Australian government to be held accountable
Raymond Chow Publisher
You are reading this column because you have been a loyal reader of Sameway. Everyone has not been in a good mood as the pandemic unfolds over the past months. Businesses are closing, unemployment on the rise, people are counting infected cases and death toll every day. Victorians are under lockdown and living in fear without telling who amongst our circles would become a victim by tomorrow. Mental stress is inevitable as this state prolongs.
From January all small businesses in every Chinese community has been going down. Sameway insists on publication amid almost nil advertisement because we do not want social media as the only platform in overflowing those exaggerated information, we want to keep you posted of some positive and objective messages and analysis, especially with our media responsibility in regard to the pandemic.
I have repeated urged the government to better inform ethnic minority communities on the development of the pandemic. It is a pity many of the policy makers are not aware of or serious about the issue. Say Victorian Premier Andrew used more than an hour of press conference every day, followed by mass coverage through the online news network where every people can start circulating in their social platform spontaneously. But there could be a missing link with the ethnic minorities. There are some of such communities with low English ability falling behind of the updated situation. What they could get from their own social platform are just indirect, subjectively or poorly presented information unhelpful to them.
Chinese being the biggest ethnic minority group has not been better off. As a media operator I follow closely the Premier’s briefing every time, but the problem is I am not given any ready online material for me to prepare timely announcements in turn or to publish detailed reports. Mostly found with Chinese social networks are low quality reporting from China in high-school English translation standard, then titled up as eye catching WeChat messages. These could be very misleading and exaggerated messages such as “Victorian Police headquarter has become virus hot spot”, “KFC closed because of no chicken supply”,etc.
I think Australian government at all levels should be responsible for better informing ethnic minority communities in their languages, but more than just uploading information to the official web pages. Wondering how many who did not know English would find these uploaded information amid the ocean of English content and have missed reading them. The government must give more support to minority media on behalf to do a better job in coping with the pandemic in those communities.