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


Australian TV station guilty of racism in “Freakshow TV” row

Survival International Press Release
June 24, 2014

Australian TV station guilty of racism in “Freakshow TV” row

An Australian TV station has been found guilty of racism for broadcasting a report about an Amazon tribe so extreme it was labeled “Freakshow TV” by Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights.

In September 2012 Australia’s press regulator ACMA, in a landmark decision, had found Channel 7 guilty of “provoking intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule against a person or group” and of broadcasting inaccurate material. Channel 7 sought judicial review, but the Federal Court has now upheld the ruling.

The report by “adventurer” Paul Raffaele and reporter Tim Noonan portrayed Brazil’s Suruwaha tribe as child murderers, “Stone Age” relics, and “one of the worst human rights violators in the world”.

A Suruwaha man told Survival that the program contained lies about the tribe. He said, “They’re lying about us, because we don’t kill children. Paul and Tim lied. They took the footage they filmed here far away, to show JOCUM (a fundamentalist, evangelical missionary organization) and to lie about us.”

He added, “He (Paul Raffaele) is a bad person; he has really made us suffer. How could he treat the Suruwaha so badly?”

Survival complained to ACMA after Channel 7 refused to issue a correction to its report. Channel 7 did not appeal the substance of the ruling, but rather asked the court to declare that various statements in the report were not factual in nature. A judge has now rejected this attempt to overturn ACMA’s ruling on a technicality, and the ruling stands.

The Suruwaha have been the target of fundamentalist missionaries who falsely claim that they regularly kill newborn babies. The missionaries had lobbied Brazil’s Congress to pass a law which would have allowed Indian children to be removed from their families.

Channel 7’s website openly fundraised for the evangelical organization associated with the campaign.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, “Tribal peoples have been accused of ‘savagery’ since the first European colonists arrived and sought justification for the brutalities of imperialism. Unfortunately the myth of the ‘Brutal Savage’ is rearing its ugly head once more – and it’s just as harmful now as it was then. It is right and proper that this ruling has been upheld. There is no excuse for such extreme prejudice in the media today.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news