Did you see this?

No, me neither. Until Crikey.

Image credit.

As Bob Gosford points out in his piece in Crikey, when hundreds of Aboriginal men get together we’re just not interested in reporting on them unless they’re doing something bad.

The Stop the Violence march and rally had all the ingredients of a good news story; hundreds of men and boys chanting “Stop the violence!” as they marched shoulder-to-shoulder down the main street of town, impassioned speeches by community leaders and an inspiring and all-too-rare display of common goodwill and purpose to mend the heart of a broken town.

But apart from brief coverage on local ABC TV and radio and a short grab on the Nine network via its local affiliate station Imparja, the event received no coverage in any print or electronic media anywhere.

OK, so I live in a big city a long way from Alice Springs and you could easily argue that this story was just too local for big news. But then, we sure manage to fit plenty of negative coverage of Aboriginal men into our news.

As Human Rights Commissioner Tom Calma said in April 2008 with particular reference to the vilification of Aboriginal men by politicians and the media in the context of the Howard/Brough NT Intervention…:

“Over the last 18 months we’ve seen sustained media coverage of child abuse and family violence, but we’ve rarely seen or heard how indigenous people and communities across Australia are taking positive steps to respond to this violence, abuse and neglect.”

I really love images of men standing up in opposition to violence against women (and other men) and I just couldn’t let a fantastic photo like the one above go by. I would argue that these kinds of images make everyone feel better, not only women, and certainly not just black men – surely all men get a lift out of seeing men do good, out of feeling a sense of solidarity in opposing violence?

Cross-posted at blue milk.



Categories: gender & feminism, indigenous, media, social justice, violence

Tags: ,

8 replies

  1. Awesome! I hadn’t seen that picture. I retweeted it at the time from @blackfellas and my tweeps thought it was pretty awesome, but that was it. Bob Gosford is right.

  2. Fantastic photo – thanks so much for sharing it.
    You’re right – this narrative isn’t the one most people want to hear 😦

  3. Bob Gosford is one of my must read sites.
    Being a bird watcher is part of the reason but other than that he is one of the few easily accessed trustworthy sources about what is going on up there.

  4. Is it relevant to link to this?
    http://law.anu.edu.au/anuiia/dodson.pdf
    Prof Mick Dodson speaking to the National Press Club on violence in 2003.

  5. What a great shot! Thank you so much for posting this.

  6. Link away hannah’s dad.

  7. Thanks for the kind words and thoughts from you all – there are more pics, updates and an earlier version of my Crikey piece at My Crikey blog, The Northern Myth here: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/northern/2010/09/03/stopping-the-violence-and-the-traffic-in-alice-springs/

  8. Bob Gosford – love the additional photos and original post, thanks for coming here and linking to it.

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