Ethnic minorities in Australia's television news: a second snapshot

Phillips, Gail
July 2009
Australian Journalism Review;Jul2009, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p19
Academic Journal
The nightly news on Australia's television screens presents a view of Australia and Australians that is different from what most of us encounter in our daily lives. This paper reports on the results of two content analyses of television news conducted in 2005 and 2007 which demonstrate that instead of a range of peoples and cultures, we see mainly Anglo faces, projecting an archetypal image of a "white Australia" that is more applicable to the 1950s than it is to today. More disturbingly, when we do encounter people from manifestly different racial, cultural or religious backgrounds, they tend to be featured as victims, or as social deviants, or as in some way "unAustralian". This raises questions about current journalistic practice and suggests that in order for television news to present Australians with a true reflection of their "real" world there need to be changes in the processes of newsgathering and storytelling.


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