Publication Details

This article was originally published as Angel, S, Radio writes back: Challenging media stereotypes of race and identity, Pacific Journalism Review, 14(2), 2008, 122-138.


Post-colonial theory has become an important but not uncontested lens through which a range of literary works have been analysed and the engine for the production of a range of creative works. This article looks at two concepts from post-colonial theory: ‘the colonisation of the mind’, and Salman Rushdie’s notion of ‘writing back to the centre’ and how they might be applied to an analysis of journalistic texts. The article explores the usefulness of post-colonial theory as both a heuristic device and a framework for the production of journalism in the context of the recent media coverage of the federal government’s intervention in the Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. Specifically it analyses a recent ABC radio documentary, Carmel Young and Tony Collins’ The Writers Train, as an example of an innovative journalistic ‘writing back’. This contemporary, oral history style documentary interweaves stories, spoken word performances and workshops from Indigenous poets, playwrights, musicians, recorded on the ‘writers train’, a trip on the Ghan through outback Australia from Darwin to Adelaide.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Pacific Journalism Review