Media Release 8 March 2016

 

APC - Australian Press Council
MEDIA RELEASE | 8 March 2016
Press Council adopts Reconciliation Action Plan
The Australian Press Council has adopted its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which documents the objectives and strategies that the Council will employ over the next three years to promote understanding and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The RAP was adopted at the latest full meeting of Council members and it will now be submitted to the Reconciliation Council for review, in accordance with established processes
According to Reconciliation Australia, RAPs “provide a framework for organisations to realise their vision for reconciliation. RAPs are practical plans of action built on relationships, respect and opportunities. RAPs create social change and economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians”.
“I believe it is high time for the Press Council to adopt a Reconciliation Action Plan, and the lack of one until now is a matter of some regret,” said Council Chair Professor David Weisbrot, who assumed duties last year. “Many of the 900 mastheads that make up the Council have their own RAPs, but it’s very important that the organisation has its own to help guide our policies, priorities and relationships.
“As the independent body responsible for standards-setting, complaints-handling and advocacy in relation to print and online media in Australia, and with a brief to apply its standards and carry out its activities in the public interest, the Press Council is firmly committed to embracing and reflecting the knowledge and experience of all Australians, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. For example, our recent groundbreaking guideline on the reporting of family violence benefited greatly from consultation with Indigenous people and organisations.”
In keeping with Reconciliation Australia’s suggested format for RAPs, the Press Council's document focuses on relationships, respect and opportunities. The Council recognises that while its RAP needs to capture the right spirit, the most important thing is that it must ultimately achieve practical, beneficial outcomes.
Consequently, the APC commits itself to:
  • encouraging membership by Indigenous newspapers, magazines and online news and current affairs sites;
  • engaging and consulting with Indigenous groups, individuals and organisations regarding the Press Council’s work;
  • promoting employment and internship opportunities for Indigenous people at the Press Council and among constituent members;
  • promoting Indigenous cultural competence among staff;
  • considering the impact on Indigenous peoples of current and proposed Standards of Practice;
  • encouraging the Australian news media to report issues of importance for Indigenous communities in a respectful way, especially those that highlight inequality and the need to ‘close the gap’; and
  • endeavouring to promote high quality reporting in relation to Indigenous peoples.
“Traditionally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have had a very mixed relationship with media and that’s been underpinned by a paucity of trust, so it’s heartening to see an organisation like the Press Council take the lead on a Reconciliation Action Plan,” said Chris Graham, a Press Council member, the former Editor of the National Indigenous Times and the current Publisher/Editor of New Matilda.
“I think the Press Council’s RAP has a good mix of symbolic and practical goals, which is the key to a good one. I’m really proud to be associated with an organisation that takes its obligations to the nation’s most vulnerable people seriously," Graham said.
For more information or to request an interview with Council Chair David Weisbrot, contact the Director of Research and Communications by email at [email protected] or by telephone: 0451 978 2876
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Australian Press Council
Address: Level 6, 309 Kent St, Sydney, 2000    Phone: (02) 9261 1930 or 1800 025 712    Fax: (02) 9267 6826
Email: [email protected]    Web: http://www.jxdcao.live
 
 
 
 
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