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Seeking inclusion : views from ‘vulnerable’ communities about reporting by the Australian news media

Romano, Angela R. (2011) Seeking inclusion : views from ‘vulnerable’ communities about reporting by the Australian news media. In International Unity in Diversity Conference, 18-19 August 2011, Rydges Southbank Townsville Hotel, Townsville, QLD. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This conference paper reports on the findings of the 'Vulnerability and the News Media’ project about news reporting on communities that are commonly regarded as ‘vulnerable’ by virtue of their issues or circumstances. The project focuses on news reporting of Indigenous and ethnically diverse communities, as well as people affected by mental health issues, people with disabilities, and survivors of crime and traumatic events. Numerous educational initiatives have tried to improve the quality of media reports about these communities and their issues. Despite this, the project’s research with stakeholders from those communities has found that they continue to raise the same concerns that have been expressed about the news media since the 1970s. In focus group research, stakeholders from these communities expressed concern about their continuing under-representation or omission from the news media. They felt that voices, experiences, perspectives and issues from their communities rarely appeared, or if they did appear, it was in limited contexts – often in circumstances that portrayed them as vulnerable or disruptive. They also pointed to ongoing media misrepresentation, such as stereotyping, inappropriate framing, and over-reliance on ‘usual suspects’ to talk about their communities. A common theme that they voiced was their need for greater inclusiveness in the media. Participants wished that journalists would better represent the diversity of life experiences and perspectives within their communities. Stakeholders also wanted an increased in representation of their political frameworks, such as stories about the difficulties they encountered in dealing with social and bureaucratic systems, and their understandings of causes and potential solutions for issues affecting their communities.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 55213
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Journalism, Representation of minorities, Reporting of Indigenous communities, Reporting of ethnic and religious communities, Reporting of victims of trauma, Reporting of suicide, Reporting of mental illness
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Angela Romano
Deposited On: 30 Nov 2012 09:02
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 09:35

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