The Big Issue : Edition 556
24 THEBIGISSUE.ORG.AU 23 FEB–8 MAR 2018 InTERnAtIONAL THE YEAR 2016 was the United Nations International Year of Pulses. That meant the UN allocated 366 days (it was a leap year) to “heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition”. Since 1959, we’ve had the International Year for Human Rights (1968), the International Year of the Child (1979), International Literacy Year (1990) and the International Year of Soils (2015), with many noble nominations in the years between. But, for the first time since 1997, this year has not been marked for anything. In lieu of a sense of direction from our favourite intergovernmental organisation tasked to promote international cooperation, we asked some influential Australians what the world should be focusing on in 2018. “INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF... INDIGENOUS MEDIA.” KARLA GRANT JOURNALIST AND TV HOST, NITV AS SOMEONE WHO has worked in the media industry for more than 25 years, with a particular emphasis on reportage of Indigenous issues, I believe it would be fitting for 2018 to be marked as the International Year of Indigenous Media. From an Australian Indigenous perspective, I think that stories of my people have been largely ignored by the mainstream media. Quite often when Indigenous stories are told or reported on, they are most likely to be negative stories where Indigenous people are seen as the victims or portrayed in a stereotypical light. But this is gradually starting to change. More Indigenous journalists, producers and directors have entered the industry over the last decade, and they are now telling our stories from an Indigenous perspective – stories of achievement, of inspiration and hope, as well as stories highlighting the important issues faced by Indigenous Australians. I have certainly seen Indigenous employment and participation in the media industry grow during this time. A major step forward in the Australian media landscape has been the birth of the National Indigenous Television Network (NITV), which was created 10 years ago – a channel made by, for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It plays an important role in informing and educating all Australians about the plight of our First Nations people. NITV is also part of the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (WITBN), a global alliance of 10 Indigenous broadcasters. The network shares stories and content to bring about more awareness of language and culture and broadcasts it to the world. Making 2018 the International Year of Indigenous Media would help create positive change where the human rights of Indigenous peoples are being ignored or violated, and to bring governments to account. It would also give Indigenous broadcasters around the globe an invaluable platform to share their stories from their perspectives on an international stage – stories we should all hear. » Karla Grant is an executive editor, journalist and presenter of Indigenous news and current affairs on NITV, SBS. YEAR OF...?