Natalie, I have seen the film and reviewed its account of …

Comment on Cover-up: Australia’s or Pilger’s? by Kieran Finnane.

Natalie,

I have seen the film and reviewed its account of material in the present and its approach to the practice of journalism. You can read it here.

Of relevance also is a letter in response by Sarah Thorne for the Alice Springs Greens working group to which I have replied, with further examples relevant to the very recent past. You can read both here.

Kieran Finnane Also Commented

Cover-up: Australia’s or Pilger’s?
Sarah, The point I make about Noel Nannup’s figure of 51 is that it is loosely stated in the context of talking about over-crowding in the cells and Pilger does not seek to clarify what Nannup actually means, as any journalist worth his salt would do, nor does he corroborate from any other source. Instead he uses precious time to make another of his moralising statements (about people paying $240 a night to stay in the room) before Nannup says “they don’t have any idea what happened here, no one tells them, no one lets them know”. Pilger does not examine that either, in line with his general thesis of the island covering up its history, which clearly cannot be substantiated.
Nannup then talks about the hanging of a Gascoigne man and of the prisoners having to build his gallows and watch his death. For me, that is “gruesome enough”. This is the only execution that Nannup is specific about. The records for the prison however show that there were four more. For me, that even more so is “gruesome enough”. I don’t need an unsubstantiated (and indeed I think unintended by Nannup) figure of 51 to recognise that human suffering occurred on Rottnest Island.
Aboriginal history should be told but the truth will do. It is mostly bad enough.


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Kind regards, Kieran Finnane.


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