An uncritical incident? Journalism and Indigenous deaths in custody in Australia

David Nolan, Lisa Waller

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


The concept of uncritical incidents allows us to consider how the norms and practices of journalism are implicated in processes of societal racism, consistent with previous work that has focused on the routine application of news values and a reliance on predominantly white individuals and institutions as news sources. While drawing on textual evidence and emphasizing journalism as part of the problem contributing to both excessive incarceration and mistreatment, the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) adopted a sociological, rather than merely moralistic, approach to understanding news production. In the wake of the RCIADIC, Indigenous deaths in custody remain a totemic issue, though one that is a little closer to resolution. The release of RCIADIC confronted Australian journalism with direct criticism of its norms and practices and could have served as an opportunity for a critical reflection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Incidents In Journalism
Subtitle of host publicationPivotal moments reshaping journalism around the world
EditorsEdson C. Tandoc, Joy Jenkins, Ryan J. Thomas, Oscar Westlund
Place of PublicationOxon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781003019688
ISBN (Print)9780367895365, 9780367895341
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2021


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