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Media Ethics on African Gang Violence

The mainstream media plays a vital role in letting the public know about crime and justice concerns. Nonetheless, inaccurate and imprecise public linkages between ethnicity and crime lead to high rates of discriminatory practices, hate-motivated murder, and even racial bias. Furthermore, there are issues of social marginalization in the community. In Australia, violence is designated as an entirely African Affair by newspapers, television, and radio bulletize reports. In addition, Africans are always victims of any ugly crime committed in Australia. The journalists gather information about violence from police departments, leading to biased reporting.

Furthermore, Africans are profiled as a group of people who brings the problem to the country by the police officers. When it comes to applying ethics to crime reporting, it has always been difficult. Various ethical approaches exist to assist this complex setting. Journalists must be aware that ethnicity or colours are not causal factors in criminal behaviour. As a result, a perpetrator’s apparent race has no bearing on the crime. The rise in violent acts in Australia has become a significant issue. (Benier., 2021). The media has portrayed this as an African crime issue, resulting in a debate over coping with human range. Media beliefs play a critical part in updating how the mass media must conduct the situation.

As a result, the article will address three ethical sights. When deciding how best to convey a story from an ethical standpoint, most professionals employ ethical theory to determine and place their beliefs and moral reasoning processes. Firstly, in the deontology framework, ethical decisions are grounded on responsibility principles. The media mainstream should not report anything that may lead to disruption to the public in their usual way of life. Moreover, they should bring crime activities to the attention of Black or other races. News received can be perceived and lead to the rise of additional information such as racial discrimination or be looked at as turns of delinquency which media must report every time. The deontological framework describes that media is not layering vicious incidences, and they must bring up news that matters to public safety. As a result, decisions are correct if they follow appropriate obligations, rules, standards, principles, rights, obligations, and laws. Additionally, journalists have a moral obligation to disseminate accurate information. (Koumouris et al., 2022) Thus, their acts are justified if their reasons or objectives are good, regardless of the results. Deontologically, the media should consider withdrawal and stock their attention to relevant issues concerning the public. Therefore, they should impact public sentiments. Lastly, the media does not propagate racial discrimination, but their role is to report positively, thus creating a harmonious culture.

Consequentialism emphasizes a person’s consequences as the factual basis for any judgment about the morality of that conduct. Adverse effectseffects have resulted to the African population because of the media reportage African gang violence, and these consequences affect the public directly. However, racial hostility and pressure grow day by day in the country. Furthermore, the idea varies from Deontology; rightness or wrongness is determined by the character of one’s behaviour rather than the consequences. On the other hand, Virtue ethics attempts to define and classify what is deemed moral and use that character as a foundation for an individual’s decisions and behaviours. As a result, the notion focuses on what individuals must choose for their character rather than relying solely on exterior rules and conventions of a person’s culture. Racism crime reportage has been blamed on the media in Australia for its part in propagating racism. (Gomes 2018) stated that due to unfair media coverage following a disturbance in 2016, young South Sudanese-Australians experienced increasing ethnic exploitation, and police practiced profiling. (Majavu 2020) investigated and hypothesized speech against racism that influences how traditional mass media portrays talks about Black Africans.

Moreover, the Australian media stigmatized Black Africans through narratives that depended on fearmongering about mythical “African Gangs” that allegedly made life difficult for white Melbourne citizens. Additionally, the media portrays Dark Africans as individuals who must be exposed to forces monitoring, racial reporting, harassment, severe penalties, and deportation to Africa. The impact of Eurocentric discriminatory thought on Gloomy Africans emphasizes the necessity for traditional mass media to report ethically, particularly when interacting with Black people.

The Australian authorities have constantly emphasized cultivating a multicultural mindset in Australian culture. However, this is accomplished by encouraging the preservation of distinct ethnic groups’ culture and heritage while promoting cross-cultural understanding. On the other hand, the mainstream media weakens this by reporting on specific subjects. Journalist Steff Anderson updates viewers on the arrest of many home invaders in real-time. While she praises the efforts that led to the arrest of one suspect, she also points out that all of the criminals are described as being of African descent by the police. Although the reporters’ primary motivations in both situations are to educate bibliophiles with an ethical understanding of the topic, they have exploited it by exaggerating it all over racial reporting. The newspapers have expanded the problem to the point that the culprits are said to be of African descent. Because not all Africans are criminals, their reporting is unethical.

According to the consequentialist viewpoint, the moral assessment of a specific action is firmly founded on the effect of that particular action. As a result, moral actions are behaviours that have positive outcomes rather than innately moral actions. (Weng et al., 2021) According to Home Minister Affairs, Peter Dutton underlines Sudanese gangs’ strict law and order threat. In context, the writers also point out how inhabitants see going out to supper as sacred due to street violence. There are various features of the author’s coverage of the subject in the context of consequentialism that stand out. One component is egoism, in which the mandated acts benefit, harm, or have no effect on the welfare of others. In this scenario, narcissism is concerned that the piece’s authors must grab attention for the business to be profitable overall. Regardless of the well-being of other Sudanese in the region, they bring distinct insights. As a result, the authors behave in their own best interests. Aljazeera’s Steve Chao covers another report about African gangs in Australia. Sudanese teenagers and masked armed robbers have terrorized Australia, he says. However, the media portrays them as such; his account gives us a better inside look at the Sudanese to see if the claims are accurate.

According to utilitarian theory, the consequences determine the moral worth of activities. An activity is considered proper if it produces the best possible balance of positive and negative outcomes for all affected individuals. (Weng et al., 2021) As Aljazeera is a trusted news source, Steve’s show supplies the public with actual footage on the issue. Conversely, a negative influence could include the Sudanese’s wrong perception of criminality in Australia. Furthermore, this could lead to more racial profiling or abuse. However, in this situation, the story emphasizes Sudanese difficulties and how the media has portrayed them in society. Steve has incorporated utilitarianism into his ethical principles because the good impact impacts exceed the terrible results.

Conclusively, virtue ethics aid journalists in exercising restraint when reporting on dramatic situations. The hypothesis asks journalists what they would do in a specific case. As a result, journalists may be tempted to appeal to the past for ethical guidance. An honest journalist will, for example, exhibit values such as sincerity or modesty. She indicated that the youths and her reporting group had no racial overtones. She was often modest in her reporting, which stated that she was trustworthy. When it comes to informing the public about a crime, the media plays an important role. However, in other circumstances, the portrayal of crime and criminality leads to harmful racial stereotypes. As a result, media outlets must be cautious in reporting to avoid systematic racism. Additionally, the Australian media depicts Africans, particularly Sudanese, being subjected to racial abuse or profiling.


Benier, K., Wickes, R., & Moran, C. (2021). ‘African gangs’ in Australia: Perceptions of race and crime in urban neighbourhoods. Journal of Criminology54(2), 220-238.

Koumouris, G., & Blaustein, J. (2022). Reporting ‘African gangs’: Theorising journalistic practice during a multi-mediated moral panic. Crime, Media, Culture18(1), 105-125.

Majavu, M. (2020). The ‘African gangs’ narrative: Associating Blackness with criminality and other anti-Black racist tropes in Australia. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal13(1), 27-39.

Weng, E., & Mansouri, F. (2021). ‘Swamped by Muslims’ facing an ‘African gang ‘problem: racialized and religious media representations in Australia. Continuum35(3), 468-486.


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