Media Audiences – Christchurch

Media Audiences – Christchurch

TRIGGER WARNING: this post contains information about the Christchurch terrorist attack.

Artwork by Ruby Jones
Instagram: @rubyalicerose

Whilst sitting in my MGNT102 lecture on Friday, I admittedly was having a quick scroll on Twitter when I came across the devastating news of the Christchurch terrorist attack. I sat in complete shock for the rest of the lecture, and that day. Today (Sunday), even as I write this, it still doesn’t seem real. 50 confirmed dead and many more injured in what can only be described as a horrific act of white supremacist terrorism. My heart goes out to the victims, their whanau and friends, New Zealand, and the Muslim community around the world.

Originally, I had planned to write this blog post about my experiences as a member of an audience to concerts and music festivals, but that simply did not feel right after what had taken place on Friday. The past few days have emphasised to me the major role media plays in tragic events like this, and how we, as an audience, influence it.

It has been hard to miss the constant bombardment of information seeping through our televisions, phones, computers, conversations and radios over the past 48 hours. It has contained floods of love and support for the Muslim community and victims, and heartbreaking news updates. It has also contained the complete opposite. Racist opinions and hate speech also leaked into our news and social media sites. The world, as an audience to the media, have watched on with intrigue and disgust.

From a national perspective, I was infuriated when Australian Senator Fraser Anning excused the terrorist act. I could go on for days about how predominant figures using their platform to spread xenophobic views are a major reason as to why attacks like Christchurch take place.

However, I was glad to see I was part of a majority of the media audience when (as of 4:21pm Sunday 17th March) over 856,000 people had signed a petition titled, ‘Remove Fraser Anning from parliament’. Australia’s new “national treasure”, known as “Egg Boy”, also gave many people watching the media intently a reason to smile in a dark time as he cracked an egg over Senator Anning’s head during a live interview.

Overall, with the attack happening so close to home, and the way it has deeply affected such a large amount of people worldwide, it has highlighted to me the role in which we, as an audience of national and international media, impact the way in which news is shared. Our varying values and ethics as an audience influence our reactions to events, and what we decide to support or speak out against. We shape the media. It is our responsibility to take action against discrimination within it.

I would like to end this post with some words Osman Faruqi posted to his Twitter page in the wake of the Christchurch attack:

I feel so sad. We begged you to stop amplifying and normalising hatred and racism. But you told us we were ‘politically correct’ and ‘freedom of speech’ was more important. The more you gave the far-right a platform, the more powerful they got. We begged you.” –

Kia Kaha, Christchurch.

DISCLAIMER: I refuse to promote the agenda white supremacists try to spread through media, so certain names and information are missing from this blog post. I’m not sure this really counts as a disclaimer but I would just like to say that we as an audience to the media need to stop allowing racists to have a platform. We are all responsible. Speak up if you know something isn’t inclusive. If you excuse racism and xenophobia committed in any form, you are part of the problem. Any comments on this page featuring hate speech will be deleted.

9 thoughts on “Media Audiences – Christchurch

  1. This was such a well written piece!! I am astound of how much love and support you showed on this current issue surrounding the lives of many. We are praying for the victims, their families and the strength to make a better world.
    Thank you for speaking and spreading word on this issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really liked this blog post and how different it was to the typical music ‘audience’ blog post I’m sure most people including myself did for bcm110. I liked the point you made about how much the media has impacted this story in the second paragraph 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Abbey
    Good writing. Yes i agree with all you have said. Its a huge problem and goes way beyond our shores. Them and us is a culture globally.
    The powers that be seem to have an agenda.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Abbey
    This post of ‘media audiences’ was very well written. You brought up a current issue that needs fixing before more lives are lost. Your courage and strength to write such a powerful piece is inspiring. Thank you for bringing up this topic and discussing your heartfelt feelings about the situation, praying for the families and all involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Abbey, this blog post, although about something horrific is such a good piece of writing!
    Your opening paragraph is expressed so well and captures the reaction and thoughts that so many would have had at the time. Unfortunately, I agree with your statement about the media and how it captures such tragedies and even worse, the horrible opinions and views of some. Including the violence, racism and hate that comes with them.
    The emphasis towards the end of your piece about how, as an audience, we play a role in the media is very effective in provoking thought and questions about our reactions towards such events. I feel that it makes the audience of your post consider how their values and opinions affect others and I like how you have brought it back to this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an amazing post!
    I Love how you were able to relate such a horrific event that has affected so many people to the media audience topic. Different from other blog posts I’ve seen.
    Writing about something like this can be quite hard. I can feel how sympathetic you are toward the Muslim community, as am I, and in writing it can be very hard to portray for others.
    I also like how you were able to explain how our role as an audience impacts the way the news is shared.
    Refusing to post certain information from the attack shows you are not supporting and giving light to the attacker and giving him exact publicity he wants. Instead you are showing the Muslim community they are supported, which is exactly what everyone should be doing.
    I can relate to this post as I share the same views on racism and xenophobia.

    This was very well written and can’t wait to see what you post in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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