NSWALC celebrates the launch of groundbreaking Aboriginal magazine
April 28, 2011
The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council has launched the first contemporary Aboriginal rights-based magazine in Australia.
The magazine, Tracker, aims to fill a vital gap in the media landscape for accurate and comprehensive reportage and analysis of Aboriginal issues.
The monthly magazine hits the street tomorrow (Friday, April 29) and is available in newsagencies and to subscribers around the country. The publication will also be direct mailed to the homes of the 20,000 plus members of the New South Wales land rights network.
Tracker's initial circulation is 35,000, making it the largest Aboriginal publication in the country.
The publication is funded by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
NSWALC Chairwoman, Bev Manton, says Tracker will be an important message stick for Aboriginal people around the nation.
"We have several forms of Aboriginal journalism around the country, but the NSW Aboriginal Land Council believed a gap currently exists," Cr Manton said.
"We need a strong, campaigning magazine to look hard at the issues affecting our people, and ensure government and mainstream media are held to account.
"We need a space to correct the frequent misreporting and misunderstandings aired through the mainstream media.
"Our views are discounted, and the power over our own affairs is diminished.
"The NSW Aboriginal Land Council wants to place debate about our own future back in the hands of our people."
NSWALC CEO Geoff Scott says the organisation has a long history of advocacy, and there are strong hopes Tracker will continue this tradition.
"We want to showcase positive news stories that are common around the NSW Land rights network," he added.
"It is important to counter the largely negative coverage on Aboriginal communities which runs in mainstream media."
Tracker has amassed one of the most impressive line-ups of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal commentators and experts in Aboriginal affairs.
It includes Walkley award winner and former editor of the National Indigenous Times, Chris Graham, Walkley award winning journalist Brian Johnstone, NSW Aboriginal Land Council CEO Geoff Scott, NSW Australian of the Year Larissa Behrendt, Aboriginal activist Gary Foley, Indigenous policy expert, Jon Altman, Aboriginal law experts Nicole Watson and Thalia Anthony, prominent Australian journalist, Jeff McMullen, and Aboriginal arts writer Sam Cook.
Tracker editor, Amy McQuire, says it's a line-up unprecedented in Aboriginal affairs.
"Aboriginal Australia needs a vehicle in which we can advocate for change, and for change that comes from within the community.
"We don't want to follow the agenda that mainstream media thinks it can set for our people. We've seen how destructive that has been in the past.
"We want to set the agenda, and we will do this through quality journalism that focuses exclusively on advocating for the rights of Aboriginal people and communities."
Tracker's Managing Editor, Chris Graham, says quality journalism will be the hallmark of Tracker.
Importantly, it is being launched as a commercial venture.
"The publication is expected to operate like any mainstream publication," he said.
"We'll take advertising and operate at a profit.
"That's part of NSWALC practicing what it preaches in terms of economic development.
"It takes a truly independent organisation like the NSW Aboriginal Land Council - a self-funding democratically elected body - to make that possible."
You can find Tracker in news agencies around the country, or take out a subscription (visit www.thetracker.com.au). The cover price is $3.95
You can also see a video which gives a rundown of Tracker Magazine on YouTube:
IF YOU'D LIKE A FREE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION MAILED TO YOUR NEWSROOM PLEASE EMAIL YOUR NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media contact: Amy McQuire - 0428 924 069