Australia, like Canada, has the task of facing racism and rebuilding relations with its indigenous peoples. The Australian Press Council recognizes the powerful role of the media in that process, and has adopted its own reconciliation plan.
Over the next three years, the APC will promote understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous groups. In practical terms, that means
- encouraging membership by Indigenous newspapers, magazines and online news and current affairs sites;
- engaging and consulting with Indigenous groups, individuals and organisations regarding the Press Council’s work;
- encouraging the Australian news media to report issues of importance for Indigenous communities in a respectful way, especially those that highlight inequality and the need to “close the gap”; and
- endeavouring to promote high quality reporting in relation to Indigenous peoples.
Traditionally, indigenous communities “had a very mixed relationship with media and that’s been underpinned by a paucity of trust,” said Chris Graham, an Australian Press Council member and publisher, who added the “takes its obligations to the nation’s most vulnerable people seriously”.