Saturday, July 26, 2014

Misleading headlines create false impression about rock stencil authenticity

The following complaint sent to the ABC about this article from ABC Rural (updated):

Mine's Aboriginal 'rock art' found to be authentic

The headline to this report on disputed aboriginal rock stencils reads:

"Mine's Aboriginal 'rock art' found to be authentic"

The opening line reads:
"Environmental groups say Aboriginal rock art at a site earmarked for a controversial coal mine, has been proven to be authentic."

It goes on...

"There was a question of the authenticity of a white hand stencil, they found that hand stencil to be authentic, they found a number of other hand stencils in the cave, in the floor of the cave they found chert stone tools, which suggested previous Aboriginal habitation,

In fact...(from a real journalist...) 

Activists vindicated as Aboriginal cave art is ruled to be genuine

A report released yesterday by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage concluded at least some of the figures in the cave are genuine traditional art. Closer examination of the cave showed there were two separate sets of art: a whitish stencil and a series of reddish ones. The office experts concluded “the status of the grey/white hand stencil is inconclusive”, but they found reddish stencils showing “portions of hands and fingers” looked old and eroded, were consistent with a unique style of the area and were “traditional Aboriginal hand ­stencils”.

ABC's headline amounts to an editorial opinion and misrepresents the known facts. Please correct.

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