This article explores how a listening approach might address the complex challenges of researching the relationship between Indigenous participation in media and mainstream policy-making processes. An overview of contemporary Indigenous media demonstrates how digital and social media have built on the vibrant and innovative Indigenous media tradition, and enabled a proliferation of new Indigenous voices. But do the powerful listen to Indigenous-produced media, and does this constitute meaningful participation in the political process? The article distinguishes between participation as involvement in the production and dissemination of media, and participation as political influence. It argues that both meanings are crucial for fully realising the potential of Indigenous participatory media, and contends that a listening approach might offer ways to research and unlock the democratic potential of Indigenous media participation.