As technology advances and access to internet and the infinite amount of data grows everyday, more and more people have the opportunity to learn about the events happening all over the world on their handheld devices. As we discussed in class, media is a kind of cycle between the network and the viewer. We talked about how the media networks feed information to the viewers, while the viewers feed their interests and opinions to the media. This becomes a cycle of opinionated viewers and resourceful media networks make stories that cater to the opinions and ideals of viewers in a certain area. I plan to dissect the story of a civilian shooting in Sydney, Australia. As told by an Australian news outlet, a 15 year old Muslim boy walked fifteen minutes from his community mosque with a firearm and shot a 58 year old Chinese man that worked as an accountant in the Parramatta area (Jed Smith, “Prayers and Protests for Australia’s Most Controversial Mosque”, Vice, 10/12/2015, (http://www.vice.com/read/prayers-and-protests-at-the-parramatta-mosque)). This event that occurred at the beginning of October is interesting because there are many discrepancies about the young man’s motives. I would argue that differences in media outlets, stereotypes regarding the religion of Islam, and geographical influences all play a significant role in the presentation of this story and can often times blur or mask the truth of what transpired.
One video that I found addressing the event and important background information was made by the(Shooting: Sydney Shooter Named as Fahrad Jabar, 7 News, 10/03/2015, https://youtu.be/uKl_-osUtN8)
Found below is a video covering the story of the shooting. It also includes an address by the Prime Minister. What he says is shocking…
While watching this video and reading the description and notes , a couple of things jumped out about the way that the information was presented. First, the information was presented seemingly without any bias. Without inputting their own opinions of what all transpired, they play the video of the shooting of Curtis Chang and the death of Fahrad Jabar and explain what is going on in the blurry security camera. After describing what was going on during the video, they went on to talk to some of the witnesses without asking suggestive questions and without any coaching. Lastly, the prime minister gives a speech, as one can hear, about the fact that though this isolated event may have had terrorist motives, this is not reflective of all Muslims and must be looked at singly.
This video, by 7News, a local Parramatta news outlet, is very different from the coverage that this story received by another Australian media outlet, Weekend Today. Their video was called “Sydney Shooting-Muslim teenage got hold of a weapon from a nearby mosque?” Before even watching the video, from simply reading the title, one can see that the author is already feeding their audience information about what they believe is true. This title differs from the title of the previous video because it, instead of naming Fahrad Jabar Khalil Mohammed, simply calls him a Muslim teenage. The next interesting thing that they suggest with this title is that the weapon was received from a local mosque. This is information that had not yet been confirmed at that time and, therefore, was a biased opinion. The title uses a question mark at the end of the title which, I would argue, is to secure that the reader knows that this is not yet confirmed information, while still being able to ask a suggestive question. This video can be seen below. (“Sydney Shooting-Muslim teenage got hold of a weapon from a nearby mosque?”, WeekendToday, 10/04/2015, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2PTRz6T4ss)).
These are just two examples of the many articles and videos that i was able to find regarding the subject. There were two kinds or articles or videos regarding the topic. First, and more commonly, there was a lot of negative converge of the event, the religion of Islam as a whole, and his ties to the local mosque from which he was walking before the shooting. These articles and videos place a huge emphasis on the fact that he was walking from prayer at his local Parramatta mosque after changing into a long black robe and went on to shoot and kill Curtis Cheng. They believe and suggest that the young boy was under the instruction of a much larger Muslim organization and that is where his firearm was supplied (Rachel Olding, Parramatta shooting: Farhad Jabar was recruited by western Sydney extremists, police say”, The Sydney Morning Harold, 10/08/2015 (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/parramatta-shooting-farhad-jabar-was-recruited-by-western-sydney-extremists-20151007-gk3i76.html)). One of the many articles that I read that added something else to the story was that of Ben Pike. He extols that the reason for this attack has to do with the fact that Fahrad Jabar was a loner and therefore he was easily impressionable. Though he does not directly go into the fact that he was influenced by an outside group, he talks about the fact that he was a loner and therefore he might not have been thinking correctly when he made this decision. (Ben Pike “Parramatta Shooting: Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammed named as killer of Curtis Cheng, The Daily Telegraph, 10/03/2015 (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/parramatta-shooting-farhad-khalil-mohammad-jabar-named-as-killer-of-curtis-cheng/story-fnitcyla-1227555654564))
The second kind of coverage was much harder to find. This group of articles and videos were the ones that were either less biased in the way the information was presented or had a different reason behind the shooting. The first article that I found was by Jed Smith regarding the prayers and protests outside of the mosque where Fahrad Jabar prayed before the shooting. This article was different then many of the others because it’s focus was the mosque and not so much the shooting and the motive behind the shooting. The most interesting article, though, was that of Samantha Cook. Her article was written and reported in the United States which was the only United States coverage of the shooting that I could find. Despite the fact that she touches on the fact that it could have been driven by terrorism, she uses words like allegedly and makes sure that when presenting the information in a seemingly unbiased fashion.
After reading all of the articles about this tragic event that occurred in Parramatta, Sydney, Australia, there is no concrete or real evidence that this attack was driven by terrorism. The two men that were arrested for having allegedly provided the young 15 year old with the firearm have since been released. Despite this fact, there are still news and media outlets that allow their stereotypes and generalizations about Muslims and young boys with few companions to take control of their reports and opinions of the event.
Alan Jones, “Assassination of Curtis Cheng by Koran Inspired Muslim Sociopath” The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 10,08/2015, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmF8nwStSiM)
Daniel Piotrowski, “Teen Charged Over Parramatta Shooting ‘gave a revolver gun to Fahrad Jabar in the female area of a mosque’ Police Will Claim”, DailyMail, 10/15/2015, (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3273517/Teen-terror-suspect-charged-supplying-gun-15-year-old-Farhad-Jabar-used-kill-Curtis-Cheng.html#ixzz3u3mgiYM0)
Ben Pike “Parramatta Shooting: Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammed named as killer of Curtis Cheng, The Daily Telegraph, 10/03/2015 (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/parramatta-shooting-farhad-khalil-mohammad-jabar-named-as-killer-of-curtis-cheng/story-fnitcyla-1227555654564)
Jeremy Morgan, “Sydney Gunman Identified as Fahrad Jabar Khalil Mohammed, XYZ, 10/03/2015, (http://www.xyz.net.au/sydney-gunman-identified-as-farad-jabar-khalil-mohammad/)
Rachel Olding, Parramatta shooting: Farhad Jabar was recruited by western Sydney extremists, police say”, The Sydney Morning Harold, 10/08/2015 (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/parramatta-shooting-farhad-jabar-was-recruited-by-western-sydney-extremists-20151007-gk3i76.html)
Rich Swier, Robert Spencer, “Another Muslim Murders Police Official Authorities Rush to Defend Islam, Front Page Mag, 10/06/2015 (http://drrichswier.com/2015/10/07/another-muslim-murders-police-official-authorities-rush-to-defend-islam/)
“Sydney Shooting-Muslim teenage got hold of a weapon from a nearby mosque?”, WeekendToday, 10/04/2015, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2PTRz6T4ss)
“IS Supporters shoot man outside Greenacre mosque: witness”, ABC News AU, 11/03/2014 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-03/man-shot-in-face-and-shoulder-in-greenacre/5861636)
Jed Smith, “Prayers and Protests for Australia’s Most Controversial Mosque”, Vice, 10/12/2015, (http://www.vice.com/read/prayers-and-protests-at-the-parramatta-mosque)
Samantha Cook, “Australia is Arresting Some Really Young Alleged Terrorists, ABC The Denver Channel, 12/10/2015, (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/newsy/australia-is-arresting-some-really-young-alleged-terrorists)
“Shooting: Sydney Shooter Named as Fahrad Jabar”, 7 News, 10/03/2015, (https://youtu.be/uKl_-osUtN8)