Broadcasting and Languages ABC makes room for languages on-line PDF Print E-mail

Brisbane broadcaster Tiga Bayles (standing) from 4AAA with William Fitz from Alice Springs.
Brisbane broadcaster Tiga Bayles (standing) from 4AAA with William Fitz from Alice Springs.
THE Broadcasting and Languages workshop opened discussion on ways that languages can be more effectively promoted using the network of Indigenous broadcasting services.

 

On the panel were; Paulette Whitton - ABC TV Indigenous Unit; Francis McKellar 2CUZ FM, Bourke; Tiga Bayles - 4AAA Radio Brisbane; Libby Feez - ABC "Message Stick Online" and Christine Baker — Radio 2SRC in Sydney.

Libby Feez invited people to use ABC's "Message Stick Online" to promote language projects and publications. The service is a great way to
advertise events, publications and even personal written works and poems. Libby said that the unit is looking to expand its story telling in language, and invited people to get in touch with their own contributions.

ABC's Indigenous unit has developed a range of cultural protocol notices, some of which are shown at the start of programs e.g. regarding the name or image of a deceased person appearing in a program. Message Stick Online has also produced protocol guides such as those for people wanting to approach members of a community for details of a public interest story.

Another issue to be faced by the ABC is that the subtitling of language programs on TV has been found offensive by some members of relevant communities. Tiga Bayles outlined the role of the Indigenous Communications Australia Advisory Committee (ICAAC) and the early stages of the development of a National Indigenous Broadcasting and Communications service.

The charter for the ICAAC will include the promotion of languages. Tiga also spoke of the effectiveness of the broadcasting medium in relating the Indigenous experience to people who normally are not willing to listen, learn or talk to their Indigenous neighbours.

Aboriginal people in Bourke who were once charged $300 an hour for access to the local community radio service are very proud of the fact that their own service now captures the bulk of the listening audience and has daily language content. Francis McKellar of 2CUZ FM said that the staff were busy preparing for the opening of a new station.

Christine Baker backed up the commitment of the Sydney community radio service by interviewing a number of the delegates for a special program on Indigenous languages that went to air later in the day. Consensus from the session was that establishing and maintaining links between broadcasting services and language project teams must now be a priority, and can't fail to produce great outcomes for people in both fields.