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Refuge Week

Monitoring the media

Join the alert list

If you want to write letters to editors, send us an email to media@refugeecouncil.org.au so we can add you to the alert list. We will regularly send out alerts when there are articles or issues that need to be responded to with a letter to the editor.

Letters to Editor Writing Guide

Writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper is a great way to have your say and participate in the democratic process. Get this handy guide, which includes contact details of major newspapers around the country

'Illegals' media complaints

The media and politicians often use the term illegal to refer to asylum seekers and refugees. The use of such terms in these circumstances is incorrect, misleading and derogatory. Asylum seekers are not criminals or illegal immigrants. They have not broken any law. Under Australian and international law, a person is permitted to enter Australia for the purpose of seeking asylum, whether by boat or by air. A refugee's claim for asylum has nothing to do with how they arrive in a country, but everything to do with their need for protection.

The Press Council has issued rulings against using the term illegal when referring to asylum seekers. If you come across newspaper stories using this term, we encourage you to use this guide to make a complaint. You should also make complaints about the term suspected asylum seeker as this also has great negative implications. You don't say suspected murder victim. People are only suspected of being criminals, not of being victims. Let's try to lodge many complaints about this term and get a ruling from the Press Council on this one. Get our press complaints guide here http://www.ajustaustralia.com/downloads/Illegals_complaints_guide.pdf

Talkback radio guide

Talkback radio is a powerful tool for the distribution of ideas. It can also be a vehicle for myths and untruths about refugee and asylum seeker issues. There are some shows which regularly talk about this issue, often inaccurately and using inflammatory negative language and false 'facts'. If we do not tackle the issue, who else will counter the misinformation and lies told on talkback? Get the guide here, which includes contact numbers for major talkback stations around the country