On the 9th of April this year, a boat full of asylum seekers were found floating into the port of Geraldton, Western Australia. The next day, the cover of WA’s newspaper looked like this:
The headline reads “400KM FROM PERTH”, whilst the picture shows a boat packed with dark skinned asylum seekers. What does this convey to the reader? Fear – we should feel scared that these aliens are nearing our own white picket fences…
The next day, after collecting the facts and getting their stories straight, the staff at The West Australian got creative. This time the cover page (below) features a Sri Lankan asylum seeker who appears to have a cheeky grin on his face. To me it seems their creativity lacks in story telling abilities, as they try to draw parallels between the Sri Lankan and the crew of Ocean’s Eleven after getting away with a heist. The West Australian is trying to say he’s laughing because he has pulled one over us – getting into Australia with ease. The headline ‘Too Easy’ also implies that he has done something wrong, but this man is no criminal.
Could it be the man is happy simply because he has just survived a life threatening journey (after spending 44 days at sea!) and finally feels safe? As of June, at least 112 people have died this year whilst crossing the waters bound for Australia. This is the recorded number, but it’s almost certain that there have been more boats we’re not aware of with similar fates… Was it ‘too easy’ for them?