Originally published in Tracker Magazine.
I think we’re well-acquainted with the reality on how media, both mainstream and Aboriginal, have failed our people. While media undoubtedly can be used to further our rights, it has all too often been used to cause us harm.
Would we have had a Northern Territory intervention without a media-fuelled moral panic on child sexual abuse?
Probably not. But what we aren’t as well-acquainted with is how we fix this problem.
Around the country, there are strong Aboriginal media voices who fight against this every day. People like Tiga Bayles in Brisbane, a personal hero of mine, who ensures that the voices from our communities are not drowned out by the propaganda espoused by government and mainstream media alike.
Community broadcasters, National Indigenous Television and print media like the Koori Mail all work to create a platform to ensure we are heard. Tracker does not seek to threaten this. But what Tracker has realised is that there is still a space for a publication that pushes hard to ensure we achieve change.
We are moulding Tracker into a new style of journalism that suits the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal Australia.
We don’t want to follow the agenda mainstream media has set for our people.
That leads to policies like the intervention. It demonises our people and spurs racism.
We want to influence it. And we want to do this through solid, campaigning journalism that has only one goal – to fight for Aboriginal rights in a country that has unfortunately become accustomed to trampling on them. That is what I ultimately hope Tracker will become.
It is my vision, and the vision of people like managing editor Chris Graham, and columnist Brian Johnstone, who have long pushed for this concept to come to fruition.
It is also the vision of the board of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council.
The reason we can deliver this form of journalism is because of the belief of the NSWALC board in the need for a magazine that advocates directly for our rights.
NSWALC has a strong record in advocacy – it ensures our rights are upheld internationally, at the United Nations as well as nationally and locally.
Tracker hopes to uphold that tradition of advocacy. We hope that you will join us on the ride.
Amy McQuire, editor