The racism experienced by senior journalist, broadcaster and author Stan Grant and other Aboriginal and Torres Islander people clearly is not limited to any one sector or setting.
Racism is embedded across Australian institutions, organisations, and systems as an ongoing legacy of colonisation.
Discussions about racism within the media industry, and about racism fuelled by the media industry (including by both traditional and social media) also highlight important issues for the health sector, about the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in the sector, as well as for patients and community members.
They also raise questions about how the sector could do more to tackle racism as an important public health threat.
Below are some articles that our readers may find useful.
IndigenousX: The racism experienced by Stan Grant is the norm, not the exception
Luke Pearson writes: “With the spotlight on Indigenous people in sport and media dealing with an endless stream of racism, with many walking away from the spotlight altogether, it’s important to remember that mob with no profile go through the same and worse every day in every part of the country with little to no media interest. You simply cannot exist in Australia as an Indigenous person without encountering it. The racism that Stan Grant has had to endure is unacceptable, but it is also entirely unexceptional. Racism against us is the norm, not the exception…” Read more.
The Conversation: Stan Grant stands up to racist abuse. Our research shows many diverse journalists have copped it too
Professor Bronwyn Carlson and other authors of a recent Media Diversity Australia report investigating online abuse and safety of diverse journalists, say Grant’s story of relentless racial abuse is one shared by other journalists who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and racially marginalised, LGBTQIA+ and/or living with disability.
“The report also shows, as Grant points out, that online harassment and abuse actively and incessantly targets Indigenous journalists. Although many of the participants stated they were unofficially warned by their workplace to expect online violence, they said they received little support to protect and defend them from racial harassment and abuse.”
The Conversation: Stan Grant’s treatment is a failure of ABC’s leadership, mass media, and debate in this country
Professor Denis Muller examines the relationship between mainstream media and social media trolling and abuse, as well as failures in ABC leadership: “The professional mass media well understands the effects its work can have – for good or ill – on those engaged on social media. But it fails to give sufficient weight to this when making judgements about the portrayal of people who are vulnerable to being trolled: women, people of colour, ethnic and religious minorities. It may be that the lack of diversity, especially in the upper echelons of media organisations, including the ABC, accounts for at least some of this failure.”The Conversation: Stan Grant’s new book asks: how do we live with the weight of our history?
Professor Heidi Norman reviews Stan Grant’s fifth book, The Queen is Dead.
In his statement on ABC TV’s Q & A program this week, Grant also raised wider questions about the nature of the media industry.
“Yindyamarra means to live with respect in a world worth living in, and we in the media must ask if we are truly honouring a world worth living in…Too often we are the poison in the bloodstream of our society, I fear the media does not have the love or the language to speak to the gentle spirits of our land.”
While the Federal Government has signalled a policy commitment to supporting a more diverse media landscape, our news and information systems continue to be dominated by corporations that profit from the dissemination of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland released a statement stating the Albanese Government has committed to bring forward the statutory review of the Online Safety Act so it occurs within this term of Government, and would legislate to empower the Australian Communications and Media Authority to hold digital platforms to account in relation to misinformation and disinformation online.
“I have long called for more to be done in relation to hate speech online and am actively working across Government to strengthen protections in this area,” she said.
“Where digital platforms and media companies can do more to support respectful debate – they should. It is clear this view is widely held across the Parliament.”
Yet it is also clear that policymakers could be doing much more to address the public health menace of racism.
BBC: Stan Grant: Aboriginal TV host’s exit renews criticism of Australian media
See Croakey’s archive of articles on racism and health
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