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Sent in an email to The Northern Territory News, Sunday 2nd May 2010:
I'm referring to your article here about Schapelle Corby. You refer to her as a "Convicted drug smuggler." When referring to any individual, there are multiple ways you could choose to describe them, such as "Australian," "Former Gold Coast resident," or "former beauty student." These are just random examples off the top of my head. You could also choose to preface an individual's name with no adjectives at all. However, when you deliberately choose to use "Convicted Drug Smuggler," you are also deliberately choosing to hi-lite certain facets and alleged "Facts."
You are (in effect), telling your readers about Schapelle's "Conviction" in a way that informs them (by omission of key points), that she was found "Guilty" through the due process of law, as understood by most Australians. It's a natural assumption to make. This is not correct. Schapelle's conviction was not lawful under either Australian or Indonesian law. Both jurisdictions require the presumption of innocence, and "Proof" of the charges laid. If you click on the picture above in this blog post, you will see this glaring anomaly (re Schapelle's "Conviction"), explained in much greater detail. You will also find many of those key facts thoroughly explained in this Sydney Morning Herald article (March 5th 2005).
Therefore, I am asking your publication to either formally (and publicly), retract it's use of the term "Convicted drug smuggler" in relation to Schapelle, or to run an extensive article which fully describes and outlines the illegal nature of her conviction. You may also wish to mention that the very senior policeman who was running a major "Drugs operation" at Sydney Airport (exact same time and terminal pertinent to Schapelle), is now in prison, awaiting trial on conspiring to import $120 million worth of drugs into this country, AND that the NSW Crime Commission (who employed that very senior policeman in the role of "Assistant Commissioner"), sold huge amounts of cocaine to the Australian public, at a very large profit.
I look forward to your response on this matter, and if I haven't heard back by Friday 7th May 2010, I'll telephone you for an update.
If there is no satisfactory outcome (which corrects the public record), I will be lodging a formal complaint with The Media Alliance, in regard to the journalist who wrote the article. It is quite clear (in the very first point of their Code of Ethics), that the points I've outlined above are legitimate. More about that here.
You may also wish to note that there is also local coverage of this important local issue, given that Schapelle's uncle, Shun Hatton, is a long-time Darwin resident (along with his family and friends).
Regards, Mrs. Kim Bax