Sky News and Peta Credlin apologise for false reporting on COVID-19 outbreak

Sky News has been forced to issue an apology, following backlash after Peta Credlin falsely blamed a COVID-19 outbreak on Melbourne’s South Sudanese community.

The broadcast on Friday saw Credlin allege that “poorly-assimilated migrants” from the South Sudanese community had ignored social distancing in an “end-of-Ramadan feast”. Sky News Australia and Credlin have ‘sincerely apologised’ for the comments and removed them from all platforms.

Credlin, who made the comments on her self-titled evening show Credlin, will also address the issue on her show tonight.

“An editorial which aired during the Credlin program on Friday 26 June at 6pm AEST, incorrectly linked Melbourne’s South Sudanese community to a COVID-19 outbreak,” read a response from Sky News.

“Peta Credlin and Sky News Australia accept these comments were inaccurate and sincerely apologise for any offence caused by the remarks which have been removed from all platforms.”

Credlin alleged in the segment that many of the people in the South Sudanese community spoke Dinka instead of English and were therefore unable to understand hygiene guidelines. Swift backlash followed her comments, including the correction that Muslims make up a very small percentage of the South Sudanese community.

The Society of South Sudanese Professionals (SSSPA) said the report was ‘irresponsible’ and encouraged ‘unfair targeting’ of the South Sundanese community.

“SSSPA considers this report a serious assault on South Sudanese Victorians. Irresponsible journalism can cause immense damage and further smears against a community already unfairly targetted,” the association said in a statement.

“But most importantly, South Sudanese people are abiding by COVID-19 restrictions, evidenced by extremely low numbers of infection in the South Sudanese community.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.