Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
Australian journalism schools are full of students who have never met an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island person and who do not know their history. Journalism educators are ill-equipped to redress this imbalance as a large majority are themselves non-Indigenous and many have had little or no experience with the coverage of Indigenous issues or knowledge of Indigenous affairs. Such a situation calls for educational approaches that can overcome these disadvantages and empower journalism graduates to move beyond the stereotypes that characterize the representation of Indigenous people in the mainstream media. This article will explore three different courses in three Australian tertiary journalism education institutions, which use Work-Integrated Learning Approaches to instil the cultural competencies necessary to encourage a more informed reporting of Indigenous issues. The findings from the three projects illustrate the importance of adopting a collaborative approach by industry, the Indigenous community and educators to encourage students’ commitment to quality journalism practices when covering Indigenous issues.