World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Pilger, Simpson Urge Journalists: Drop 'Stone Age'

Pilger And Simpson Urge Journalists To Drop 'Stone Age' And 'Primitive'

John Pilger and BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson have urged fellow journalists not to use terms such as 'stone age' and 'primitive' to describe contemporary tribal peoples, in a letter published in the Financial Times.

'These terms are dangerous because, aside from being often implicitly pejorative, they are used to justify the persecution of tribal people,' the letter states. 'Governments, such as in Indonesia and Botswana, claim that forcibly 'developing' tribes is for their own good and helps them to 'catch up' with the 'civilized' world. The results are almost always catastrophic for those involved.'

The letter comes after a number of British newspapers used terms like 'savage', 'stone age' and 'one of the most primitive tribes on earth' to describe the Sentinelese, who live in almost complete isolation on North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean.

The Sentinelese recently hit the world's headlines after they killed two men who had illegally entered their waters. Indian law prohibits non-Sentinelese from coming within five kilometres of North Sentinel Island in order to protect the tribespeoples' food resources, which are under constant threat from outsiders and upon which the Sentinelese totally depend. In recent years, a number of Sentinelese themselves have been killed by outsiders and, as a result, the arrival of any non-Sentinelese is seen as hostile.

The letter was also signed by Christopher Booker, Sandy Gall and George Monbiot.

Survival International's Director's, Stephen Corry, said today, 'Journalists all around the world need to understand that the use of these kinds of terms is not only inaccurate, but extremely harmful.

They foster prejudices which lead directly to tribal peoples' suffering. We are delighted that such high-profile journalists have taken up this cause and we hope that many other journalists will follow their lead.'

To find out more about Survival's campaign to stamp out racism against tribal people in the media, visit

http://survival-international.org/stampitout.php

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Rights Office On Syria: The “Monstrous Annihilation” Of Eastern Ghouta

Since the Syrian Government and their allies escalated their offensive against opposition-held Eastern Ghouta on 4 February, there have been more than 1,200 civilian casualties, including at least 346 killed and 878 injured, mostly in airstrikes hitting residential areas... Ninety-two of these civilian deaths allegedly occurred in just one 13-hour period on Monday. More>>

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:


Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:

Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO: