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Mackenzie Anderson’s mum pushes for 48-hour media ban on victims’ details

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The mother of slain Newcastle woman Mackenzie Anderson is calling for a 48-hour waiting period before media organisations publish images of murder victims.

Her plea comes after several high-profile outlets in print and television were accused of showing a lack of empathy to those killed at a Sydney shopping centre at the weekend.

Six people – Pikri Darchia, 55; security guard and refugee Faraz Tahir; architect Jade Young, 47; Australian ad mogul John Singleton’s daughter Dawn; Ashlee Good, the mother of a baby also attacked in the frenzy; and Yixuan Cheng, a 27-year-old Chinese national – suffered fatal knife wounds at Westfield Bondi Junction.

Their photos then began appearing on news services, and social media, within hours of the attack.  

Mackenzie Anderson with mum Tabitha Acret. Photo Instagram

Tabitha Acret lost her daughter Mackenzie in a vicious domestic violence incident.

The 21-year-old was tragically murdered, allegedly by her ex-partner, in front of her son, then one, at her Mayfield unit on 25 March 2022.

The offender is currently facing trial in the Newcastle Supreme Court, denying the charges.

But, Ms Acret’s trauma was compounded when Mackenzie’s picture and full name appeared across television screens and newspapers before being able to notify family and friends.

She’s now asking lawmakers to establish legislation requiring all media outlets to wait at least 48 hours before publishing images or details about murder victims after launching a petition through Change.org Australia.

“In March 2022, my world was shattered when Mackenzie was brutally murdered,” she said.

“I was out of the state with my other child when the news reached us.

“We rushed home to break the devastating news to our remaining child in the safety and privacy of our home.

“However, upon reaching the airport, we were met with a horrific sight – Mackenzie’s image and full name plastered across television screens and newspapers.

“Our friends and family discovered her tragic fate through these media channels before we could even reach them personally.

“This premature exposure only compounded our trauma.”

Ms Acret said she was not alone in this experience.

“Countless families have had their grief exploited by media outlets eager for sensational stories without considering the human cost involved,” she explained.

“Every year, too many people are murdered.

“Each case represents a family thrown into chaos and grief – families who deserve respect for their privacy during such trying times.

“Therefore, we call on lawmakers to establish legislation requiring all media outlets to wait at least 48 hours before publishing images or details about murder victims or their grieving families and friends.

“This waiting period will allow affected families time to process their loss privately before being thrust into public scrutiny.

“It’ll also ensure that loved ones hear about tragic events from those closest to them rather than through impersonal media broadcasts.

“Please sign the petition if you believe in protecting victims’ rights over sensationalist journalism practices; if you believe that every individual deserves dignity in death; if you believe that grieving families should be allowed space for private mourning before facing public scrutiny.”

Go to https://www.change.org/p/mandate-a-48-hour-waiting-period-before-media-publishes-images-of-murder-victims

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