FixedIt: Report the actual story!

Channel 7 News reported that a man was charged with grievous bodily harm after allegedly inflicting life-threatening injuries on a baby girl, who is only 30 days old. 

If a tree had fallen on the house and injured her you can bet the tree would have made it into the headline. Why is the man who allegedly inflicted her injuries erased?

To be clear, the man has not yet been tried and he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Only the court can find him guilty or not guilty. This commentary is not speculating on his guilt or innocence, it is specifically and only about how men’s violence against women is reported in the media. 

As is often the case with crime stories, there are very few details available. There is, however, one key piece of information that Channel 7 News failed to include: a man was arrested and charged over the baby girl’s injuries.

The WA police media statement led with the arrest, charging and investigation of a 25 year old man. It stated he is related to the child but did not say he was the father. We can hope, but not assume, that 7 News confirmed he is the father before they reported it. If they put in the extra work to confirm his relationship to the baby, why didn’t they include this pertinent fact in the headline?

The supposed quote “injured at home” is not a quote. It’s paraphrasing the police statement “It is believed the child received the injuries at her Gosnells home” and therefore doesn’t belong in quote marks, which makes it all the more difficult to understand why this was chosen for the headline. 

(as always, if you’re reading this on social media, links are in the OP at www.patreon.com/JaneGilmore )

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

If you would like to know more about how and why the media’s erasure of men’s violence against women occurs, the Fixed It book is out now! Buy your copy here or at any good bookstore. Extracts available on why Fixed It started inThe Guardian, rape and other violence myths in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald and the Good Guy trope on my website.

1800 RESPECT
Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
Ph: 1800 737 732
www.1800respect.org.au 

Djirra – Aboriginal Family Violence Response & Support Service
9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday
Ph: 1800 105 303
djirra.org.au 

Suicide Call Back Service
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ph: 1300 659 467
www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Kids Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1800 55 1800
www.kidshelp.com.au

MensLine Australia
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Phone: 1300 78 99 78
www.mensline.org.au

Men’s Referral Service
Monday – Friday – 8am-9pm
Weekends – 9am-6pm
Ph: 1300 766 491
www.ntv.org.au/get-help