Analysing the Indigenous News Network in Action: IndigenousX, The Guardian and the Wakul App

David Nolan, Lisa Waller, Jack Latimore, Margaret Simons, Kerry Mccallum

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


    Research into Indigenous news representation has strongly suggested it has supported relations of colonial subordination and exploitation rather than Indigenous empowerment. Recently, however, Indigenous news representation in Australia has been transformed and, to some extent, empowered by shifts in the media ecosystem that have precipitated ‘crises’ and reconfigurations, introduced new players and altered relations with audience-users. Against this backdrop, this chapter explores the significance of a partnership between the fully Indigenous owned and operated online media organisation IndigenousX and Guardian Australia, the Australian-based editorial arm of The Guardian. Since its launch in 2013, the British-owned news outlet’s ‘open journalism’ approach has been an important intervention in the Australian media scene. In particular, as a new player and outsider to the legacy political media, Guardian Australia has been able to provide a platform for the representation of a diverse range of Indigenous voices and perspectives by publishing comment and opinion from IndigenousX. The second half of the chapter introduces a research intervention that aims to broaden and deepen the IndigenousX-Guardian collaboration through the deployment of an innovative piece of digital infrastructure, the Wakul app. This software application aggregates and makes available Indigenous media content and other relevant information from throughout Australia, with the aim of enabling increased Indigenous perspectives, agendas and worldviews in the generation and production of news. This project is underpinned by Actor Network Theory (ANT), which provides scope to consider how Indigenous news is produced through the dynamic relations between a wide array of material ‘things’: a shifting network of institutions, practitioners, technologies, discourses, and relationships. The chapter explores some of the methodological affinities between decolonising approaches and ANT, and the degree to which a negotiated combination of these methodological approaches might facilitate a nuanced, ethically-grounded and up-to-date mapping of relations that constitute the Indigenous ‘news network’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationQuestioning Indigenous-Settler Relations
    Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Perspectives
    EditorsSarah Maddison, Sana Nakata
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811392054
    ISBN (Print)9789811392047
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

    NameIndigenous-Settler Relations in Australia and the World


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