June 30, 2020 (Thessherald)–A group of South Sudanese Australians has signed an official petition, seeking legal action against two major online newspapers, Sky News and Daily Mail, accusing them of airing defamatory remarks against South Sudanese communities in Australia.
“Dear Australian South Sudanese, as a community representative for the South Sudanese Community Association in Victoria Inc. I have begun a ‘gofundme’ to fund a legal process to take action against ‘Sky News’ (for the headline ‘Poorly assimilated migrants spark virus outbreaks by failing to abide by COVID rules’) and the journalist ‘Daniel Piotrowski’ from the Daily Mail (for the article ‘EXCLUSIVE: How Dan Andrews’ COVID-19 health warnings are being ignored by African communities because ‘NO-ONE’ can read them – as Melbourne’s major cluster is traced back to a Ramadan feast),” said Achol M Marial, a community representative.
Achol says that if the issue is left unaddressed, the media outlets will continue to racially denigrate South Sudan’s immigrant communities.
“Both these reports are not fair and accurate, if we keep quiet, media personnel will continue to racially vilify and defame our community nationally. It is time to take action, win a case and deter the mass media from demonizing our community. The damage has been done and it is time to seek compensation for our community in Victoria.”
On Sunday, the online newspaper, Sky News admitted the wrongdoing and subsequently deleted the comment from its website.
“Peta Credlin and Sky News Australia accept these comments were inaccurate and sincerely apologise for any offence caused by the remarks which have been removed from all platforms,” the network said in a statement.