Archive for the 'media' Category

Current protest by UC Davis students in Sacramento including police beatings being reported live on Twitter @californiaaggie

The California Aggie Twitter account, from the student newspaper at the University of California’s Davis campus in Sacramento, is reporting live news from a protest by University students. The account has already included reports of beatings and taser usetear gas, and bean bag pellets.

Bean bag pellets on Twitpic

Police are ready with batons, tasers, shooting rubber pellets... on Twitpic

A very tense moment on Twitpic

The protests are part of a wider day of action against likely cuts and fee rises in US universities.


A YouTube video from a local news station reporting on the protest can be seen here, and more live details on the UC Davis protest can be seen using the Twitter Search site

1009 AM AEST

The same Twitter account says the protest disbanded about 9 minutes ago, 4PM California time.

Sea Shepherd boat NOT sunk – ABC covers up its wrong reportDIT

EDIT: Since this report was written, there are new reports that the Sea Shepherd boat has in fact sunk. These reports are as yet uncomfirmed, and if they turn out to be true they still come two days after the ABC reported unconfirmed facts as if they were confirmed, and after Sea Shepherd attempted to salvage the still-afloat boat.


Yesterday, the Australian ABC reported that the Sea Shepherd boat Adi Gil was “sunk” by a Japanese whaling vessel.

Today, it emerges that the Adi Gil has not in fact been sunk, but seems likely to be salvaged. Did they ABC note on its report that the facts had changed, that they had got the story wrong by accepting Sea Shepherd’s word at face value, and apologise?

Hell no! They just changed the headline on their report!

Here’s a screenshot I took yesterday afternoon of the ABC report showing the headline reporting, as fact, that the Sea Shepherd boat had been sunk. The headline reads “Whalers sink Sea Shepherd boat”.

And here’s a link to the same ABC News report as it currently stands. As you can see, the headline now reads “Whalers hit Sea Shepherd boat”. Here’s a screenshot of the story as it stands at 1215 AEST. No acknowlegement that they got it wrong or that the story has been changed.

This confirms the bias of the ABC towards the Sea Shepherd and the unwillingness of their reporter and/or editorial team to give the Australian public the full facts of this story

BREAKING: Video of collision between Sea Shepherd’s Adi Gil and Japanese whaling boat

The Australian ABC has reported, as fact, allegations by the anti-whaling organisation Sea Shepherd that a Japanese whaling boat, the Shonan Maru 2, today deliberately sunk the Sea Shepherd vessel the Adi Gil.

The headline of the story reads “Whalers sink Sea Shepherd boat”, and a caption of a file picture of the Adi Gil in the story reads “The Ady Gil was at a standstill in Australian waters when the Japanese whaling ship rammed into it”.

The article contains five quotes or assertions attributed to Sea Shepherd, including this statement from Sea Shepherd spokesman Chris Aultman:

“The vessel was dead in the water. It was completely and absolutely a wilful act,” he said.

and one statement from the Japanese Fisheries Agency. The article contains not a single word of the statement made by the Institute of Cetacean Research (pdf file), a pro-whaling organisation, which claims that the Adi Gil attacked the Japanese whaling vessel the Nisshin Maru for two hours today:

In a manner similar to their 23 December attack on the Shonan Maru No. 2, at about 0300JST [Japanese Standard Time, 2 hours behind Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time and 9 hours ahead of Universal Time] the Ady Gil came to collision distance directly in front of the Nisshin Maru bow repeatedly deploying and towing a rope from its stern with the intent to entangle the Japanese vessel’s rudder and propeller. Further, the activists onboard the Ady Gil recurrently shoot a green laser device aiming at the Nisshin Maru crew and fired butyric acid-containing ball-like projectiles with a launching device. One of these projectiles landed in the Nisshin Maru’s deck.

Links to the Institute of Cetacean Research’s videos and media releases about alleged attacks on it by Sea Shepherd vessels can be seen here.

A far more balanced report is on the SBS News website, although it still appears to report the sinking of the Adi Gil as fact without independent verification.

A statement on the Sea Shepherd website claims that the Japanese boat’s attack on them was unprovoked and captured on film. As of the time of writing no video substantiating this claim was present on the Sea Shepherd site’s main video page, or on the video page documenting their current operations against Japanese whaling vessels in 2009-10. Such video will be posted here or linked to if it is later posted on the Sea Shepherd site.

UPDATE: This video, provided by Sea Shepherd and shot from the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker, shows the collision:


The next two videos were released by the Institute of Cetacean Research. The first video shows the Adi Gil trailing a rope:

The second video shows a collision between a whaling ship and the Adi Gil:

EDIT – You can read the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea here. The rules have come up in comments on this video. – END EDIT

The Sea Shepherd statement says the alleged sinking took place at 64 degrees 3 minutes South and 143 degrees 9 Minutes East – click here for a Google Map.

This video, also released by the Institute for Cetacean Research, shows the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin colliding with a Japanese whaling vessel in February 2009:

It’s clear that the ABC has failed to report both sides of this story and is acting in this case as Sea Shepherd’s propaganda arm, rather than seeking out the statements presented in this post and giving people the information they need to start making their own conclusions.

UPDATE: The Ambit Gambit blog also criticises the media coverage of the story, while anti-whaler Andrew Bartlett blogs about the history of Australian public and government attitudes towards whaling.


A screenshot of the ABC story, taken at 1747 hrs, Australian Eastern Standard Time on January 6 2010 can be seen here.