"Blackbirding" - The Slave System's Just-as-Evil Twin?

Reportage

Description

Journalists from the United States and Australia get inside the post-Civil War practice of recruiting Pacific Islanders to work the world's non-U.S. plantations on extended contracts of indenture.

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Newspaper

Effects and Outcomes

In the case of George Morrison's reporting in 1882 for the Leader, the weekly magazine-style companion to the Age, his follow-up articles in the Age, and the newspaper's own campaign, triggered an investigation by Queensland's premier, Sir Samuel Griffith, that called Morrison's assertions into question. That prompted a further investigation by Queensland's governor, Sir Anthony Musgrave, who reviewed the case and threw his support to Morrison's account. By March 1884, Britain's Western Pacific Commission issued its report, condemning the system and calling for an increase in the naval force and the number of commissioners overseeing the activity.

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