Asia Pacific Media Educator


The media not only plays a primary role in informing Australians about the issues that affect Indigenous Australians, it also plays a central role in the construction of social discourse on what and who is seen to be Indigenous. This article examines the way Aboriginal issues and identity are portrayed in the contemporary Australian media. In particular, it analyses the media reporting of three important decisions relating to Indigenous rights in two of Australia's major daily newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, and demonstrates that there is still a considerable lack of Aboriginal voices in the Australian print media. When Aboriginal voices do occur, they are generally outnumbered by the voices of elite actors, or mediated by white voices that appear on behalf of, and instead of, Aboriginal voices. Moreover, these Aboriginal voices are those that are "culturally approved" by the white elite. This suggests that, while racism is not as overt as it once was in the Australian media, it still exists.