The November 2012 story “All Asian Mall” centred on tenant changes at Castle Mall, in Castle Hill, Sydney. But the report branded the centre “the great mall of China” and included Pauline Hanson saying it was un-Australian and tenants should “go back to where you came from.”
Media watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority found the segment:
-contained inaccurate factual material
-placed a gratuitous emphasis on ethnic origin
-was likely to provoke intense dislike and serious contempt on the grounds of ethnic origin
The story suggested Asian speciality shops would occupy ‘almost all’ of the lower level of the Castle Mall in Castle Hill. But ACMA found the plan was that four of 16 retailers were to be Asian speciality shops.
On the claim that ‘Aussie shopkeepers’ had been forced to move out to make way for new retailers targeting the suburb’s Asian population, ACMA concluded the new retailers were being introduced because other shops had already closed down.
To suggestions that centre management’s plan was to force other retailers to vacate the mall by ‘kicking them out’, the plan was actually to relocate them within the mall. Suggestions that a butcher ‘had to move’ were also incorrect.
ACMA also found that the story portrayed people of Asian ethnicity in a negative light by placing gratuitous emphasis on Asian ethnicity in contrast with Australian nationality. The story was also found to be likely to have provoked intense dislike or serious contempt by broadcasting:
-negative misinformation about Australians of Asian ethnic origins
-inflammatory language and visuals generating feelings of threat from people of Asian ethnic origins
-language implying that Australians of Asian ethnic origins did not belong in Australia.
Under current ACMA rules, the media watchdog cannot ‘fine’ or ‘prosecute’ a broadcaster for breaching a code, but Nine has agreed to air a correction in A Current Affair tonight.
The original video on ACA‘s website has been removed.