Abstract

It is acknowledged that health outcomes for Australian Indigenous peoples are lower than those of non-Indigenous Australians. Research suggests negative media in relation to Indigenous Australians perpetuates racist stereotypes among the wider population and impacts on the health of Indigenous Australians. This study examined the media portrayal of Indigenous Australian public health issues in selected media over a twelve month period and found that, overwhelmingly, the articles were negative in their portrayal of Indigenous health. A total of 74 percent of the coverage of Australian Indigenous related articles were negative, 15 percent were positive, and 11 percent were neutral. The most common negative subject descriptors related to alcohol, child abuse, petrol sniffing, violence, suicide, deaths in custody, and crime.

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