Presenter: Daniel FeatherstoneGeneral Manager, Indigenous Remote Communications AssociationResearch Masters candidate, Mur...
• Why won’t the current NBN model address the unmet demand for basic telephony orovercome digital divide issues in remote ...
Irrunytju (Wingellina) Community
Ngaanyatjarra Media“Media is one of the most powerful tools forcultural maintenance. We have the choiceto empower ourselve...
Pilbara andKimberley AboriginalMediaTop End Aboriginal BushBroadcasting AssociationPitjantjatjaraPitjantjatjaraYankunytjat...
Part 1:History of remoteIndigenous media& policy development
1980:1980: AustraliaAustralia’’s first Aboriginal owned and controlled radio station Centrals first Aboriginal owned and c...
April 1985:April 1985: First local TV transmission begins at Yuendumu andFirst local TV transmission begins at Yuendumu an...
December 1992:December 1992: National Indigenous Media Association of Australia (NIMAA)National Indigenous Media Associati...
20002000: Productivity Commission report into Broadcasting recommends exploring: Productivity Commission report into Broad...
20052005: RIBS TV Transmitter rollout enables 147 remote communities to get ICTV: RIBS TV Transmitter rollout enables 147 ...
Part 2:Examples of‘one size fits all’policy outcomes
National Broadband NetworkWhy won’t the current NBN model address the unmet demand for basictelephony or overcome digital ...
National Broadband Network“a high speed broadband network that isplanned to reach 100 percent ofAustralian premises with a...
Case Study: Ngaanyatjarra LandsTelecommunications Project• 3 levels Government/ community orgs/ telco partnership• $5.8mil...
The Broadband for the Bush AllianceAims:1.To promote and represent remote regions’ digitalaspirations and priorities.2.To ...
Why has Digital Switchover resulted in the abolition of BRACScommunity TV broadcasting of local language content, and tran...
Digital Television Switchover• Direct-to-home (DTH) model chosen for RICs toenable all 17 channels of mainstream TV• No fu...
Why did the Indigenous Broadcasting Program reduce to supportingradio broadcast delivery when the broader communications s...
Indigenous Broadcasting Program (IBP) IBP began 1987 to support urban, regional and remote Indigenous broadcasting By 20...
Why did the introduction of a National Indigenous TV service result in theloss of the Indigenous Community TV service it w...
National Indigenous Television In 2005, DCITA announced $48.5million over 4 years for a National IndigenousTelevision ser...
Why does the primary remote media employment program, the NationalJobs Package, pay the same wages for senior broadcasters...
National Jobs Package (NJP) A transition to work program off CDEP, started in 2009 for arts & broadcasting RIMOs have a ...
Why ‘one size fits all’ programs typically don’t fit• Centrally determined, inflexible approach• Assumptions based on main...
Part 3:Part 3:Towards a newTowards a newpolicy approachpolicy approach
Stevens Review (2010)“The Australian Government…still lacks a well articulated forward-looking strategy thattakes into acc...
Key points (Meadows 2012:25):• Indigenous media in Australia has evolved in a policy vacuum, marked by policyuncertainty a...
A new national policy: build on Article 16 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;1. Indigenous people...
Need for a remote specific policy model A specific, flexible policy approach for remotemedia and communications to addres...
Media & ICT Training • Employment • Media Production • Language & Culture Programs • Radio, TV & Communications NetworksRe...
Part 4:Part 4:The role of researchThe role of research
Collecting evidence for Indigenous policy making“Without evidence, policy-makers must fall back on intuition, ideology, or...
Qualitative vs Quantitative Research Policy makers rely heavily on quantitative research/ statistics => remote media orgs...
Need for research partnerships How do we provide meaningful ‘evidence’ of program outcomes to supportindustry renewal and...
A Communicative Ecologies Approach An holistic research approach to describe the complete range of communicationmedia and...
The challenge… to develop an appropriate and flexible policy framework which promotes a robust media andcommunications se...
Remote Media & Communications:Keeping Communities and Culture Strong
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Why One Size Doesn't Fit All: Towards a Policy for Remote Indigenous Media and Communications

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  • Acknowledge the Nganuwal people, traditional owners of the land where we are today. Thank CAEPR for inviting me to speak. Introduce myself and Michael Griffith In recent years, there have been a number of media and communications programs rolled out by the Australian Government that have imposed one-size-fits-all solutions onto remote Indigenous Australia. In this presentation will look at a number of these programs and describe the impact of the delivery model for remote Indigenous people. My presentation is in 4 parts: History of remote Indigenous media & policy development 2. Examples of ‘one size fits all’ policy outcomes 3. Towards a new policy approach 4. The role of research However, by way of introduction I will start by posing some questions which I will expand on in part 2. I will also give a quick overview of my background.
  • Irrunytju Community Population about 180 but fluctuating About 10 km from the tri-state border of WA, SA and NT Approximately 700km from nearest regional centre Alice Springs, 1800km from Perth Not usually this green, it ’ s in the Great Victoria Desert Why start the presentation here? Because for Yarnangu, the people living in Irrunytju, this is the centre of the world, the big cities are remote. It ’ s a useful test of policy to look at it from the perspective of the remote Indigenous people who will be affected by it . Yarnangu describe how ‘the goalposts keep shifting’. Also this the home of Ngaanyatjarra Media the regional media organisation for the Ngaanyatjarra Lands of WA And the community where I lived for 9 years from 2001-2010
  • Began 1992 as Irrunytju Media, based on EVTV model of cultural recording & local radio Grew into RIMO to support 15 RIBS communities with a range of programs: regional radio broadcasting, video & TV production, training- media & ICTs, IT access facilities, music development, language / cultural programs, cultural events & music festivals, telecommunications, technical services, archiving One of 8 Remote Indigenous media organisations in Australia primary service provider for media and communications for the Ngaanyatjarra region Strategic Plan 2003-6- key infrastructure and programs - a media and communications centre at Irrunytju, providing a regional hub for a Lands wide communications network, and a network of telecentres across the Lands
  • One of 8 RIMOs across central and northern Australia and a network of 150 RIBS communities
  • There has been a push from the national sector to update Indigenous media policy for many years. The most recent policy was in 1993, produced by ATSIC in a very different political era . The recent Stevens Review pointed to the lack of policy but did not include this as a recommendation. Before looking at what new policy might look like, It is worth looking back at the development of the industry to date. ----- Meeting Notes (8/05/13 07:25) -----
  • Kintore - Most remote people wanted the satellite to be used for telephony; issues of cultural impact raised and need for community video production
  • BRACS designed in an era of self-determination, globalisation and community development; assumption that communities understood the purpose of BRACS First one-size fits all solution- good idea, poor implementation
  • Why won ’ t the NBN solve the digital divide in remote Indigenous communities? Why is mobile telephony not part of the solution when it has clearly been identified as the most appropriate means of telephony and data access for people in remote and regional Australia? Why hasn ’ t mobile telephony, pre-paid services and internet access been include within the Universal Service Obligation?
  • Why won ’ t the NBN solve the digital divide in remote Indigenous communities? Why is mobile telephony not part of the solution when it has clearly been identified as the most appropriate means of telephony and data access for people in remote and regional Australia? Why hasn ’ t mobile telephony, pre-paid services and internet access been include within the Universal Service Obligation?
  • Partners- Ngaanyatjarra Council, Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku, WA Government, Australian Government, Telstra, Ngaanyatjarra Media $5.8million project completed 2007 400km of fibre optic cable rolled out to reach 6 communities 6 more remote sites provided shared broadband satellite Shared service distributed via WiFi to community in all 12 sites
  • An alliance of remote focused organisations This is a good example of community organisations working together with researchers to inform policy A key aim in election year is to urge both sides of government to develop a specific remote area broadband strategy (neither have one)
  • 100 services- 5 city radio stations, 22 regional, 8 RIMOs and 71 RIBS (plus another 75 narrowcast), also Imparja, ICTV and peak bodies Ng media submission: Urged an increase to the IBP funding to recognise the significant growth in the sector yet same funding ($13.3million) since mid 1990s. “ We recommend that DCITA take a whole of government / department approach in this Review to recognise the changing roles of the Remote Indigenous Media Organisations and fund them according the range of services they actually deliver. ” Proposed separate funding streams for radio stations to RIMOs/RIBS, which have different scope of activities and costs.
  • CDEP was flexible to realities of community work practice. People regularly move between jobs/ communities
  • models based on assumptions from a mainstream cultural & social context failure to recognise Indigenous diversity – social, cultural, locational, historical (pan-Aboriginal models) different experience (ecology) of communications modes and technologies market failure- low incomes, shared households, high delivery costs centrally determined, inflexible approach to funding models or outcomes lack of existing infrastructure or support services Harsh conditions- climatic, environmental, social, political Language/literacy barriers & cultural differences Lack community consultation, participation and ownership Community needs and local planning are not considered
  • The Indigenous media and communications sector has reached a ‘ crisis of change ’ ; it risks becoming obsolete if we can ’ t break the old policy shackles and build a new model soon.
  • The Stevens Review, like the Digital Dreaming Review (1999) and Productivity Commission report (2000), called for updated Indigenous media and communications policy. Without a relevant guiding policy, the sector is effectively adrift at sea without a policy rudder, and risks being washed up on the rocks. To use another analogy Yarnangu describe how the goalposts keep shifting.
  • The policy vacuum was the key message from Michael Meadows rather grim assessment in an presentation he gave last year at ‘The Media and Indigenous Policy’ conference, (November 2012)
  • Old policy is outdated. Broadcasting was a 1980s development model, 2010s model is ICT4D user-driven content via online/ mobile/ multi-platform, social media. Un Declaration was adopted 13/9/2007, Australia signed 3/4/2009 Not community broadcasting, but a primary service and needs career pathways, professionalism and commercial viability Performance - Need for effective monitoring and evaluation to increase program outcomes and effectiveness and inform program development - Recipient-determined indicators for success, tied to strategic planning Also draw on consultation and recommendations from Stevens review and Digital Dreaming reports
  • To avoid further one size fits all policy decisions, there is a need for a remote specific policy. This targeted policy approach was recognised in the recent Desert Knowledge Australia report ‘ Fixing the Hole in Australia ’ s heartland ’ (2013) . ‘ There are a range of communications technologies used in communities today- esp smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, laptops, HF/UHF radio. People tend to be media producers as well as consumers sharing content via Facebook and bluetooth from phones. Very few people have radios (mostly in cars), most have TV. This is making the RIBS model become irrelevant. We need to be providing programs and facilities to support the way people use and create media today, not just supporting a handful of trained workers but the needs of community members.
  • Finally I get to the Seminar series topic – The role of qualitative research in the present Indigenous policy environment
  • Gary Banks (2009:5) Contemporary Government Challenges: Challenges of Evidence-based Policy-making – was Chairman of Productivity Commission 1998-2012
  • There is a need for quantitative data about remote communities, particular to inform government policy and justify funding. The ‘ Closing the gap ’ policy for instance is based predominantly on quantitative data. However, it is very difficult to get accurate and useful statistical data in remote Indigenous communities for a range of reasons: ·      low population numbers increases high degree of error; ·      highly mobile populations; The movement of people between communities for cultural, family or sorry business, and between households can lead to highly divergent census figures (eg ABS); ·      language and cross-cultural communication issues making written or oral data collection difficult; surveys relying on literacy are prone to high degrees of error; ·      people don ’ t always live in a house and may not have a fixed address or contact phone, email or other forms of identification; - Multiple families in a house; ·      streets may not have names or house numbers; ·      People change names if someone passes away with same name (some people have up to 5 or 6 names, including traditional name; ·      high degrees of variability of determining factors, and issues in data collection lead to unreliability of statistical or quantitative analysis; ·      often there is a lack of understanding of why data is being collected, people may be suspicious of the motives unless the person collecting the data is trusted and clearly explains the reasons. People are tired of giving the same information to various agencies and may get frustrated if the survey is not completed quickly. In these situations, qualitative analysis provides a more effective research approach. It is more time-consuming however.
  • In the 1980s and 90s there was a frenzy of research about the develoment of remote community media; that has died down. There is too much research focused on history, not enough on contemporary reality ; not just what ICTs and platforms are available but how people are using them. Community orgs understand the needs but struggle to get funding and policy support to meet them. The sector has limited time or resources for research so we need partnerships with the research sector. We need good evidence of how people are communicating and what programs and infrastructure is needed to enable effective access. We also need effective user-friendly monitoring and evaluation processes to feed back into program development.
  • An holistic research approach to describe the complete range of communication media and information flows existing within a community, including the dynamic relationships between social interactions, culture, discourse, communications media and technologies for individuals, groups or communities. Programs that build on existing modes of communication and technologies are more likely to succeed Typically three layers of a communicative ecology: A technological layer which consists of the devices and connecting media that enable communication and interaction; A social layer, which consists of people and social modes of organising these people; A discursive layer, which is the content of the communication, that is the ideas or themes that constitute the known social universe that the ecology operates in” (Foth & Hearn 2007:9-18) Research methodology: ethnographic action research- hands-on, two-way, longitudinal, culturally appropriate, engages community members as research partners & evaluators; research informs practice
  • Why One Size Doesn't Fit All: Towards a Policy for Remote Indigenous Media and Communications

    1. 1. Presenter: Daniel FeatherstoneGeneral Manager, Indigenous Remote Communications AssociationResearch Masters candidate, Murdoch UniversityTowards a Policy for Remote Indigenous Media and Communications
    2. 2. • Why won’t the current NBN model address the unmet demand for basic telephony orovercome digital divide issues in remote Indigenous communities?• Why has Digital Switchover resulted in the abolition of BRACS community TV broadcastingof local language content, and transferred the maintenance costs for the satellite equipmentneeded to access TV services to households?• Why did the Indigenous Broadcasting Program reduce to supporting radio broadcastdelivery during a critical change period to convergence and multi-platform delivery?• Why did the introduction of a National Indigenous TV service result in the loss of theIndigenous Community TV service it was intended to build upon, with almost none of thethe $80 million of funding to date going to remote producers?• Why does the primary remote media employment program, the National Jobs Package, paythe same wages for senior broadcasters as new trainees?• Well intentioned policies, poor outcomes for remote Australia.
    3. 3. Irrunytju (Wingellina) Community
    4. 4. Ngaanyatjarra Media“Media is one of the most powerful tools forcultural maintenance. We have the choiceto empower ourselves and strengthen oursense of identity, cultural ownership andself worth. By making our programs inlanguage we are able to watch and hearthe type of programs, stories and musicwe enjoy. When we hear our own voiceson radio and see our faces on TV, it makesus feel proud of who we are.”(Ng Media Strategic Plan 2003-6)Began 1992 as Irrunytju Media, based oncultural video recording & community radioGrew into RIMO supporting 15 RIBS (BRACS)communities with a range of programs:• regional radio broadcasting• video & TV production• training & employment• IT access facilities & training• music development• language / cultural programs• cultural events & music festivals• telecommunications• technical services• archiving• regional coordination and support
    5. 5. Pilbara andKimberley AboriginalMediaTop End Aboriginal BushBroadcasting AssociationPitjantjatjaraPitjantjatjaraYankunytjatjaraYankunytjatjaraMediaMediaCentral AustralianCentral AustralianAboriginal MediaAboriginal MediaAssociationAssociationPintupi AnmatjereWarlpiri MediaNgaanyatjarraMediaTorres Strait IslandsTorres Strait IslandsMedia AssociationMedia AssociationQueensland RemoteQueensland RemoteAboriginal MediaAboriginal MediaRemote Indigenous Media Organisations
    6. 6. Part 1:History of remoteIndigenous media& policy development
    7. 7. 1980:1980: AustraliaAustralia’’s first Aboriginal owned and controlled radio station Centrals first Aboriginal owned and controlled radio station CentralAustralian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA 8KIN) started broadcastingAustralian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA 8KIN) started broadcasting1982:1982: National Aboriginal and Islander Broadcasting Association (NAIBA)National Aboriginal and Islander Broadcasting Association (NAIBA)established, continued until 1985established, continued until 19851983:1983: Anthropologist Eric Michaels begins 5-year AIAS TV study at YuendumuAnthropologist Eric Michaels begins 5-year AIAS TV study at Yuendumu1984:1984: Ernabella Video and Television established, initially as 1-year TAFE programErnabella Video and Television established, initially as 1-year TAFE program1984:1984: Warlpiri Media Association formed following video training programs in 1983Warlpiri Media Association formed following video training programs in 1983October 1984:October 1984: DAA Taskforce releaseDAA Taskforce release ‘‘Out of the Silent LandOut of the Silent Land’’; recommended; recommendedBRACS program to enable remote communities to insert of local video and radioBRACS program to enable remote communities to insert of local video and radioprograms over the incoming mainstream TV servicesprograms over the incoming mainstream TV servicesA Brief History of Remote Indigenous Media
    8. 8. April 1985:April 1985: First local TV transmission begins at Yuendumu andFirst local TV transmission begins at Yuendumu andErnabella – described asErnabella – described as ‘‘fighting fire with firefighting fire with fire’’August 1985:August 1985: AUSSAT B1 satellite launched; B2 in Nov 1985AUSSAT B1 satellite launched; B2 in Nov 19851986:1986: Eric MichaelsEric Michaels’’ reportreport ‘‘The Aboriginal Invention ofThe Aboriginal Invention ofTelevision: Central Australia 1982-6Television: Central Australia 1982-6’’ releasedreleased1987:1987: Imparja TV wins bid to become Commercial TV ServiceImparja TV wins bid to become Commercial TV Servicefor Central zone, begins broadcasting January 1988for Central zone, begins broadcasting January 19881987:1987: BRACS begins in 81 communities, with equipmentBRACS begins in 81 communities, with equipmentdesigned and installed by Telecom between 1988 and 1991;designed and installed by Telecom between 1988 and 1991;poor design and limited training led to lack of usepoor design and limited training led to lack of use1991:1991: DAA Indigenous broadcast policy paper proposes fundingDAA Indigenous broadcast policy paper proposes fundingfor Indigenous Media due to social justice functionsfor Indigenous Media due to social justice functions1992:1992: Broadcasting Services Act 1992 includes the object:Broadcasting Services Act 1992 includes the object:““to ensure the maintenance, and where possible, the development ofto ensure the maintenance, and where possible, the development ofdiversity, including public, community and Indigenous broadcasting, indiversity, including public, community and Indigenous broadcasting, inthe Australian broadcasting service in the transition to digitalthe Australian broadcasting service in the transition to digitalbroadcastingbroadcasting””A Brief History of Remote Indigenous Media
    9. 9. December 1992:December 1992: National Indigenous Media Association of Australia (NIMAA)National Indigenous Media Association of Australia (NIMAA)established with members in print, radio, TV and video, multimedia and filmestablished with members in print, radio, TV and video, multimedia and filmJanuary 1993:January 1993: ATSIC releases first Indigenous broadcasting policy, 5 key areas:ATSIC releases first Indigenous broadcasting policy, 5 key areas:1) Equity 2) Cultural restoration, preservation & growth 3) Efficiency of Communication 4)1) Equity 2) Cultural restoration, preservation & growth 3) Efficiency of Communication 4)Employment 5) Enhanced self-imageEmployment 5) Enhanced self-image1993:1993: BRACS Revitalisation Strategy established for recurrent training, R&M, andBRACS Revitalisation Strategy established for recurrent training, R&M, andoperation costs; BRACS extended to 20 more communities, total of 101 sites.operation costs; BRACS extended to 20 more communities, total of 101 sites.1994:1994: NIMAA recommends 8 regional Indigenous media organisations toNIMAA recommends 8 regional Indigenous media organisations tocoordinate the BRS & ongoing regional training, support and management.coordinate the BRS & ongoing regional training, support and management.April 1996:April 1996: ATSIC review into development of ATSI Media led toATSIC review into development of ATSI Media led to ‘‘DigitalDigitalDreamingDreaming’’ report in 1998 (Dr Helen Molnar et al)report in 1998 (Dr Helen Molnar et al)19971997: National BRACS Review undertaken by Neil Turner; completed 1999.: National BRACS Review undertaken by Neil Turner; completed 1999.19981998: Imparja digital uplink enables 6 regional radio networks via Aurora satellite: Imparja digital uplink enables 6 regional radio networks via Aurora satelliteSeptember 1999September 1999: First test broadcasts on Imparja: First test broadcasts on Imparja’’s Channel 31 by Warlpiris Channel 31 by WarlpiriMedia, PY Media and PAKAM, entitledMedia, PY Media and PAKAM, entitled ‘‘Feeding the BeamFeeding the Beam’’A Brief History of Remote Indigenous Media
    10. 10. 20002000: Productivity Commission report into Broadcasting recommends exploring: Productivity Commission report into Broadcasting recommends exploringthe feasibility of an Indigenous Broadcasting service.the feasibility of an Indigenous Broadcasting service.20002000: DCITA establish: DCITA establish ‘‘Networking the NationNetworking the Nation’’ funding (from 1funding (from 1ststTelstra sell-off)Telstra sell-off)for innovative communications solutions for remote/ regional Australiafor innovative communications solutions for remote/ regional AustraliaDecember 2000December 2000: Release of: Release of ‘‘The Belonging NetworkThe Belonging Network’’, ATSIC/NIMAA feasibility, ATSIC/NIMAA feasibilityreportreport’’ into the development of a National Indigenous Broadcasting Service.into the development of a National Indigenous Broadcasting Service.February 2001:February 2001: Remote Media Summit in Canberra; end of BRS programRemote Media Summit in Canberra; end of BRS programSeptember 2001:September 2001: NIBS Conference at Rockhampton; NIMAA foldsNIBS Conference at Rockhampton; NIMAA foldsOctober 2001:October 2001: Indigenous Remote Communications Association established atIndigenous Remote Communications Association established atRemote Video Festival in Umuwa; establishment of ICTV proposedRemote Video Festival in Umuwa; establishment of ICTV proposedMay 2002:May 2002: Indigenous Community TV broadcasts begin on Ch. 31 by PY MediaIndigenous Community TV broadcasts begin on Ch. 31 by PY MediaSept 2003Sept 2003: Australian Indigenous Communications Association established: Australian Indigenous Communications Association establishedApril 2004April 2004: DCITA sets review into viability of an Indigenous Television Service: DCITA sets review into viability of an Indigenous Television ServiceA Brief History of Remote Indigenous Media
    11. 11. 20052005: RIBS TV Transmitter rollout enables 147 remote communities to get ICTV: RIBS TV Transmitter rollout enables 147 remote communities to get ICTV20052005: DCITA announces $48.5million over 4 years for National Indigenous: DCITA announces $48.5million over 4 years for National IndigenousTelevision service, toTelevision service, to ““build on the Indigenous Community Televisionbuild on the Indigenous Community Televisionnarrowcasting servicenarrowcasting service”” andand ““carry substantial programming for remotecarry substantial programming for remoteaudiences and made in remote communitiesaudiences and made in remote communities””2006:2006: Indigenous Broadcasting Program Review reduces IBP to radio onlyIndigenous Broadcasting Program Review reduces IBP to radio onlyJuly 13 2007July 13 2007- NITV launched on Imparja- NITV launched on Imparja’’s channel 31; ICTV taken off airs channel 31; ICTV taken off air2009:2009: Indigitube launchedIndigitube launchedNovember 13 2009November 13 2009: Launch of ICTV on Westlink channel as weekend service: Launch of ICTV on Westlink channel as weekend serviceJune 2010June 2010: Review of Government Investment in the Indigenous Broadcasting: Review of Government Investment in the Indigenous Broadcastingand Media sector announced, alsoand Media sector announced, also 11 year extension of NITV fundingyear extension of NITV fundingFebruary 2011February 2011: Stevens Review (IBMS) report released with 39 key: Stevens Review (IBMS) report released with 39 keyrecommendations; only 2 enacted to date (no government response yet)recommendations; only 2 enacted to date (no government response yet)2011:2011: Digital Switchover via Direct-to-home model begins in QueenslandDigital Switchover via Direct-to-home model begins in QueenslandDecember 12 2012:December 12 2012: NITV launched as free-to-air channel on SBSNITV launched as free-to-air channel on SBSMarch 18 2013:March 18 2013: ICTV launch as full-time channel on VASTICTV launch as full-time channel on VASTA Brief History of Remote Indigenous Media
    12. 12. Part 2:Examples of‘one size fits all’policy outcomes
    13. 13. National Broadband NetworkWhy won’t the current NBN model address the unmet demand for basictelephony or overcome digital divide issues in remote Indigenouscommunities?
    14. 14. National Broadband Network“a high speed broadband network that isplanned to reach 100 percent ofAustralian premises with a combinationof fibre, fixed wireless and satellitetechnologies...” (NBN Co 2012:2)Issues: DTH model based on western householdmodel Very low home ICT access Unmet demand for basic telephony notaddressed no expansion of mobile telephony; mostappropriate telephony mode (Brady &Dyson 2009, CLC 2007) Existing remote fibre networks not linked toNBN Market model fails in RIC No last-mile delivery solution (eg-WiFi) Latency and asymmetry via satellite restrictsome applicationsOptic Fibre FootprintFixed Wireless FootprintSatellite FootprintTransit Links
    15. 15. Case Study: Ngaanyatjarra LandsTelecommunications Project• 3 levels Government/ community orgs/ telco partnership• $5.8million project completed 2007• 400km of fibre optic cable extended to 6 communities• Satellite solution to 6 communities• WiFi in all 12 sites
    16. 16. The Broadband for the Bush AllianceAims:1.To promote and represent remote regions’ digitalaspirations and priorities.2.To advocate for best telecommunicationsinfrastructure and services for remote Australiancommunities, businesses and dwellings.3.To co-ordinate a research network aimed ataddressing knowledge gaps in remotecommunications needs.4.To build capacity of stakeholders to participate in adigital environment.5.To share knowledge and experience.6.To facilitate and support trials/projects/researchaimed at achieving improved digital outcomes.
    17. 17. Why has Digital Switchover resulted in the abolition of BRACScommunity TV broadcasting of local language content, and transferredthe maintenance costs for the satellite equipment needed to access TVservices to households?Digital Television Switchover
    18. 18. Digital Television Switchover• Direct-to-home (DTH) model chosen for RICs toenable all 17 channels of mainstream TV• No funding option to upgrade local broadcastfacilities to digital, despite recommendation ofpooling of subsidy (Stevens Review 2010 Rec. 36)• Community TV broadcasting of local languagecontent ceases; no funding for digital transmitter• Ongoing maintenance of DTH equipmenttransferred to householder (despite StevensReview Rec. 38)- prohibitive costs, lack ofcoordination with state/ local governments• Reduced ability to view TV outside of houses• No redundancy service if DTH service fails• Gap in accessing Indigenous TV services duringDTH rollout period
    19. 19. Why did the Indigenous Broadcasting Program reduce to supportingradio broadcast delivery when the broader communications sector wasplanning for convergence and multi-platform delivery?Indigenous Broadcasting Program
    20. 20. Indigenous Broadcasting Program (IBP) IBP began 1987 to support urban, regional and remote Indigenous broadcasting By 2006, the sector doubled, yet funding remained the same level- $13.3 million in2006/7. Demand outstripped funding 2:1. Review of IBP in 2006 sought to equalise funding by population band sizes, centraliseRIBS funding to RIMOs, and focus funding on radio broadcasting; All video productionfunding to come via new NITV serviceImpacts for sector: Radio only negated video/TV focus of most RIMOs & stalled moves to convergence &multi-platform delivery (against industry trends) Remote sector urged separate funding program between regional /urban radio stationsand RIMOs/ RIBS to recognise different scope & reduce competition Range of programs delivered by RIMOs- video/ TV, ICT, music, tech services, archiving,culture & language, telecoms – further siloed without coordination
    21. 21. Why did the introduction of a National Indigenous TV service result in theloss of the Indigenous Community TV service it was intended to buildupon, with almost none of the the $80 million of funding to date going toremote producers?National Indigenous Television
    22. 22. National Indigenous Television In 2005, DCITA announced $48.5million over 4 years for a National IndigenousTelevision service, to “build on the Indigenous Community Television narrowcastingservice” and “carry substantial programming for remote audiences and made inremote communities”. No delivery platform provided, resulting in NITV replacing ICTV on Imparja channel 31 Also in 2006, IBP removed video production; all screen funding to come via NITV A mainstream programming & commissioning model was adopted by NITV Of the $80million investment in NITV to June 2012 (about 80% for content), almostnone reached the remote production sector Impacts: Loss of Indigenous Community TV platform Loss of production capacity and impetus for production in remote sector Loss of relevant language-based service for remote audience Significant division within the Indigenous media sector Drop in production and broadcasting of remote community & cultural content
    23. 23. Why does the primary remote media employment program, the NationalJobs Package, pay the same wages for senior broadcasters as newtrainees?National Jobs Package (NJP)
    24. 24. National Jobs Package (NJP) A transition to work program off CDEP, started in 2009 for arts & broadcasting RIMOs have a direct employer relationship and provide training, support, betterwages and conditions for workers than CDEP Some issues: Wages fixed rate - no tiers or annual increments; Not designed for multi-site delivery; Fixed 20 hours - not flexible to organisational/ worker needs (like CDEP); Most RIMO training & support focussed on NJP workers; Added level of administration and reporting.
    25. 25. Why ‘one size fits all’ programs typically don’t fit• Centrally determined, inflexible approach• Assumptions based on mainstream context• Failure to recognise Indigenous diversity• Different experience (ecology) of communications modes and technologies• Market failure• Lack of existing infrastructure or services• Harsh conditions- climatic, environmental, social, political• Language barriers & cultural differences• Lack of community participation and ownership• Community needs and local planning not considered• Lack of relevant research/evidence to guide policy
    26. 26. Part 3:Part 3:Towards a newTowards a newpolicy approachpolicy approach
    27. 27. Stevens Review (2010)“The Australian Government…still lacks a well articulated forward-looking strategy thattakes into account both the potential of the sector and the rapid changes in technology.The sector is not appropriately recognised as a professional component of the broaderbroadcasting and media sector that provides an essential service to all Aboriginal andTorres Strait Islander people whether they live in urban, regional or remote areas.It is under-resourced, lacks critical capacity and skills and suffers from beingadministered across a range of portfolios.” (p.1)“In the Indigenous broadcasting and media sector a ‘one size fits all’ approach will notwork given the significant differences between communities resulting from geography,history and custom. The government’s investment in and strategy for the sector mustbe flexible. The overriding objective must be building the capacity of the sector andgiving it the tools to enable it to adapt and take advantage of rapidly convergingbroadcasting and communication technologies, the looming digital switchover, and theenormous opportunities that are being opened up with the rollout of the NBN. A keyoutcome must be to engage the creativity and energy of younger Aboriginal and TorresStrait Islander peoples.” (p.1)
    28. 28. Key points (Meadows 2012:25):• Indigenous media in Australia has evolved in a policy vacuum, marked by policyuncertainty and a lack of political will to acknowledge the place of Indigenouslanguages and cultures• Indigenous media as a news topic is virtually absent from broader public spherediscussion promoted by mainstream media• The key policy moment in Indigenous media policy was the decision to replace ICTVwith the $48.5million NITV in 2007• Indigenous media policy advocacy has been marked by competing policy agendasand tensions between the ‘soft voices’ from the bush communities and the ‘loudvoices’ from the eastern seaboard• There is a lack of understanding of the media-related practices of policy advocatesand policy managers• ‘Policymaking is nine-tenths press release and one-tenth substance’ (Althaus et al2007)‘When the Stars Align: Indigenous media policy formation1988-2008’ (Meadows 2012)
    29. 29. A new national policy: build on Article 16 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages andto have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media duly reflectIndigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom ofexpression, should encourage privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenouscultural diversity. (UN 2008:7-8) identify Indigenous media as an essential service (Molnar et al 1999); recognise convergence & range of modes/ platforms for media and communications; support innovation and enterprise; recognise diverse needs and contexts of remote, regional and urban Australia; have central tenets of self-determination, language and cultural maintenance, digitalinclusion, professionalism, and social and economic development; link to broader Indigenous & cultural policy frameworks; be adequately resourced to enable the sector to achieve its full potential.
    30. 30. Need for a remote specific policy model A specific, flexible policy approach for remotemedia and communications to address theunique context, scope and challenges Address the mis-match between existing policyand current reality in communities A development communications approach toprogram planning, evaluation & capacity building Consider needs of all 1113 remote communities Community ownership and participation in policy development- Indigenous peopleand orgs as key informants Programs driven by local planning and priorities with recipient –based performanceindicators Effective change management strategies needed to address a crisis of change’ Inter-connection with other programs –arts, culture, language, land management,education, health etc
    31. 31. Media & ICT Training • Employment • Media Production • Language & Culture Programs • Radio, TV & Communications NetworksResourcing • Events & Festivals • Repair & Maintenance • Business Development • Regional Coordination • Promotions • AdvocacySupported by Regional Media Organisation with:Supported by Regional Media Organisation with:
    32. 32. Part 4:Part 4:The role of researchThe role of research
    33. 33. Collecting evidence for Indigenous policy making“Without evidence, policy-makers must fall back on intuition, ideology, orconventional wisdom—or, at best, theory alone. And many policy decisions haveindeed been made in those ways. But the resulting policies can go seriously astray,given the complexities and interdependencies in our society and economy, and theunpredictability of people’s reactions to change.” (Gary Banks 2009:5)However:“A preference for hard research data- in particular, quantitative studies- bygovernment policymakers places the Indigenous media environment in aninvidious position. All of the available research into Indigenous mediaprocesses and practice is qualitative- there are few, if any, numbers involved. Itpresents policymakers with the challenging task of making sense of ‘values’rather than relying on ‘evidence’ in a narrow sense.” (Meadows 2012:26)
    34. 34. Qualitative vs Quantitative Research Policy makers rely heavily on quantitative research/ statistics => remote media orgsrequire data for KPIs and to identify sector gaps and needs (see www.irca.net.au) Quantitative data collection in RICs is challenging: remoteness/access; variability of context; small sample size; high mobility, householdmakeup, cross-cultural communication issues, multiple names, low participation etc; Data and analysis can be unreliable Qualitative research needs more time & resources, but more accurate, locally specificand contextualised results; still challenging to achieve Some good examples: Meadows et al (2007) ‘Community Media Matters’; Turner(1998) ‘Review of BRACS’; Molnar et al (1999) ‘Digital Dreaming’; Rennie et al ‘HomeInternet Use in RICs’ (longitudinal study- ongoing); Kral and Schwab (2012) ‘LearningSpaces’; Brady & Dyson (2009) ‘Mobile phone usage in Wujal Wujal’; Hinkson (2002)‘New Media Projects at Yuendumu’; Big Hart project evaluations; etc
    35. 35. Need for research partnerships How do we provide meaningful ‘evidence’ of program outcomes to supportindustry renewal and development and promote investment ? Communities are research –weary; need relevant outcomes for the community We need partnerships with researchers through: Program evaluations Sector outcomes - social, cultural, political, developmental Audience research Analysis of availability (quantitative) and usage (qualitative) of ICTs Supporting change management Building linkages with other programs Innovation in the sector – R&D Build pathways for information flow from communities back to policymakers
    36. 36. A Communicative Ecologies Approach An holistic research approach to describe the complete range of communicationmedia and information flows existing within a community Identifies the dynamic relationships between social interactions, culture, discourse,communications media and technologies for individuals, groups or communities Three layers of a communicative ecology (Foth & Hearn 2007:9-18):1. A technological layer - devices / platforms that enable communication;2. A social layer- people and social modes of organisation;3. A discursive layer - the content of the communication Research methodology: ethnographic action research & participant evaluation Key findings: Programs that build on existing community activities and modes ofcommunication and technologies are more likely to get ownership and engagementand have successful outcomes
    37. 37. The challenge… to develop an appropriate and flexible policy framework which promotes a robust media andcommunications sector in an era of convergence, drawing on community needs andaspirations Strategy – a symbiotic relationship of community organisations & practitioners, peak bodiesand researchers working together with policy makers to achieve this aim
    38. 38. Remote Media & Communications:Keeping Communities and Culture Strong

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