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The Racial Hatred Act: Case study 2

 case study 2myth or fact? stereotypes and Indigenous australians
  • perpetuating myths and stereotypes in the media
Media report:
  • 'The Colour of Money', Damien Murphy, The Bulletin, October 95
  • Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Justice Advisory Group, Gail Wallace, on the media's role
    in bridging the cultural gap
  • Executive Director, Strategy & Review Branch, NSW Police, Neil Bridge, on the reality of policing
    in Redfern
  • ABC TV Indigenous Programs Unit producer/presenter, Michelle
    , on the media's stereotyping of Indigenous Australians
  • 'Black is not a Colour',
    Letter to the Editor from HREOC's Zita Antonios and Mick Dodson, The Bulletin,
    31 Oct 95

Please note that none of the reports in the case studies have been the
subject of complaints or queries under the Racial Hatred Act.


Reports of racial issues which resort to myths
and stereotypes defy the basic tenets of responsible journalism, perpetuating
negative images and misinformation about ethnic and Indigenous groups.
With day-to-day pressures on journalists to produce material within deadlines
and editorial agendas, it is easy to embrace stereotypes and myths. Even
the most well-meaning report can inadvertently promote such images.

The report by The Bulletin's
Damien Murphy
examines race relations in Australia by comparing them
to the racial disquiet in the United States highlighted by the OJ Simpson
trial last year.

Featured in The Bulletin's special Race Hate issue (October 1995) the
report provoked comments about the perpetuation of negative stereotypes
that are inaccurate and have the potential to harm the process of reconciliation
in Australia.

NOTE: Damien Murphy granted permission to reproduce his article but
did not see the need to comment further on this case study.

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