Breaking news and live reporting often do not sit well with each other. When news of the hostage taking in Sydney broke in December 2014, reporters were scrambling for scarce and valuable commodities: the facts.

The terror in the city formula really is about making money.  And the best way to make money is to control people through something.  And in this case it’s fear.

Chris Graham, owner and editor of New Matilda magazine

Many news outlets heeded police requests to hold back certain information: the name of the gunman; the number of hostages. One exception was the Sydney-based Daily Telegraph.

Its headlines declared that the country would never be the same; that an Islamic death cult was responsible. The paper, the Telegraph, is owned by Australia's own Rupert Murdoch.

In some ways, the siege in Sydney - and the coverage of that story - echoed what happened in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, a few weeks before.

Both stories were about one armed man, acting alone - as opposed to as part of a wider conspiracy - and both stories were accompanied by news coverage that seemed disproportionate, both in editorial tone and in terms of volume.

But that is what happens when the gunman turns out to be a Muslim and the Islamic terror narrative kicks in. Our starting point for this week's Media Divide, is Sydney.

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Source: Al Jazeera