewer numbers and clicks, you have used your platform and privilege in a manner that will lead directly to children being harmed."
Channel Nine hit back, defending its story and claimed it "highlighted community concerns" around the town's crime problem.
"The story did not seek to demonise Indigenous youth and indeed we included Indigenous leaders talking about the problem the city is facing both in original story and subsequently," a Channel Nine spokesman said.
Since the A Current Affair story went to air on March 15, a spotlight has been placed on the issue of youth crime, sparking heated debate about the best way to manage the problem.
On Tuesday, the NT government proposed new youth crime laws, which included permitting police to take saliva samples from youths found allegedly drink driving and barring courts from dismissing charges against youths who haven't completed a diversion program.
Originally published as Human rights group slams A Current Affair story on Alice crime as 'racist'