New Indigenous TV series to boost programming in languages PDF Print E-mail

INDIGENOUS broadcasters and television and film producers have welcomed the announcement by Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, lnformation Technologies and the Arts 1 that lndigenous television will receive Federal Government funding of $48.5 million over the next 4 years-The announcement follows a government review into the viability of establishing a national lndigenous television services which reported to parliament on 11 August 2005.

"It is great news for all Australians, building upon the remarkable, award-winning output of lndigenous television and film producers," said Rachel Perkins, speaking on behalf of the National lndigenous I Television Committee.

"It will now be possible to produce innovative programming for children and young people nationally, to plan the introduction of a national news and current affairs service and to extend the reach of programming in languages to lndigenous people across Australia."

"We see a national lndigenous TV service aimed primarily at lndigenous people in metropolitan, regional and remote Australia, and secondarily at non-Indigenous Australians," she 1 raid. ."But as has been the case in New Zealand, it may end having more non-Indigenous viewers who will tune in to learn about the many lndigenous cultures that contribute to the richness of contemporary Australia."

Chairman of lmparja Television and the CAAMA Group, Owen Cole,said he is delighted that the Minister has supported a model which builds on the lndigenous Community Television service (ICTV) service which narrow casts on the lmparja second channe1.A National lndigenous Television service will complement that ICTV service, he said. Australia is beginning to catch up with other countries in establishing a national lndigenous television presence.

In Canada the Aboriginal Peoples 'Television Network was established in 1999 and is mandated by the Canadian Government to broadcast nationally on the basic tier of cable te1evision.A Maori television network was established in New Zealand earlier this year and Indigenous television services have existed in Wales since 1982, Ireland since 1995 and Spain since 1983.