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Media  representations  of  Indigenous   lack   of   minority   media   workers5.   Indigenous  
Australians   Australians   are   also   absent   from   drama   and  
comedy   shows,   featuring   mostly   in   news   and  
The   media   constructs   and   repeats   images   of  
current  affairs6.    
people   so   that   they   inform   an   audiences’  
understanding  of  a  group  or  issue1.    

Indigenous   people   have   rarely   had   control   Media   representations   of   Indigenous  
over   the   way   they   are   represented.   This   is   Australians   are   embedded   within   a   racist  
because  “mass  media  ownership,  control  and   framework   and   reproduce   this   framework7.  
production  in  Australia  is  in  the  hands  of  non-­‐ Many   representations   of   Indigenous  
Aborigines”2.   Therefore,   Indigenous   Australians  are  in  fact  misrepresentations8.    
Australians   are   often   represented   by   non-­‐
History  of  Indigenous  media  representation  
Indigenous   people   who   have   little   contact  
with  Indigenous  Australia3.   Colonial  discussions  of  Indigenous  Australians  
constructed   racial   stereotypes9.   Many  
representations   constructed   Indigenous  
Additionally,   representations   of   Indigenous   people   as   primitive .   European   explorer  
Australians   are   primarily   made   for   non-­‐ William  Dampier  described  “Aboriginal  people  
Indigenous   audiences .   This   is   because  
minority  audiences  are  often  ignored.   5
David Hollinsworth, ‘‘My Island Home’: Riot
and Resistance in Media Representations of
Hollinsworth   argues   that   minority   groups   are   Aboriginality, Social Alternatives, vol.24(1), p.
underrepresented   in   the   media   because   of   a   6
Kerry McCallum, ‘Indigenous Media Violence
Michael Meadows, ‘Media Images of as a ‘Mediated Public Crisis’. In 2007
Indigenous Affairs in Australia’, in J. Leigh Australian New Zealand Communication
and E. Loo (eds.), Outer Limits: A Reader in Association Conference, University of
Communication Across Cultures, Language Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 5-6 July,
Australia, Melbourne, 2004, p. 276. 2007. ANZCA, 2007.
Christine Jennett, ‘White Media Rituals
about Aborigines’, Media Information nferences/ANZCA07 /mccallum.pdf, p. 3.
Australia, no.30, November 1983, p. 28. Michael Meadows, ‘Sensitivity not
Michael Meadows, ‘Media Images of censorship: reporting cultural diversity in
Indigenous Affairs in Australia’, in J. Leigh Australia’, Australian Journalism Review,
and E. Loo (eds.), Outer Limits: A Reader in vol.17(2), 1995, p. 22.
Communication Across Cultures, Language 9 Michael Meadows, ‘Media Images of

Australia, Melbourne, 2004, p. 281; David Indigenous Affairs in Australia’, in J. Leigh
Hollinsworth, ‘‘My Island Home’: Riot and and E. Loo (eds.), Outer Limits: A Reader in
Resistance in Media Representations of Communication Across Cultures, Language
Aboriginality, Social Alternatives, vol.24(1), p. Australia, Melbourne, 2004, p. 274.
16. Michael Meadows, ‘Sensitivity not
Christine Jennett, ‘White Media Rituals censorship: reporting cultural diversity in
about Aborigines’, Media Information Australia’, Australian Journalism Review,
Australia, no.30, November 1983, p. 28. vol.17(2), 1995, p. 19.


vol. Australian New Zealand Communication 14 Ibid. in J. Melbourne. Ibid.   This   and  artistic  abilities”21. ‘Media Images of David Hollinsworth.   or   accused   of   the  only  source  of  information  about  ideas  of   fraud. 21 Australia. Language 17. 281.  the  invisible”17. Social Alternatives. vol.   the   threat   to   existing   miserablest   people   in   the   world”12. Social Alternatives.       on   first   contact”11   in   his   journal   as   “[t]he   drunk.17(2).   “Indigenous   people  have  been  represented  …  as  the  exotic   other.   the   activist. p. 16 20 Michael Meadows. ANZCA.   [violence. Violence as a ‘Mediated Public Crisis’. Melbourne. 18.   Australians. Leigh and Resistance in Media Representations of and E. Melbourne. 19 Australia. Communication Across Cultures. 1995. Communication Across Cultures. p. Language 16. p.   This   and   order. 2004. 2004.   represented   as   militant   radicals. p. In 2007 13 Ibid. Loo (eds.). 11 18 Michael Meadows. ‘‘My Island Home’: Riot Indigenous Affairs in Australia’.   2   . Outer Limits: A Reader in Aboriginality. 5-6 July.pdf. 2. nferences/ANZCA07 /mccallum. Kerry McCallum. Australian Journalism Review.24(1).. Outer Limits: A Reader in Aboriginality.     was   through   looking   at   them   through   a   non-­‐ Indigenous  lens15. p. ‘Sensitivity not Melbourne. vol. Australia. 282. Loo (eds.  mismanagement  or  sexual  assault”20   race   –   the   media   (and   journalists)   since   first   These   negative   representations   work   contact   have   fulfilled   a   key   …   role   in   framing   alongside  representations  of  their  “sporting  …   Indigenous   people   in   particular   ways”14. p.  the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   17 Ibid. Leigh and Resistance in Media Representations of and E. in J. censorship: reporting cultural diversity in 2007.  Their  behaviour  is  often   other   historical   examples   created   a   represented   to   be   irrational   and   out   of   representation   of   Indigenous   people   before   control18  and  they  are  constructed  as  a  “risk”   the   arrival   of   Captain   Cook   and   the   First   to  society19. p.       Another   representation   of   Indigenous   Australians   is   that   they   are   privileged   in   terms   Common  representations   of   the   amount   of   welfare   they   receive   in   Many   representations   of   Indigenous   comparison   to   impoverished   non-­‐Indigenous   Australians   “focus   …   on   conflict. ‘‘My Island Home’: Riot Indigenous Affairs in Australia’.   This   is   based   on   the   assumption   criminality]   and   difference”16.         “Indigenous   leaders   are   frequently   “As  a  key  cultural  resource  –  and  most  often. 280. 281.anzca..).24(1). University of 15 Michael Meadows.     Fleet13. Australia’. ‘Indigenous Media 12 Ibid.  …  a  dying  race. http://www.  welfare  dependent. Association Conference. 2007. ‘Media Images of David Hollinsworth.

p. in J.     Indigenous   culture   and   use   familiar   stereotypes   to   position   their   stories27. p. 8.6(10). Outer Limits: A Reader in Association Conference. vol.anzca.   It   was   described   as   a   riot   by   the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     22 27 Kerry McCallum. Aboriginality. ‘Definition of vol. Language 29 Joanna Atherfold. Language Melbourne. Indigenous Affairs in Australia’. Loo (eds. at the expense of accuracy” the Redfern Riot’. Social Alternatives.   the   disadvantage   experienced   by   can   also   often   be   based   in   sensationalism28. p. ‘Indigenous Media Michael Meadows. and E. p. Outer Limits: A Reader in /english/sensationalim [15 November 2013]. ‘A Critical Media Analysis of excitement.   died   after   he   within   and   between   Indigenous   was   impaled   on   a   fence   in   the   inner   Sydney   communities”24. 283. Oxford University 24 Michael Meadows.6(10). Leigh http://www. 8. University of Communication Across Cultures. 26 30 David Hollinsworth. p.  although  the  police  denied  this30. in J. that is intended to provoke public interest or 23 Andy Gargett. 31 17. Melbourne.oxforddictionaries. Communication Across Cultures. p. Australia. 283. In 2007 Indigenous Affairs in Australia’.   Stories   Further. ‘Media Images of Press.pdf. ‘‘My Island Home’: Riot Andy Gargett. 2006. no. Journalism. 42. ‘Redfern: the ‘riot’ and Australia. 3.24(1).). the reporting’. 28 2007.     result   from   their   own   incompetence. Indigenous Law Bulletin. Loo (eds.   Indigenous   youth   and   the   police   broke   out   in   Sydney31.   Indigenous   Australians   is   often   represented   to   news  values  and  ratings.   an   indigenous   youth.17.   This   supports   existing   negative   representations   of   Following   his   death   conflicts   between   26 them .   some   journalists   do   not   understand   government  assistance22. (Oxford University Press.       Example:  The  “Redfern  Riot”   Some   representations   construct   Indigenous   Background:   “On   15   February   2004   Thomas   people   as   all   the   same   despite   “diversity   ‘TJ’   Hickey. 2007. Indigenous Law Bulletin. Leigh Australian New Zealand Communication and E.   3   .     suburb   of   Redfern”29.). 2004. Melbourne.   It   was   believed   that   he   was   being   chased   by   the   police   before   his     death.       that   they   receive   excessive   amounts   of   Further. 5-6 July. ‘sensationalism’ in English’. Sensationalism means “(especially in http://www. ANZCA. p. Melbourne. ‘A Critical Media Analysis of and Resistance in Media Representations of the Redfern Riot’. Australian Studies in 25 Ibid.   which   constructs  them  as  their  own  ‘problem’23. vol. ‘Media Images of Violence as a ‘Mediated Public Crisis’. 2004.     Indigenous   voices   are   rarely   heard   in   stories     about   them   in   mainstream   media25. journalism) the presentation of stories in a way nferences/ANZCA07 /mccallum.

p. no.   Koori   Mail   (an   Indigenous   owned.  any  police  misconduct  was  silenced   people  and  they  included  Indigenous  voices. 10. 9. p. [19 November 2013]. Koori Mail. p. 33 Andy Gargett.44(4). 36 40 Ibid. p.     The   Koori   Mail’s   representation   focused   less   on   violence..   Their   articles   also   based   causes   and  his  death  was  the  fault  of  police  because   for   the   riots   on   historical   policies   and   the   37 he   “was   being   unreasonably   harassed” . reporting’.   deviance   and   conflict   than   the     SMH   and   the   Daily   Telegraph.17. Indigenous Law Bulletin.     36 regulation  and  control .  This  was   32 John Budarick and Debra King.     in  media  representations  which  continues  the     us   (non-­‐Indigenous)   vs. Koori Mail.   4   . 8.   them   (Indigenous)   representation38. ‘A Critical Media Analysis of the Redfern Riot’. 9. 37 Ibid. ‘About Koori Mail’.   national   dispossession   and   assimilation34. vol.   This   ignores   the   representations   of   the   Redfern   riot   in   the   historical   context   of   Indigenous   colonisation. Joanna Atherfold.   the   Sydney   Morning   Herald   constructing   Indigenous   people   as   criminal   it   (SMH)   and   the   Daily   Telegraph. Journal of Sociology.       Reporting:   Gargett   suggests   that   the   media’s   reporting   of   the   Redfern   riot   linked   Budrick   and   King   in   their   study   analysed   Indigeneity   and   criminality33.                                                                                                                         39 vol.koorimail.       media32. 38 Ibid.   In   the   SMH’s   Relatedly. 35 Ibid. 356. p. p. ‘Redfern: the ‘riot’ and the 34 Ibid..   Atherford   suggests   that   the   media   coverage   racial   tensions   between   Indigenous   at  times  heightened  the  conflict  through  their   people   and   the   non-­‐Indigenous   police   were                                                                                                                           represented  as  the  cause  of  the  riots.     through   their   neutral   and   then   ‘victim-­‐like’   representations  of  the  police39. ‘Framing ideology in the niche media: The Koori Mail’s followed  by  a  drugs  and  crime  representation   construction of the Redfern riots. 43.   The   conflict   resulted   in   police   and   representations   of   Indigenous   people   and   civilian  injuries  and  damage  to  some  buildings.         In   the   Koori   Mail   the   riots   were   represented   The   riot   is   represented   as   emerging   from   as   another   problem   faced   by   the   Redfern   Indigenous  belief  that  TJ  was  unfairly  targeted   community. http://www. 8.. Australian Studies in Journalism.   They   found   represents   the   Indigenous   race   as   outside   that   the   papers   each   approached   the   riots   35 society   because   of   their   deviance   requiring   from  different  angles. p.   By   publication)40..   disadvantage   experienced   by   Indigenous   However.6(10).

  SMH   and   Daily   Telegraph   articles   police’s   reasons   for   chasing   a   youth   who   were   dominated   with   interviews   and   hadn’t  committed  a  crime.   This   is   problematic   because   audiences   may   assume   The   Daily   Telegraph   used   words   associated   that   such   problems   infiltrate   the   individuals   with   war   like   ‘battle   lines’   and   headlines   like   residing  there4748. Media Visions.     “Redfern   erupts”   alongside   claims   “of   an   “uncontrollable   mob”   and   the   “unleashing   of     4344 nine  hours  of  terror”” .17. 43 Ibid. p. p. Ibid.     quoted  in  articles  statements  “were  generally   emotive   and   highlighted   their   lack   of     education”46. 43 & 44. 45 Joanna Atherfold. South Fremantle.   She   suggests   that   the   SMH   rationality  and  authenticity. 1998.     balanced   out   the   sensationalised   media     coverage   with   other   stories41   which   moved   beyond   “conflict   and   drama”42. this can result in positive changes 42 Ibid. p. p. Journalism. ‘Redfern: the ‘riot’ and the 193 as cited in Joanna Atherfold.   the   The   articles   also   represented   Redfern   as   Daily  Telegraph  which  focused  on  this  angle. Australian Studies in no.   5   .       which   was   similar   to   representations   in   the   Further. ‘riot’ and the reporting’. Mickler. Arts Centre Press. 47 reporting’. Australian Studies in Journalism. p. 48 no. 2006.     ‘dangerous’   and   ‘dilapidated’. 2006.   These   statements   were   set   in   Atherford  also  studied  newspaper  coverage  of   contrast   to   prepared   statements   by   the   police   the   event   focusing   on   the   SMH   and   the   Daily   and   politicians.17. 43. Australian Studies in Journalism.   comments  from  the  police  and  politicians  with   limited  engagement  with  Indigenous  people45. Australian Studies in Journalism.   This   constructs  a  hierarchy  of  who  is  authorised  to   Positively   “persistent   journalists   reporting   on   discuss  Indigenous  issues.   which   took   on   qualities   of   Telegraph. 2006. ‘Redfern: the ‘riot’ and the no.   unlike. Fremantle negatively represented the issue. Public Ideas. and the acknowledgement of disadvantage (S. ‘Redfern: the ‘riot’ and the                                                                                                                         reporting’.17. no.   the   ‘Redfern   Riots’   were   a   small     gathering   of   largely   non-­‐violent   protestors   who   wanted   a   proper   explanation   for   the   Additionally. 41 Joanna Atherfold. The Myth of Privilege: Aboriginal 44 While there were exceptions most articles Status. Positively. ‘Redfern: the reporting’.     When   Indigenous   comments   were   included   Positive  journalism   these   were   towards   the   end   of   an   article. 46. 2006. 46).   In   actual   fact.17.     the   deaths   of   Indigenous   people   in   custody                                                                                                                           46 Joanna Atherfold.   often   when   Indigenous   people   were   Daily  Telegraph.

  posts   and   social   media   sites   are   able   to   challenge   negative   However. 276. Melbourne.nitv.g. Loo (eds. 19. 55 For more information on the National                                                                                                                         Indigenous Radio Service go to 49 Michael Meadows. Media Australia.   “Indigenous   people   have   54 For more information on the Koori Mail go established   Indigenous   print   (e.   technological   advances   and     alternative   media   like   blogs. and E. ‘‘My Island Home’: Riot . Social Alternatives. Loo (eds. Leigh 51 Michael Meadows and Christine Morris.   Indigenous   media   can   play   a   role   in   “cultural     [and  language]  maintenance”51. 2004. ‘‘My Island Home’: Riot and Policy journal. 284. Social Alternatives.g. p. Loo (eds. vol. and Resistance in Media Representations of 50 David Hollinsworth. 276. Outer Limits: A Reader in Michael Meadows.88.   the   problem   lies   within   mainstream   media58   and   it   is   difficult     for   Indigenous   media   sources   to  challenge   the   Further. Loo (eds. and E. sources52. no.   despite   negative   representations   of   negative  media  representations  because  their   Indigenous   people. p.).g. vol.     Some   have   argued   that   “the   mainstream     media   …   [should]   work   toward   promoting   We  should  control  Indigenous  representations   more  positive  images  of  Indigenous  people”60.koorimail. Leigh 16.24(1). Outer Limits: A Reader in www. in J.nit.).     One  way  that  negative  media  representations   of  Indigenous  Australians  can  be  challenged  is                                                                                                                           53 For more information on the National through   Indigenous   control   of   media   Indigenous Times go to http://www. 2004. and Resistance in Media Representations of mail/.       did   influence   the   setting   up   of   a   royal   National  Indigenous  Times53. Language Indigenous Media in Australia’. in J. p. Melbourne. ‘Media Images of Indigenous Affairs in Australia’. 1998.   commission  in  the  early  1990s”  NITV56)  media  as     an  alternative  to  mass  media”57. p.     Additionally. 59 International Australia incorporating Culture David Hollinsworth. 60 and E. 57 Communication Across Cultures.  the  Koori  Mail54). in J. Leigh Australia. Outer Limits: A Reader in ‘Into the New Millennium: The role of Communication Across Cultures.   The   to http://www. 56 Indigenous Affairs in Australia’.     radio   (e.   the   media. 69. Outer Limits: A Reader in   6   .   production   is   and Indigenous Affairs in Australia’. ‘Media Images of Aboriginality. p. p. ‘Media Images of Communication Across Cultures.nirs. 58 Aboriginality.   although   ownership   over   media   representations50. in J. and Resistance in Media Representations of 52 Michael Meadows.   access  is  limited59. Michael Meadows. Social Alternatives.   in   particular. ‘‘My Island Home’: Riot Aboriginality. Melbourne.).24(1). Language David Hollinsworth. Leigh For more information on NITV go to and E.). p. vol. Language Indigenous Affairs in Australia’.   National   Indigenous   Radio   Service55)  and  television  (e. ‘Media Images of http://www.

p. 63 Ibid. p.24(1). They  are  not  concerning. 1993. vol.   What   do   you   think   about   this   in   relation   to     media   representations   of   Indigenous   people?   Some  have  argued  then  that  audiences  should   Do   negative   media   representations   of   influence   and   change   the   agenda   of   media   Indigenous   Australians   affect   and   influence   production   so   that   it   adequately   represents   the  way  we  think  about  Indigenous  people?     Indigenous  people.  argues  that  “things   commonly  feature  in     ‘in   themselves’   rarely   if   ever   have   any   one. 3.       “However. Representations: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. 1997. They   are   concerning   because   Home’: Riot and Resistance in Media Representations of Aboriginality. 277.   2. Sydney.   This   b. News   and   current   affairs   cannot   be   assumed   that   all   representations   programs   are   accepted   without   challenge   by   society. ‘Introduction’.   disrupted   and   challenged.  media  theorist. 10. 17.  They   are   concerning   because   since   colonisation   historical   representations   have   played   a                                                                                                                                                                               Communication Across Cultures. in Stuart Hall (ed). ‘‘My Island c.. Why   are   historical   representations   Hall   argues.         Questions   What  do  you  think?   1.   a. people  are  framed. p. p. Language role   in   the   way   Indigenous   Australia. London. 41 as cited in David Hollinsworth. ‘Well I heard it on the radio and I saw it on the television …’.                                                                                                                         SAGE Publications.   meanings   are   contested. Comedy  and  drama  programs   62 single   and   unchanging   meaning” .     and   uplifting   images   ‘does   not   challenge     racism’”61.   …   Langton   reminds   us. 2004. Indigenous   Australians   most   Stuart  Hall.     61 Marcia Langton. Sydney b. Melbourne. Indigenous   Australians   was   a   62 Stuart Hall. News  and  lifestyle  programs   representations   because   he   is   arguing   that   it   d.   identified  in  the  article  as  a  concern  in   negotiated. p. Social the   way   they   framed   Alternatives.     Australian Film Commission.   7   . News  and  drama  programs   becomes   relevant   to   a   discussion   of   c.   the   way   they   frame   Indigenous   “Representation  functions  less  like  the  model   Australians?   a.   simply   of   a   one   way   transmitter   and   more   like   the   replacing   negative   stereotypes   with   positive   model  of  a  dialogue”63.

  sources.  reproducing  them.     people.   sources.     d.     self-­‐fulfilling  prophecy.     b.   the   promotion   of   b. It   is   problematic   because   agendas.     using   Indigenous   voices   can   d. There   are   no   solutions   and   d. Indigenous   control   of   media   sources.   the   promotion   of   positive   images   of   Indigenous   people   by   mainstream   media     8   . Indigenous   control   of   media   support  the  representations. It  is  not  a  problem. It   is   problematic   because   positive   images   of   Indigenous   excluding   their   voices   does   people   by   the   mainstream   not   allow   them   to   challenge   media  and  more  guidelines  on   the   representations   reporting   on   Indigenous   therefore. They   are   concerning   because   nothing  needs  to  change.   continues   to   reproduce   the   negative   representations.   more   guidelines   on   3.   allow   them   to     challenge   the   representation   but   negatively. Why  it  is  problematic  that  Indigenous   reporting   on   Indigenous   voices   are   silenced   in   media   people   and   audiences   should   representations?   demand   change   in   media   a. It   is   problematic   because     excluding   their   voices   does   positively. Indigenous   control   of   media   Indigenous  Australians.     c.     4.   they   accurately   represent   c.       correct   representation   which   and   audiences   should   means   that   Indigenous   demand   change   in   media   Australians   have   become   a   agendas. What   are   the   three   solutions   to   challenging   negative   representations   identified  in  the  article?     a.