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The Media and Indigenous Policy

media_policy_image'The Australian News Media and Indigenous Policymaking 1988-2008' project has been investigating how journalism impacts on the development of Indigenous social policy. Analysis of media and policy texts, and interviews with experts from government, media and Indigenous advocacy organisations have provided rich insights into the changing nature of news media reporting and the impact of increasingly ‘mediatized’ policymaking practice.

The project explores the relationships between journalism and Indigenous policymaking in Australia from 1988 to 2008. The researchers investigated the media representation of Indigenous health, education and communication, and the development of Indigenous policies over a 20-year period.

Through analyses of policy documents, media releases, speeches and media texts, the researchers are mapping the changing nature of Indigenous policy and its representation in public media. They have interviewed journalists, public spokespeople and policymakers to examine processes involved in the shifting nature and reporting of Indigenous policy in Australia.


  • Kerry McCallum, Chief Investigator, is an Associate Professor in Journalism and Communication in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the Univesity of Canberra.
  • Michael Meadows, Chief Investigator, is a Professor in the School of Humanities at Griffith University.
  • Lisa Waller
  • Michelle Dunne Breen
  • Holly Reid 


The Media and Indigenous Policy report is available to download as a pdf (1.7Mb).


The Media and Indigenous Policy database details articles dealing with Indigenous health issues from The Australian, The Courier-Mail and The Sydney Morning Herald for:

  • 1988-1989
  • 1994-1995
  • 2002-2003
  • 2006-2007

Details of the articles, with keywords and a synopsis for each article, are provided in date order, by newspaper and by key word in a series of .pdf documents via the above link.

The Australian news media and Indigenous policymaking 1988-2008 project has been funded under a Discovery Project grant from the Australian Research Council (DP0987457).