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The Shipping News

The Government's attempts to suppress information is what prompted more than 4700 GetUp members to crowdfund investigative journalism through the Shipping News project.

Watch the video below to find out more about how the project started and the stories members have helped fund.

After months of anticipation, they're rolling in. The powerful asylum seeker stories that over 4,700 GetUp members chipped in to fund are being published, and they're nothing short of spectacular.

More about the Shipping News

When in opposition, Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison would cry "boats" as loud and as often as he could. But now they're in Government, Abbott's Ministers have shed the "shadow" from their titles and cast it over the Government's asylum seeker policies. They stopped weekly press briefings and denied journalists the opportunity to ask questions about Operation Sovereign Borders or Australian-run detention centres. On top of this, in January 2014, the Nauruan government constructed yet another barrier for journalists, increasing the cost of a journalism visa by 3,900 per cent.
We decided we needed to change the narrative. Journalists needed the opportunity to go beyond the political rhetoric, and tell the real and powerful stories about asylum seekers and Australia's policies. With politicians demonising asylum seekers, and telling only one narrow side of the story, it became absolutely essential to shed some light on the other sides.
Across Australia, more than 4,700 GetUp members said enough was enough! They reached into their pockets to fund the stories behind our asylum seeker policies and the people affected by them, stories that have in so many cases been drowned out by the Abbott Government's spin.
After many conversations with senior media figures, freelance journalists and others, we decided to establish an independent panel to administer journalism grants that would improve public debate on asylum seekers.
  • Wendy Harmer - Founder The Hoopla, comedian, TV/radio personality - Check out The Hoopla here
  • Eric Beecher - CEO Private Media/Crikey, former editor Sydney Morning Herald, former editor in chief Herald & Weekly Times, Walkley for journalistic leadership - Check out Crikey here
  • Barat Ali Batoor - Walkley winning photojournalist for SBS Dateline, The Global Mail, Washington Post, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal and others - Check out Barat's twitter here
  • Monica Attard OAM - five time Walkley winning freelancer for CNN/The Hoopla - Check out Monica's twitter here
  • John Birmingham - author, Fairfax columnist and freelance journalist - Check out John's twitter here

The Shipping News stories

Welcome to Manus, the island that has been changed forever by Australian asylum-seeker policy



An extraordinary investigation by Walkley award winning journalist Jo Chandler and Port Morseby based photographer Vlad Sokhin reveals how impacts of the Abbott government's short-sighted immigration policies aren't limited to asylum seekers and refugees. Local children are going without food, marriages are being broken, infrastructure is being damaged, and PNG's lethal, Australian-funded, mobile police squad and fly-in detention centre staff have created boiling tensions on the island. Read it here.

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Manus detention centre bears blame for PNG men's deaths, families say


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Jo Chandler tells the story of the tragic deaths of two young local men on Manus Island, who died at the hands of the Papua New Guinean mobile police - a squad subsidised by the Australian government. Read it here.

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