Reassessing the Bunbury Bombing: Juxtaposition of Political and Media Narratives
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This paper examines an Australian newspaper's coverage of the bombing of an export port terminal in Bunbury, Western Australia on 19 July, 1976. We wanted to see how The West Australian newspaper framed the story, its precursor events, and the events that followed. We were particularly interested in whether the bombing was reported as an act of terrorism because the then Premier of Western Australia, Sir Charles Court, immediately decried it as "a gross act of terrorism." We find the newspaper resisted the lure to apply this label, and couched the story in terms of serious criminality. However, it did so before the 1978 Hilton Hotel bombing; an event the news media heralded as the "arrival" of terrorism in Australia. Also, this occurred before what could be argued the sensationalist and politicised reporting of terror-related events became normalised.
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Criminology not elsewhere classified