Innovation and disruption in Australian Indigenous media

Panellists: Kerry McCallum (N&MRC), Luke Pearson (@IndigenousX/NITV), Lisa Waller (Deakin University), Daniel Featherstone (IRCA), Gabrielle Jackson (Guardian Australia), David Nolan (University of Melbourne).

This panel brings together diverse perspectives on the intersections between policy, technology and practice in Australia’s Indigenous media sector. Panelists consider how changing policy settings, media technologies and practices are playing out in relation to Indigenous media content, production and engagement. In the context of unprecedented technological and structural change in the Australian media industries Indigenous peoples have embraced digital technologies to innovate, disrupt and speak back to government and dominant media.

From National Indigenous Television to IndigenousX, Indigenous people are diversifying and amplifying the range of Indigenous voices in Australian public life. This flourishing of media production increasingly melds established media forms with user-generated digital and social media. New entrants to the mainstream media market such as The Guardian and Buzzfeed embrace Indigenous voices and perspectives.

At the same time, changes to funding arrangements for Indigenous programs by the Federal government pose a threat to Indigenous community broadcasting, where almost 40 First Nations community radio stations service remote, rural and urban communities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are routinely excluded from decision-making process on key media policy issues.  The panel will consider the implications of these complex economic, political and practice issues for the future of Indigenous media in Australia.

Presentations will cover topics including:

  • The transforming Indigenous media landscape
  • Implications of federal government funding for Indigenous media through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy
  • Indigenous media innovation
  • Media change and the amplification of Indigenous voice
  • Digital interventions and political disruption

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