The city of Sydney; famous for the architectural greatness of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the golden sand upon the picturesque beaches and the Terrorism attack that forced the city to a halt on December 15th 2014.
Breaking News took over the television space where reporters stressed the current terror threat upon the Nation. Eyes were glued to Channel 7’s live stream of the Lindt Café from where the audience waited in anticipation as the events unfolded before them as Sydney was now the center of Terrorism peril.
With many questions from the public, The Daily Telegraph produced an expose’ detailing in the Islamic ties of the gunman Man Monis; who held seventeen people hostage.
Held at gunpoint, hostages were forced to hold what ABC News described as an Islamic extremist flag, which was later translated to the Shahada– an Islamic pillar of Faith by which all Muslims vow to believe.
‘Terrorist seizes Martin Place Café,’ was the headline harnessed by the media to exploit the fears of the Australian public–terrorism. However, without a clear political agenda, Monis was wrongly labeled as a Terrorist–defined as the use of covert violence for political ends. Journalists pieced together what seemed as a logical agenda for the gunman due to his Islamic decent–deeming this terror threat nothing more than a threat of sensationalisation.
The media utilised these unthreatening pieces of information to fuel the fear of Islamophobia masked as a terrorism threat.
Tim Cartwright, Victoria’s assistant chief of Police spoke out against this wrongly labelled incident in an article from The Age.
“It is not about Terrorism, it is about a crazed criminal individual” Mr Cartwright said, ‘to create a web of fear created for profit.
Without extenuating the words ‘Terrorist’ and ‘Islamic State’, the siege would not have encapsulated the audience sending social media into a frenzy causing the major news outlets ratings to skyrocket. Now five months later, thanks to the ingenuous storytelling of the journalists, Channel 7 received three international awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association.
However did the exploitations of a universal fear merit an award?