Ed Sheeran is making headlines once again in Australia with his latest record breaking national tour.
During Sheeran’s last tour in 2015, he exposed just how deceitful the Australian media can be when it comes to portraying Indigenous stories. Our website wasn’t around back then but the disbelief from that moment is still remembered today. It remains as one of the most stark examples of how certain elements of Australia’s mainstream media treat our people with utter contempt.
In December of 2015, Sheeran returned to Australia to perform the second Oceania leg of his X tour. The second leg involved 4 shows in total in Australia. One in Perth, followed by two in Melbourne plus his final concert in Sydney where he wore an Aboriginal flag t-shirt for the entire show.
The following day, Australia’s media released their reports of the concert and all 3 of the articles that are still active today failed to mention the gesture by one of the world’s top selling international artists. The Sydney Morning Herald even went a step further by using a picture of Sheeran wearing a different shirt at another concert on their social media links where most visibility occurs.
It was this move in particular that had readers shocked and outraged about how far the media would go to ignore anything that relates positively towards Aboriginal people.
The other articles were by news.com.au and The Daily Telegraph. Even though the articles have clear pictures of Sheeran wearing the Aboriginal flag shirt, all three failed to make mention of the gesture by Sheeran.
The gesture was reported by smaller media outlets such as NITV, but the silence and display of contempt by Australia’s mainstream media should not be forgotten. It serves as a reminder of the lengths they will go to silence discussions about Aboriginal people, most likely in an effort to help the government avoid Australia’s “elephant in the room“.
Now in 2018, Sheeran is once again touring the country and this time he is engaging with local Elders at each of his event destinations to make sure that each concert is opened with a Welcome to Country ceremony. As of yet we are still waiting for this to be reported in the mainstream media. It looks like history is repeating once again.
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