Australian media defend terror coverage

Australian media organisations have hit back at White House claims that several terror attacks across the country were "under-reported".

Australia's major news organisations have countered White House claims that terror attacks such as the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney were "under-reported".

The siege was one of 78 incidents worldwide included in a list produced by the White House after US President Donald Trump accused the media of ignoring attacks inspired by Islamist militants.

Five Australian incidents made the list including Man Haron-Monis' 2014 attack on the Lindt Cafe - in which two people died - and the 2015 fatal shooting of police worker Curtis Cheng in Parramatta.

National news wire Australian Associated Press on Tuesday refuted the Trump administration's allegations.

"We are not always aware as to whether an attack is terror-related or not when it happens," AAP editor Mike Osborne said on Tuesday.

"However, we do not shy away from reporting such facts once they are confirmed, while at all times being required to comply with national legislation governing media reporting of terror-related events."

AAP also issues partner-agency reports on international terror-related events as they occur, Mr Osborne said.

"To claim AAP, or any reputable media organisation, would fail to report on terrorist attacks as they occur seems irresponsible."

News Corp Australia meanwhile said its publications and websites "covered the Australian events listed by the president with both professionalism and courage, and indeed called them out for the terrorism events that they were proven to be".

"Coverage of terrorism issues in Australia by our journalists, cartoonist and commentators has been determined and fearless," a News Corp spokeswoman said in a statement.

The stabbing of a young backpacker at a Townsville hostel in August last year - which Queensland Police specifically determined to be a murder case rather than a terrorist attack - was another of the Australian incidents in the White House document.

The September 2014 stabbing of two police officers in Melbourne by a radicalised Numan Haider, 18, was also included in the list along with the stabbing of a man in Minto in Sydney's southwest last September.

The documents also includes the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, the Bastille Day attacks in Nice last year and the co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris in November of 2015.

Earlier US President Donald Trump said "very dishonest" press chose not to report European terror attacks.

"All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported," Mr Trump said.

Source AAP

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