Student journalists learn about Aboriginal communities and culture in Western Australia

January 1, 2010


Indigenous issues are not generally considered by editors and journalists to be newsworthy because they do not appeal to the majority of readers. This, despite the significant role of the media “in framing the ways in which we think about issues” and “imaging Indigenous people and their affairs for most non-Indigenous people” (Meadows, 2005, p.39). Few non-Aboriginal journalists have met, let alone talked or discussed with Aboriginal people about their life, culture and concerns. The result is that news stories are often inaccurate and portray a distorted and stereotypical view of Aboriginal communities as places of constant disorder and drunkenness. This raises a key question for journalism educators: how to train student journalists to report more accurately and fairly on Aboriginal issues, especially in Western Australia which has one of the largest Aboriginal populations in Australia.

About the Author

Dr Trevor Cullen (PhD) is Professor of Journalism at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. Trevor is recognised as a national and international leader in the field of HIV/health Journalism and Journalism education. He has received several University and national teaching and research awards. These include two Australian Government awards – A National Teaching and Learning Fellowship (NTF) and the Australian Award for University Teaching. (AAUT).

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