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Voice Over:

Please be aware. If you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you should know that this episode contains the voices and names of deceased persons.

Amy Thomas:

Hi, I’m Amy Thomas. I’m a researcher at UTS and this is Black Stories Matter. In previous episodes of this podcast, we’ve heard how the Australian mainstream media has failed to connect with Aboriginal communities. It’s main Aboriginal stories have gone unheard, perspectives ignored, or misrepresented. And there’s been very little accountability for decades. But for Aboriginal journalists deeply embedded in their communities, it’s a completely different story.

Rachael Hocking:

We are held to such a high standard, and you will see it on black Twitter every single day. We will get called out if we get shit wrong, as we should. And that level of accountability allows us to go back to our work, and make sure that we are putting out the best story possible for our community. Because we serve … We don’t just serve the public we’re serving something deeper than that.

Amy Thomas:

That’s Warlpiri woman Rachael Hocking. She started out in journalism at the Koori Mail, and has been a reporter and presenter for NITV since 2015. In this episode, we’re looking to independent black media to hear what Aboriginal journalists can teach us, about the stories we tell around sovereignty and self determination. Also joining us is Madeline Hayman-Reber, a Gomeroi freelance journalist and media advisor.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

Mainstream media would never understand because they don’t put themselves into a story as we do, because we live this stuff.

Amy Thomas:

So what role can non-Indigenous people like myself play? How should we be listening to Aboriginal voices? What do we need to do better?

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

All too often mainstream media assumes a wide audience, and consistently centers whiteness.

Amy Thomas:

That’s Associate Professor Tanya Dreher, from the University of New South Wales. Tanya’s research focuses settler listening.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

Community controlled media of this type does absolutely foreground and center, Aboriginal political aspirations, incredibly consistently and persistently for anyone who might be interested to listen and consistently dissenters that white audience. We as a white audiences are, for the most part very welcome to listening, to learn, to engage up and not the center of attention. And that’s really crucial.

Amy Thomas:

Rachael, Madeline and Tanja are in conversation with Dr. Bhuva Narayan from the University of Technology Sydney. And before we begin, I just want to flag that we do mention suicide in this talk. As you can probably hear from the sound quality, this conversation took place online, when we would deep in lockdown. But what’s discussed is a valuable conversation on how we can start to remake our news rooms. I hope you enjoy it.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Welcome everyone, to the third seminar of the Black Stories Matter series titled Aboriginal self determination, and independent media. My name is Bhuva Narayan. I am an academic in the School of Communication at the University of Technology Sydney. First on behalf of UTS and everyone present, here I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation, the Boorooberongal people of the Dharug Nation, the Bidiagal people and the Gamaygal people upon whose ancestral lands our university stands.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

We would also like to pay respect to the elders both past and present, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Today’s seminar is the third in a series of four seminars, that is supported by the Indigenous Land and Justice Research Hub. The Center for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

As a migrant from India, the so called post colonial countries still dealing with the effects of colonisation. I’m extremely honored and humbled to be asked to facilitate today’s seminar. We have three amazing panel members today, Madeline Hayman-Reber, Rachael Hocking and Tanja Dreher, who I will introduce in detail as we call upon them. The book by Amy Thomas, Heidi Norman and Andrew Jacobovitz titled does the media fail Aboriginal political aspirations, Does the Media Fail Aboriginal Political Aspirations 45 Years of News Media Reporting of Key Political Moments published by Aboriginal Studies Press looks at the history of media in regard to Aboriginal polity.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

This seminar series takes it forward into more contemporary state of affairs, taking into consideration digital media, especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and its resonance in Australia. Independent Aboriginal media has a long history of telling Aboriginal stories that are rooted in communities and relevant to community needs. How have Aboriginal journalists battled to tell the Aboriginal stories in mainstream media organisations?

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

How do we challenge the self proclaimed impartiality of media that imagines a mainly white audience? How do we confront the question of audience and of listening? These are the questions our panelists will focus on today. To begin, I’d like to introduce our first speaker, Madeline Hayman-Reber is a Gomeroi woman and independent Indigenous Affairs journalist. Her passion lies in social justice was First Nations Australians through storytelling.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

In 2019, Madeline worked with freelance journalist Sylvia Rowley to expose the criminal records given to Stolen Generation elders, simply for being taken. It resulted in the records being expunged in the state of Victoria. For this work. They received the Human Rights award in the media category, as well as best new or current affairs story at the First Nations Media Awards.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Madeline currently co hosts the Read the Room podcast with Osman Faruqi. Welcome Madeline Can you talk a little bit about your recent experience as a journalist at NITV. And more recently as a freelance journalist.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

To start off with though, I’d like to talk back to how I started at NITV. I actually started my career as a cadet journalist straight out of high school for a white organisation, which was Fairfax Media. And I was there for maybe three years, I think. Did cadetship and also worked in their digital team. But I ended up leaving that role because that I wasn’t doing anything of substance. We’re telling white stories all the time, it was very commercial, I hated commercial media.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

So actually left and started working at Deadly Vibe magazine, which was run by a man named Gavin Jones. And he had that organisation going for about 25 years, he had the magazine, he had In Vibe magazine, which went to prisoners in prison. And he also did communications work for the government. When Tony Abbott came to be prime minister, he ended up cutting the budget as we know, to Indigenous Affairs pretty significantly.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

And as a result, he got the funding to Deadly Vibe after 25 years, and Gavin unfortunately, took his life. So that was at the end of my employment. I just thought, I’m not going to do anything. Unless it’s something that helps my mob, I can’t go back to working in commercial news. I didn’t know where to go or what I could do, except for NITV. We do have other, like to Koori Mail and those kinds of print media. But in terms of TV and on screen, we don’t have representation in a lot of our media organisations.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

So that’s why I decided to apply for a job at NITV, and I was lucky enough to be there for nearly four years. Black media is so important because there’s issues like, I’m going to use Aunty Tanya Day’s inquest as an example. We were there every single day of that inquest for three weeks, I was a Victorian correspondent at the time. And so we were able to really tell the story from start to finish, we know all of the details. We were able to get even the smallest message out that the other networks would have missed.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

And being a black journalist being able to do that, you’re identifying the things that are actually issues. I loved during that work, and it’s really intense work. And there’s been times where I’ve come out of a story. And just like you don’t really know what else to do, except for tell someone’s story after hearing a really traumatic event. That’s like, something that I think mainstream media would never understand, because they don’t put as much of themselves into a story as we do, because we live this stuff too. We go home to our families, and we have the same things happening.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

I think after a while, being able to do that work in the community is really important. But working for a large organisation like SBS can be a bit of a struggle sometimes, especially when you have to get permissions to do a lot of things from a corporate level, when you need to be doing stuff from a community level as well.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

I guess in the end, that’s why I decided to leave and become a freelancer, because I’m also telling our stories from the outside for mainstream media now, rather than telling them for a black audience, which is what NITV essentially does. NITV gave me the platform to be able to build my self up to be respected by mainstream media. And now that I can leave and tell stories through mainstream media for a bigger audience, that’s like my aim as a journalist. I think journalism for black fellas is a way of activism as well, because we’re telling our stories in a way that only we can tell them.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Thank you Madeline. So you talked about your shift from NITV to becoming a freelance journalist, apart from the different audience that you now have, has it also changed the independence or the freedom that you have to report the things you want to report?

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

Yeah, for sure. I think having being able to build such strong connections with community through my job, like not only just because I’m black, but through my job is good because a lot of the time I can help families who are struggling with media requests and things like that. They can come to me now and I can give them advice.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

On how to deal with them, or even get their story and pitch something to somewhere, to be able to tell their story in the way that it should be told, if they’re worried about it being told in the wrong way.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Can you share your experience reporting on convictions for members of Stolen Generations, and how you achieve change through this reporting?

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

We had a journalist come to us with the story basically. So she found it. Sylvia Rowley, sorry, jointly won the award with. So she found this in the first place and she brought it to us, she’s English. So she just wanted to make sure that black media told the story, basically. But she worked on it with us. She’s a journalist too, but she was working alongside Uncle Larry Walsh. And she accidentally discovered this, that he had a criminal record.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

So she came to us and we figured out in Victoria, this happens to so many people and the initial story that she did got picked up by a Greens member, Nina Springle. And she put it before parliament. And they ended up talking about it. So we did a second story to get the pressure on. And we went and we talked to several other elders who were in the same position. And it turns out that this didn’t actually just happen in Victoria. It’s happened in New South Wales and other states as well. Because when the states were established, they would borrow each other’s law. These happened up until I think it was 1992. And so it’s affected … I guess, a lot of people’s lives in the sense that we had one elder that I spoke to, and she had been in Parramatta Girls Home, and she had a criminal record for being taken and put in the home.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

And when she snuck out as a teenager or anything like that, when she had a police contact, they would record those as criminal records when she got caught. When she was like 16 or something for having a very small amount of marijuana with her, she actually went to prison, which because she had these previous convictions, including the criminal record for being taken.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Thank you so much. That was such a powerful story and introduction. Thank you very much. Now, I’d like to introduce Rachael Hocking. Rachael is a Warlpiri woman with roots in the Tanami Desert of the Northern Territory. She has been a reporter and presenter for NITV since 2015, and currently co-hosts its flagship show The Point.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

In 2019, Rachael joined the board for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma in Asia-Pacific, where she advocates for better trauma informed reporting in Indigenous communities. Rachael is an intersectional feminist who is passionate about a version of women’s rights, language revival and climate justice.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Welcome, Rachael. Can you reflect on the recent SBS debates about diversity in the workplace? And perhaps how that affects choices made in SBS reporting?

Rachael Hocking:

Thank you Bhuva, and it’s nice to be on a panel again with my sis Madeline. Before I begin, I’d like to acknowledge that I’m speaking from Cammeraygal country in Sydney’s North. I pay my respects to elder’s past and present, and I also pay respects to all the mobs you’re probably listening to this yarn from right across this country.

Rachael Hocking:

If there’s anyone in the NT shout out because very homesick right now. My country is, Warlpiri country, like Bhuva said in the Tanami Desert. And one thing that I also wanted to acknowledge as well was speaking from Gadigal in Cammeraygal country, Eora nation here in Sydney. We’ve been reflecting recently in my work on the fact that it’s 250 years, since Captain Cook sailed into Botany Bay. That followed the invasion that followed. So if anyone is listening in their traditional land, my deepest respects to you today.

Rachael Hocking:

I have to shout out to Independent Black Media. I started out at a Koori Mail as a freelancer in Melbourne. I think a lot of us did. A lot of us started off as stringers for various black media, or we started off in Aboriginal radio, which has been massive in this country since the 60s and 70s. Places like CAAMA in the central desert of Australia started by Frita Glenn.

Rachael Hocking:

You’ve got Torres Strait Islander Radio, we’ve got NungarRadio Gallery Media up in Broome, got Corrimal in Lismore and even magazines that are now defunct like Tracker. I don’t know if anyone listening ever read Tracker, but it was some of the best journalism in this country, edited by Amy McGuire, and Chris Graham.

Rachael Hocking:

And then following Tracker afterwards, after it lost funding. We had Black Nations Rising, which was this incredible small magazine started by Callum Clayton Dixon and Peccary Ruska. . It really gave a platform to Aboriginal activists in this country who would never get a platform anywhere else. It gave a platform to recipes on how to cook with traditional ingredients.

Rachael Hocking:

It did some really, really great reporting on stuff that was happening in land rights struggles right across the country. So all black media, independent media, I stand on your shoulders, it’s because of you that I’m able to have the job that I do and able to do what I do. NITV wouldn’t exist without the hard work of all that community media.

Rachael Hocking:

People probably have heard of what’s happened at SBS in the past couple months. I’ll give a tiny bit of background just for anyone who hasn’t … Basically, we had a reckoning with our own situation in the media landscape, which was very surprising to a lot of people, because SBS is the multicultural broadcaster and NITV is the Indigenous broadcaster.

Rachael Hocking:

But I think it’s important to note from the get go, that just because way, a multicultural and Indigenous doesn’t mean that we’re immune to all the other issues that happen in newsrooms, right across this country. I don’t think there is probably a mainstream newsroom in this country where racism doesn’t exist. And so what we saw was a very brave call out from a woman called Kodie Bedford, on Twitter, who started a Twitter thread about her experiences as a cadet in around 2007, 2008.

Rachael Hocking:

And that created a domino effect right across the media, we saw people coming up with their own experiences that SBS and other media organisations almost daily after that. And they were awful, but they weren’t shocking, because I think we cannot be surprised by the fact that racism happens in every single newsroom in this country, when we look at what newsrooms are built on in this nation.

Rachael Hocking:

And so following that we had this call out by Kodie Bedford, we also saw this photo which is now infamous, which circulated Twitter, showing the all white executive of SBS. I think a lot of people weren’t aware that the heads up every single department at SBS at the time, were white, and that this shouldn’t happen at a place which is meant to represent 64 different languages, meant to represent our First Nations peoples right across the country.

Rachael Hocking:

I think it was a wake up call that really should have happened a long time ago. And a lot of us internally remember reflecting at the time that, we weren’t surprised by what we were reading and seeing, but we had to think and question why it had taken this long to come out. Now we know that the reckoning we’ve seen at SBS has been an example of similar reckonings happening in industries right across the world, because of what’s been happening with Black Lives Matter.

Rachael Hocking:

We’ve seen fashion industry come to terms with their racism, we’ve seen racist product names finally changed after being called out for decades. We’re seeing reckoning happening in the NBA right now, this is where we’re seeing so much happen as a result of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement that it was definitely bound to hit the media in Australia. And following on from what we’ve heard at SBS, we’ve now got this public report, which actually lays out exactly how white Australia media is.

Rachael Hocking:

I think all of these things combined have made it a really interesting time to be a person of color to be a First Nations woman at NITV. And it’s allowed us to actually have a platform to voice a lot of what our concerns are, and then what we think needs to change. So we’re finally seeing a change to the executive two brown women have been promoted, including Tanya Denning , NITV’s channel manager. The first time ever, we’ve got a representative from NITV in the SBS executive. And I think that’s a good thing.

Rachael Hocking:

We’re also seeing conversations about how complaints are handled internally. And what we do when someone actually calls out racism in the workplace. Because the people who came up with these accusations, didn’t say silent on them at the time, they actually voiced them. And so what happened? What missed? Who was not paying attention and who was not doing their job? And looking after, especially young reporters coming through the system? There’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes.

Rachael Hocking:

And I think like any organisation, any industry that’s having mass change at the moment, we’re actually not going to know what the results are and how productive it is, or what it’s going to look like for the next generation for years to come. Because structural change that happens as a result of systemic, racism takes time. And that’s the thing we have to be willing to do now is take time to put in these changes. We just hope that we’re being listened to, and we hope that the right steps are being taken.

Rachael Hocking:

That’s just a bit of background on what’s been happening at SBS. The fact is that what it’s actually shone a light on for a lot of us is, why we need diverse newsrooms. What a diverse newsroom offers the public debate that happens in this country. And I think there’s a number of reasons. Maddie touched on I think the most important when she was speaking and that’s the trust that you build with communities.

Rachael Hocking:

When Maddie covered the coronal inquest into Tanya Dany’s death in custody, she had access to the family because they trusted her. And they were willing to give her information about what was going on, because they knew and they trusted that it would be reported accurately, and that they wouldn’t be taken advantage of. And if anyone knows anything about media in Australia that there’s a big distrust in our communities for media. We’ve seen enough examples of how bad reporting can lead to bad policy.

Rachael Hocking:

And if you don’t know the history of that Northern Territory Intervention, and the media campaign that happened to lead to I think you should go and read about it. I won’t spend my time talking about it here, because I’ll chew up all the minutes that I have left. But we know that bad reporting can lead to bad policy, which can adversely affect the lives of First Nations peoples in this country.

Rachael Hocking:

I think beyond that, like having a diverse newsroom, if you want to talk in monetary terms, like it’s actually financially better for you, because you’re going to reach a bigger audience, you’re going to reach more people in communities that feel like they’re being represented on your screens. At NITV we obviously represent a whole bunch of different nations from across the country. So if SBS is doing a story of First Nations story, then they can come to us and ask for advice about how do you pronounce this tribe name? How do you say this place name if somebody has died? What is the cultural protocol here? What are the steps to make sure that we sensitively report on this communities plot?

Rachael Hocking:

And if you do that, if you do report sensitively, if you do get it right, you’re going to be trusted by that community to come back and tell stories again. One thing I’ll mention just on the trust thing, because I think it’s so important to make sure that people understand the difference between, being a black journalist being a black woman, and actually reporting on Indigenous Affairs. The level of trust from community informs your reporting, it allows you to get that access, it allows you to tell stories accurately and sensitively. But beyond that there’s a level of accountability, that is not taught in journalism schools.

Rachael Hocking:

We are held to such a high standard, and you will see it on black Twitter every single day we will get called out if we get shit wrong, as we should. And that level of accountability allows us to go back to our work, and make sure that we are putting out the best story possible for our community, because we don’t just serve the public with serving something deeper than that. I think a lot of non Indigenous journalists could learn from that.

Rachael Hocking:

The importance of making sure that you do go back to community sometimes and you let them look at parts of your story, or you ask them how they want to be referred to rather than just assuming. There’s so much assumption that goes on in mainstream media. And I don’t think that we should fall back on these old tenets of journalism that impartiality is the only way to get a good story.

Rachael Hocking:

We have to remember that the rules of journalism in this country were written by old white men, style guides were written by old white men. Style guides up until recently didn’t capitalize Indigenous Aboriginal, let alone allowing for the nuance in spelling different tribe names. So there’s a lot to unpack.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Thank you so much, Rachael, you mentioned Kodie’s tweet before. Going on from that, what is the tension between a person working in an organisation and then them being on social media? Are there any things they are able to do or are not able to do because they belong to NITV? And what kind of questions does that raise about your freedom as a journalist on let’s say, social media, and then your reporting as a journalist for an organisation?

Rachael Hocking:

That’s a really good question. Pretty much every newsroom in this country would have a social media policy. And that will tell you what you can and can’t do within your contract. And we’ve seen a very high profile example of that at SBS a number of years ago, I think it was 2015 when I started actually, with a man called Scott McIntyre, who was ultimately sacked following a tweet he made on ANZAC Day.

Rachael Hocking:

These are very real concerns, that we have working in the media and how much of our opinion or how much of our truth that we’re allowed to put out on social media. You have to find a balance, I think. So working within a taxpayer funded public broadcaster, we have to follow a charter. And at the end of the day, a tweet that we put out there could adversely affect our colleagues and our ability to stay as independent as we can be.

Rachael Hocking:

And so I find it tricky myself. I’m not a very vocal person on social media, I’ll usually share yarns and I’ll share the voices of the people I’m interviewing. I know that I would have more freedom to speak my opinions if I wasn’t working for a public broadcaster.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

So in the book that we referred to before, they found that Koori’s Mail reporting was much more willing to get into the intricacies of Aboriginal political debate and reform. For example, their coverage of the apology discussed reparations and compensation, a question largely left out of consideration in the mainstream media.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

How has your experience telling stories in directly Aboriginal controlled organisation fed into your approach at NITV now? How can the media tell stories that accurately reflect a version of experience and aspirations? That’s a big question. I know that’s a huge question.

Rachael Hocking:

I wrote for the Koori Maill. And you do have that level of freedom there. I will say that NITV didn’t exist when we had the apology. If it had been around, we would have seen reporting on reparations and calls for compensation, which we report on regularly every anniversary. I think, because NITV is made up of majority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander journalists.

Rachael Hocking:

We have … like I said before this accountability from our communities, to report on the nuance, and the depth that comes with our stories, that comes to the land rights, that comes with a climate justice story, that comes with deaths in custody. And it’s on all of us to bring back the feedback we get from our communities, to our editors, and to relay what their concerns are. Whether it’s concerns with our reporting, or concerns with how we should be reporting. And so what we have NITV is robust debate and robust discussion from journalists about how a story should be covered.

Rachael Hocking:

And we’re able to have that pretty openly because we’re black fellas. And we’re pretty honest with each other. And like I said, if something ever does slip by us or something is reported incorrectly, or not to the standard that our community expects, we will hear about it very, very quickly.

Rachael Hocking:

I think we still can learn so much, though, from independent media. That we can still learn so much about the integrity of black media, and how there isn’t a level of fear. They don’t have to worry about whether their funding will be cut because of a story or some media do. But for the most part that independence allows you to publish opinion pieces from really brave activists in our communities, who don’t get platforms on Sky News,don’t get platforms on Channel 9.

Rachael Hocking:

I think NITV is constantly learning and constantly getting that feedback from community. But there’s a level of freedom that again, independent media that we just won’t have.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Thank you. You just mentioned the editorial room. Can I ask you for an example, if you are able to share it about how the editorial discussions changed your approach to a story, or how the community involvement changed your approach to a story?

Rachael Hocking:

I think the best example I can think of is, just ones where we’ve been personally close. And so when we have reporters, covering stories from communities that they actually from, we have to have discussions without that. The idea around impartiality, we just don’t really have the same opinion of that. Places like NITV because we know intrinsically as black people, that we’re going to be affected by the story in some way.

Rachael Hocking:

When I started reporting on the shooting of Jay Walker last year, we had to have discussions about the fact that I’m a Warlpiri woman, and that I have family in Yuendumu. And what my proximity to that story might mean for the coverage of it, or what it might mean about how other people interpret our coverage, which is important as well. But at the end of the day, our discussions ended up being this community trust me and I was getting the calls to put the stories out there.

Rachael Hocking:

They wanted me to be looking over the interviews to make sure that cultural protocol was respected that we weren’t naming the deceased, that we were listening to elders voices first. All of these things that come with being a part of a community in which you’re able to pass back to your newsroom directly.

Rachael Hocking:

So that’s just one example. And I think it happens quite a lot because we’ve got quite a few reporters from all over the country. We’re bound to be covering something that’s happening where we’re from.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

That’s a very powerful example. Now I’d like to introduce Tanja Dreher, our next speaker, Dr. Tanja Dreher is an Associate Professor at UNSW. She is an ARC future fellow, Scientia fellow and Associate Professor in media at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Tanja’s research focuses on the politics of listening in the context of media and multiculturalism, Indigenous sovereignties, feminisms and anti racism.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Tanja is interested in listening across difference and the politics of recognition and listening for media justice. Welcome, Tanja. May I ask you to discuss how non-Aboriginal people listen to and engage with Aboriginal stories and voices?

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

Absolutely. Thank you, Bhuva, and thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this panel. It’s an enormous honor and humbling also particularly humbling to follow Rachael and Madeline. So I’m thrilled to be here. I’ll, of course, acknowledge country and so on today working on Dharawal Country, 80 kilometres south of Sydney. And I’m here as an uninvited settler on Dharawal country where sovereignty was never ceded. It is always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

And I’m going to offer a few thoughts, I guess, as a settler researcher, rather than a First Nations media producer. So I hope I can contribute a few thoughts that are useful for the conversation. Just before talking about the question of non Indigenous or settler listening, which is my main focus and what I’d most like to talk about, I did just want to acknowledge what as see is the really important key contributions of the book, which has prompted this series of webinars.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

Because I think, certainly in terms of media and communications, research and debates in Australia, I think it’s an incredibly important contribution. And it’s worth thinking about what those key points are.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

And the book focuses on the key question, does the mainstream media, does it fail Aboriginal political aspirations? And I think, even just focusing our attention through that lens through the idea of Aboriginal political aspiration, is incredibly important. Because we’re probably more used to conversations which focus on stereotyping, racist representation, misrepresentation, and the like, which is incredibly important. But there’re important debates and critiques to have.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

But framing the research and then our conversation, through this idea of Aboriginal political aspiration really quickly, and immediately aligns us with really long standing, thinking around sovereignty, around self determination, around community controlled organisations and interventions and programs. In a way in which some of the other conversations don’t maybe so quickly and readily and forcefully take us there. So I think it’s incredibly important.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

And I think it’s also really important, working really clear cut through framing of how and why it is that over 45 years that the book covers, the mainstream media does predominantly fail to represent or value, Aboriginal political aspirations. And to the really key points and we’ve heard already about these, but so important to put this also in the research context, is that all too often mainstream media assumes a wide audience and adopts a white standpoint. And I think putting it really simply like that, and again, framing in terms of a media that consistently centers whiteness is really important for the sorts of conversations that we can have.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

So I think about the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, I think, also where the Christchurch massacre is briefly in the news. There are two moments really rare moments in Australian media culture, where the idea of white supremacy, the centering of whiteness, the valuing of white lives and perspectives over others, has been very briefly mentioned something we could talk about in Australia and media culture, and it’s very hard to keep the conversation going.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

I think that those key points and framing the issues in that way is really powerful. And I’d also really like to thank Rachael and also really underscore the point then, in this context, about the incredible importance of First Nations media, but particularly, I guess, from my interests, the long tradition of community broadcasting, which in a sense, predates the really important developments through NITV, and more recently.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

But here we have the sector, a really important diverse, vibrant sector are in some ways, the one of the largest sectors of the Australian media landscape, actually, which is absolutely grounded in those principles around sovereignty and self determination, was as a similar limit lineage to say the Aboriginal legal services or the Aboriginal medical services. Here we have, again, a vital model of those community controlled organisations, and what can be contributed there.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

It’s really clear, as we’ve seen from the discussion so far, and there are many more examples about the way in which community control media of this type does absolutely foreground and center, Aboriginal political aspirations, incredibly, consistently and persistently for anyone who might be interested to listen. And very consistently decenters that assumed white audience.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

We as a white audiences, for the most part very welcome to listen in to learn to engage, but we’re not the center of attention. And that’s really crucial. So to think about the politics of listening, in particular, which is something that I’ve been researching and thinking about, for a long time. How do non Indigenous Australians or settlers in so called Australia, listen to First Nations media and maybe to First Nations voices more broadly at the level of structure. I think we see a great Australian refusal.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

And here I’m riffing off the idea, a really well established idea from Stemmons Boyer Lectures of the late 1960s. I’m characterising Australia through the idea of the great Australian silence. I think when we take seriously, when we really notice that consistent, persistent terrain of First Nations media and First Nations voice, self determined, and consistently foregrounding Aboriginal political aspirations. I don’t think just the idea of silence is enough, I think we have to see that there’s a really consistent and persistent refusal to listen and to hear, if you take into account that context of really consistent media production.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

That doesn’t mean that First Nations media never cuts through, there are definitely really important examples, including in this recent resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, which at first in the Australian mainstream media, as we know, was reported as something over there in the U.S. That’s where they’ve got the terrible problems, racism, over policing, deaths in custody and the like.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

And it was really First Nations media that was able to push back and foreground the story of consistent state violence, over policing deaths in custody in Australia, that these are absolutely the issues for here. But in the main, at the level of the structure really central, actually, to the Settler Colonial Project in Australia is a really consistent refusal to listen. Whether it’s that Uluru Statement and claims for voice there, whether Indigenous media.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

So for my own research, I’ve done just a little bit of talking to policy makers or decision makers and a few mainstream journalists. Here we find a really interesting dynamic where Indigenous media or particularly Community Media is valued as a community service. So it’s a good thing for Indigenous communities. It’s not seen as a news source for white or settler policymakers, decision makers, or something that is an important part of what we might see as the mainstream political or public debate.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

It’s a great thing for community, but that kind of idea about the assumed white stance and white audience of the mainstream persists. And I think that’s a key structural feature that refusal to listen. I do want to mention a couple of just a minute or two further, a few more hopeful moments and considerations around thinking about non Indigenous listening, especially in the context of media. Where we might see some little chinks in that very established structure of refusing to listen or maybe even resistances at times.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

But one thing is the way in which the idea of listening comes up in conversations around media racism, self determination and the like more and more. And also the idea of amplification, amplifying First Nations voices. And it is interesting to look at some of the newer entries into the news domain, especially those who are online only newer entrants, which I think we can see as having more of an interest than maybe that established legacy media in amplifying First Nations voices in platforming and amplifying.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

So here, I would think of an example at like, perhaps the Guardian Australia, which definitely in terms of the type of commentary and opinion space in particular, definitely demonstrates a consistent commitment to amplifying First Nations voices. And we’ve seen really interesting developments at now defunct Buzzfeed and other outlets which are not so much the feature of the research in the book, but I think have demonstrated A slightly different type of commitment, and interest when it comes to listening to employee amplifying First Nations voice.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

There’s also an interest driven, I think, in part by the digital media environment and the social media environment, in opportunities for non-Indigenous people for settlers in Australia to listen in, or what are sometimes called eavesdropping with permission, in social media spaces especially.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

So for an example here, we might think about Indigenous X, which is a very well known rotating Twitter account first established by Luke Pearson And others and quite influential intervention. And we know that for a project like Indigenous X, it has a very significant actually non Indigenous listenership or engagement. But with the focus or the means of participation being to listen more than to speak. To pay attention, but not necessarily be directly addressed.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

And also where we have and again, given renewed impetus with the resurgence of Black Lives Matter, we have a resurgence and further development of discussions around solidarity work, allies and allyship work, decolonising or de-colonial work. And definitely here we see the idea of listening, being discussed and worked through and further developed. So the idea that for settlers or for non-Indigenous people, listening might be a very important part of being an ally or solidarity work. Listening as a form of solidarity in fact.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

So an example here that I might point to would be Indigenous Health May Day that was originally convened by Lynore Geia, Summer May Finley and Croakey, which specifically invited non-Indigenous people to participate by listening. That all happens on Twitter, the Twitter feed is all Indigenous voices, non-Indigenous people are encouraged to participate by listening and by amplifying, by retweeting.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

I think there are some interesting ideas, small scale interventions, which do give more hope, but also more texture and idea to what listening practices might be possible and how they might contribute how listening might work, as I don’t think it’s the end point. But a contribution to solidarities, in response to sovereign and self determined media. Also in that discussion is often an interest in listening for accountability. And in listening as a yielding of authority, a yielding of the central position, or the supremacy that we see is so typical of mainstream media.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

To touch on listening, I want to ask you a question about the other side of listening and the voice. And you mentioned the voice and also the amplification of the voice. What is the relationship between those, as in who is talking and who’s listening, but also, what after that?

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

What’s the point of listening if you don’t take action? And how is this action initiated or instantiated? For example, is it a collective action? And where does it start? Once I have listened and understood and empathised and want to do something? How do we convert the voice and the listening into either collective action or any other kind of action?

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

You mentioned empathy, and understanding. And I think the listening work that many of us think about and work with would be less interested in empathy and more in terms of some difficult work of unsettling, de-centering moving to the sidelines. But in terms of the relationship to taking action, which is a crucial question that comes up all the time, I think one of the important things that can happen with an orientation to listening more and speaking a bit less, and here, I am talking a lot, so I’m totally aware of the irony there.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

But listening for accountability and also listening for cues. And they are cues to action, that often don’t come with a direct question. Like, what can I do? What should I do? Listening is also an investment of time and attention to learn your place a little bit better. I think if you do respectfully hang around long enough cues to action will likely emerge.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

I’ll open up to the audience questions. So there’s a question for Madeline from Shawn. How have you seen publicly funded media be compromised in what they can and can’t say? And who they can and cannot critique, especially regarding Indigenous policy?

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

Yeah, I think that’s a good one. I guess it’s something that I struggled with as a journalist working at a public broadcaster, because I am naturally quite opinionated. And I think not being able to talk about a lot of things is really frustrating for one. But also, there is ways around doing that, because when you’re working somewhere like NITV, we have access to the community, I want to use, for example, the treaty process that’s happening in Victoria at the moment.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

Obviously, every media outlet outside of NITV is going directly to the treaty commission, and they’re relaying their narrative of how great the treaty process is going. They don’t really have access to the other people in the community, because they don’t have those connections, and haven’t built up that rapport with them. And they just don’t generally think about talking to people outside of somewhere, that’s like a legitimate organisation.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

There is space to critique things like the treaty process, through the way that we report on things in terms of talking to the wider community, not just talking to the white legit organisation kind of thing. I think that that can be also a really fine balance, because you don’t want to upset our stakeholders, you don’t want to upset the government, you don’t want us to lose funding over something we’ve reported.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

And just in general, being a journalist and not being able to have your own opinion, it’s really hard not to critique something that affects you, when you just have to remain unbiased. So I think that’s in terms of silencing from the top. It’s a balance between being like, “Oh, we have to put out the message that our stakeholders are giving us,” but also we do have to talk to community and the way that you get around that, obviously, is reporting it.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

I think also the other thing is like when we do put stories out there … When we did put stories out there that it completely un-bias our audiences are all black fellas. So they kind of do the work for you. Because they will say what they want to say in the comment section, they’ll make it into a big deal. And they’ll use social media and things to do that.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

So you’re saying that the audience is engaging in the discourse with what you put out and therefore they are amplifying and arguing with the message. And that is enabled by social media type of interactions?

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

Yeah, for sure. Because when mob latch on to an issue, they will talk about it until something changes. And I think that’s the same with reporting for somewhere like NITV. You’re writing a story, you put it up, you talk to people, but you already know what more we’re going to think and what they’re going to say about it. It’s good in a way because having NITV writing a story about something legitimises that issue, and then mob can use that story, or whatever, and continue the narrative online to make people take notice.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Question for Rachael]. You’ve mentioned the intervention in the Northern Territory and the media’s role in the development of this policy. However, the legacy aspects of this policy in many remote communities have not been reported to the same degree. Why do you think mainstream media do not report on these issues on the ground?

Rachael Hocking:

Great question. I think mainstream media avoid accurately reporting on the impact of the NT ntervention on the ground because it doesn’t suit their agenda. I think that if the NT intervention was accurately reported on them, mainstream breakfast panels wouldn’t have two legs to stand on when they incorrectly report on the removal of Aboriginal children, when they incorrectly report on rates of family violence in our communities and the causes of it.

Rachael Hocking:

I think that they wouldn’t be able to produce the shock jock journalism they do, because they would have journalists out there actually giving them the more nuanced version of what is happening. But there is good reporting on what has been happening for the last 13 years. In June was the 13th anniversary of the NT intervention. Its introduction, and UTS actually hosted an amazing panel with Larissa Behrendt

Rachael Hocking:

And she spoke with traditional owners on the ground. This was a Zoom webinar as well. So I actually think that zoom has allowed us to have more access to people who normally wouldn’t be invited to these sorts of panels, wouldn’t be able to access them because they’re not in the capital cities. And so it was really wonderful. I sat on for I think it was two hours. We heard traditional owners from right across the Northern Territory, talk about what the past 13 years has been like for them.

Rachael Hocking:

On The Point the show that I co host, we reproduced a portion of that panel, and we had Larissa Behrendt on to unpack some of the other ideas that came up. And I think it’s really important on everyone to seek out that information to seek out the panels that are being produced by First Nations peoples on these topics. mainstream media is not going to do that for you. We are seeing accurate reporting in places like the Guardian who continue to report on income quarantining, to report on the impacts of poor housing as a result of poor maintenance from government.

Rachael Hocking:

So there is a level of reporting across certain aspects of the media, which is solid, which is actually covering the issues that the intervention has brought up for First Nations people. But like you said, I mean, there’s a big gap in mainstream media, we have to ask ourselves, does this suit their agenda and the wider picture they’re trying to tell about our experiences?

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

The media often focuses on simplistic and negative discourses surrounding Aboriginal politics, for example, focusing on the conflict between a version of groups or focusing on emotion of participants, rather than the politics at stake. So the question is, how do these discourses keep getting repeated? For Rachael or Madeline? Have you experienced editorial pressure, or similar to fit the burden of stories into predetermined frames?

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

They just don’t kind of think about getting someone else’s opinion. Because to them, it’s not legitimate, if that makes sense. It’s not coming through an organisation, they need to take more of a grassroots approach and start speaking to different types of black fella, people have different opinions. Because not every single black fellas feels the same way. There’s usually at least two sides to one thing, that they’re disgusting.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

I haven’t personally really experienced editorial pressure to fit stories into predetermined frames, except for when we’ve had pressure to succumb to our stakeholders, just to not cause drama, I guess.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Thank you, Madeline. Rachael, did you have anything to add?

Rachael Hocking:

Look, I think a good example is how we see closing the gap policy reported on every single year, and we basically say politicians regurgitated through all the mainstream channels. And I think that what is lacking is rigorous investigative journalism into policy that affects First Nations people. And I think that what that requires is time and investment. And we don’t have a lot of that, in small black media organisations. Even NITV, which is the biggest black media still lacks a strong investigative team, which has been running for years, we do have one now, which is doing some pretty mad work, actually.

Rachael Hocking:

But it takes time to actually look at these things and unpack them and move away. Like you said, from that superficial reactionary, what he said what she said or what Aboriginal groups are fighting about. And I think in order to change that we need to invest in independent media.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

There have been recent effort towards having a more slow news, which is probably more conducive to listening. The current environment of sound bites and social media snapshots is increasingly becoming the norm. How will audiences be persuaded to listen to more diverse stories than the payoffs for refusal to do so protect various privilege/

Rachael Hocking:

I think sometimes you need to tell stories, regardless of what audiences want.

Rachael Hocking:

I think sometimes you need to tell stories regardless of what audiences want, and I think you have to remember that audiences are diverse. And that for the most part, media has only supported or created content for one type of audience. And so part of changing that and part of allowing First Nations voices to have a platform is doing it regardless of what audience ratings are, how many clicks you get on your article.

Rachael Hocking:

Obviously, these things inform how sustainable your organisation can be, and whether you might get a job. But at the same time, I think that’s why public broadcasting exists, right? Like we have taxpayer funded media, so that we can produce content regardless of what our ratings are, even though that does to an extent inform what we do at NITV and SBS. I think in terms of Twitter, and seeing sound bites on the news every single night, the same sound bites are the same politicians on every single network it’s exhausting.

Rachael Hocking:

And people probably don’t realize that they actually want something different, that they want more nuance, and they want to understand issues better. But if you never give them the option, if you never provide that, how are they going to know? Slow news is a great term. By the way, I really like that approach. Because we’ve just started delving into slow TV at NITV and allowing people to kind of like ride along with something. I think it’s so important to slow down right now. I don’t think that can be overestimated.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

I agree with everything Rachael said, obviously, but I do think that the sound bites and social media stuff is really important because you can kind of gauge what issues people care about, especially when you’re talking about Indigenous Affairs. Also, it if you can craft a tweet in a really great way or put something small out there, that’s like a snippet. People want to learn more so they will spend the time going and researching an issue. There is that side of things too.

Rachael Hocking:

Yeah, black Twitter is like a blessing. And I think if anyone wants to learn more, there’s so many people you can just click on and follow right now on Twitter and your world will be expanded like you will learn so much every single day.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

Change your way of thinking to about a lot of things.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Tanja, can you expand upon how social media has changed the way we listen? Especially because of the time constraints and our attention span.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

I would definitely underscore what Madeline’s just said, and Rachael also. Like the gift as well, as provocation that is black Twitter is definitely a new and amazing development. So if we think about the broadcast era, it’s not that long ago, actually. So the broadcast era was all about scarcity, scarcity of air time of spectrum, and all the rest. And so lends itself to a very sort of limited range of voices.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

Social media for all its drawbacks, and it most definitely is a double edged sword. But if we see a value in eavesdropping with permission, or listening and solidarity, it’s absolutely true that Twitter offers opportunities there that are completely different. No longer can we settlers get away with the argument. But we weren’t told I don’t know, I mean, that argument has never held water, but it definitely does not hold water anymore.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

And in the social media, landscape … a whole range of those assumptions that are built up in the idea of who’s the white audience, what standpoint and everything a very quickly dispelled. So the idea that there’s one Indigenous opinion or position on anything, you will very quickly be disabused of that. Yes, I think also the idea of accountability, which, again, is a very double edged sword. So I don’t, I don’t want to completely dismiss the quite toxic kind of practices and atmospheres that can also develop on social media, and extremely intense and in quite public ways.

Associate Professor Tanja Dreher:

But in terms of being able to sort of be held accountable, it’s also a space in which some various ideas around accountability. And so I’ve heard Rachael and Madeline talk about how they’re constantly accountable to community. And that’s very important. That’s if it’s sometimes hard. I think it is also a space where settlers might get a glimpse of what it is to be accountable, to First Nations people and communities and organisations. And I think to work in a mode of accountability is a big shift and an important one.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Thank you so much. One final question before we wrap up now. So is it possible for mainstream media … How can we get mainstream media to report stories from an Indigenous Aboriginal standpoint? Is it only possible through Indigenous controlled media? And how can we make that shift?

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

Definitely, I think community controlled media is the best way to tell stories. However, I think mainstream media can do way better, every single newsroom in the country needs to have at least one black journalist on their team and also allowing that person to have editorial control over Indigenous Affairs. And that’s not saying they can go rogue, but black fellas knowing what’s best. And we don’t need to be constrained by very white editorial guidelines that are as Rachael said earlier, written by old white men.

Madeline Hayman-Reber:

And I think that until that changes, we’re not going to see too much of an actual change in the way things are reported. Because other journalists don’t have that connection to community, something they’ll never have all the lived experience that black fellas do.

Dr Bhuva Narayan:

Rachael, did you want to add something to that?

Rachael Hocking:

I think it’s possible for mainstream media to report stories from Indigenous perspectives, like Maddie said, when you actually have diversity in your newsrooms. But to actually do it from a standpoint of First Nations integrity, I think is only done through independent black media, because these organisations have all black boards, that respond to their communities, which design their charters and their policy based on First Nations values.

Rachael Hocking:

And I think that what we need to focus on if we’re going to look at changing the way mainstream media reports on us, is a reckoning behind the scenes in their boardrooms in their executives. We’re never going to have all First Nations, we’re probably never going to have a majority First Nations representation in editorial positions in mainstream media, but we can start to have an influence and have those people there to actually say, “Hang on a second, that all white panel that just reported on the removal of First Nations kids was flawed.”

Rachael Hocking:

And it’s not just flawed, it was factually incorrect, It was fake news. And we should not stand for that. We shouldn’t encourage that. So I think we can definitely change the way we’re being reported on right now. But I like I said earlier, I think the best way to encourage rigorous journalism on our communities is to invest in independent black media.

Amy Thomas:

That was Rachael Hocking from NITV finishing up our conversation. And I know she’s given me a pretty good idea of one thing we can do to show the black stories matter support Aboriginal media and Aboriginal journalists.

Amy Thomas:

If you found any of this content distressing and feel like you need to talk to someone about it, please contact Lifeline on 13-11-14. You can also reach out through their website. Next time on the fourth episode of Black Stories Matter, we moved to the inside of mainstream media newsrooms were leading Aboriginal journalists work to tell black stories better.

Ella Archibald-Binge:

Every community’s got local people that are working really hard to make positive change. We really wanted to get those stories across and to provide the context around the history or the past policies, wherever that was appropriate to foster that understanding, as well and focus on why things are happening not just what’s happening, but looking under the surface.

Amy Thomas:

That was Kamilaroi woman, Ella Archibald-Binge. Indigenous Affairs reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Ella will be in conversation with Lorena Allam, a descendant from Gamilaraay and Yawalaraay nations and The Guardians Indigenous Affairs editor and Dr. Anne Maree Payne from the University of Technology’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. I hope you can join us then. I’m Amy Thomas, and thanks for listening to Black Stories Matter.

Voice Over:

‘Black Stories Matter’ is a UTS podcast made by Impact Studios at the University of Technology Sydney, an audio production house funded by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research. The production team live on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, whose lands were never ceded. This audio seminar series is based on the book ‘Does the Media Fail Aboriginal Political Aspirations’ by Amy Thomas Heidi Norman and Andrew Jakubowicz.You can buy a copy from any good book store, or order it online at the AIATSIS shop – just go to…shop.aiatsis ((that’s a-i-a-t-s-i-s).gov.au The book is published by Aboriginal Studies Press at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. The Black Stories Matter podcast was made with support of Aboriginal Affairs New South Wales as part of a strategy to improve the dynamics between Aboriginal people and governments.

 

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July 12 · 67 MIN

It was 1992, when Prime Minister Paul Keating spoke to the mostly Aboriginal crowd that had gathered in Redfern Park in inner city Sydney. 

This was the first time a Prime Minister had spoken about the dispossession, violence and prejudice carried out against First Nations people in Australia. 

It was a landmark moment in our history. And it put reconciliation firmly on the political agenda. 

But 28 years after Keating gave his speech, we still haven’t passed the test he set for this nation. 

In this episode of Black Stories Matter, we draw on our guests’ expertise in media and government to reflect on failure and hope in Aboriginal political history— and what we need to do next. 

Chaired by Andrew Jakubowicz from the University of Technology Sydney, this discussion features Robert Tickner, the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs at the time of Keating’s speech, Jason Ardler, who’s cultural ties are to the Yuin people of the NSW South Coast and he is the former head of NSW Aboriginal Affairs and Arrente and Luritja woman Catherine Liddle, the CEO of First Nations Media. 

This podcast is inspired by the book ‘Does the Media Fail Aboriginal Political Aspirations: 45 years of news media reporting of key political moments’ by Amy Thomas, Heidi Norman and Andrew Jakubowicz from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS. 

The Black Stories Matter podcast was made with the support of Aboriginal Affairs New South Wales as part of a strategy to improve the dynamics between Aboriginal people and governments. 

July 12 · 46 MIN

A white lens has distorted Black stories ever since Captain James Cook took possession of the continent now known as Australia and since that time the interests of settlers have dominated media reporting on Aboriginal people. 

This matters because reporting shapes the way Aboriginal political worlds are understood and talked about and the storyteller is often the most powerful person in the room. 

In the first of five landmark conversations we ask ‘Does the Media Fail Aboriginal Political Aspirations?’ 

This discussion is chaired by Professor Devleena Ghosh from the University of Technology, Sydney and features Professor Stan Grant Jnr, Wiradjuri man, Vice Chancellor’s Chair of Australian-Indigenous Belonging at Charles Sturt University and former ABC Global Affairs and Indigenous Affairs Analyst, along with Professor Heidi Norman from the Indigenous Land & Justice Research Hub at UTS and host of Black Stories Matter. 

This podcast is inspired by the book ‘Does the Media Fail Aboriginal Political Aspirations: 45 years of news media reporting of key political moments’ by Amy Thomas, Heidi Norman and Andrew Jakubowicz from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS. 

The Black Stories Matter podcast was made with the support of Aboriginal Affairs New South Wales as part of a strategy to improve the dynamics between Aboriginal people and governments. 

Black Stories Matter

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