Violence Crusade; {lsquo}Murder Is Not Entertainment' Message

Article excerpt

Byline: Arthur Gorrie

AUSTRALIANS needed to work together to manage the consequences of violence as it is portrayed in the news and entertainment media, Young Australian of the Year, Jonty Bush, said in Gympie yesterday.

"Murder is not entertainment," the anti-violence campaigner said, but she conceded some reference to and portrayal of violence was unavoidable.

She said responsible media and public groups needed to avoid sanitising violence at one extreme, by leaving out the gruesome details, but they also needed to avoid de-sensitising people to violence by overly graphic or extreme presentations.

Ms Bush spoke to a Gunabul Homestead luncheon audience supported by organisations dedicated to helping victims deal with the consequences of murder and other violence in the community.

The anti-domestic violence group Suncoast Cooloola Outreach Prevention and Education (SCOPE) organisation and the Queensland Homicide Victims' Support Group.

Her audience also included senior Gympie area police Insp Jon Lewis, Acting Superintendent Ron Van Saane, Snr Sgt Phil Edwards, Sgt Chris Mahon and Cnst Rolly Manthey.

Ms Bush said that, while there were some fine judgements to be made on media portrayals of violence, it was important to separate justified factual or dramatic portrayals from extreme and gratuitous portrayals.

She said society's fascination with violence and particularly with murder could lead to serious consequences, especially when these portrayals, including in computer games, verged on the pornographic. …