A quick and belated introduction

Building independent Black media

Greetings,

First of all, a huge thank you for signing up to this newsletter. It has been a bit of a slow start but I’m committed to using this platform to help build a different form of independent black media. My plans are to build upon the foundations laid by legends like Murri broadcaster and activist Tiga Bayles, who was a personal mentor of mine, and who was at the forefront of Aboriginal community radio. The Aboriginal community radio sector is one of the most critically important, but undervalued, sectors in the Australian media landscape. I also build upon the work of publications like the 100 percent Aboriginal owned Koori Mail, the land rights publication Land Rights News, IndigenousX and NITV.

We are in a stage now where we have a growing chrous of black voices working in mainstream media - from Lorena Allam and Laura Murphy-Oates at The Guardian, Ella Archibald-Binge at the SMH and the Age (soon to join ABC’s 7:30), Larissa Behrendt, Daniel Browning, Suzanne Dredge, Bridget Brennan, Sarah Collard and Isabella Higgans at the ABC, Rangi Hirini at the West Australian, and many more who are too numerous to name. And yet I feel there is still a space for independent black media, or at least, a different way of reporting it.

I hope to build this platform into something that reflects that - that elevates the testimony of the Black Witness and that pays tribute to the many resistances shown by Aboriginal people against state sanctioned violence. As I build this newsletter, I hope to use it to do original reporting as well as provide analysis on Indigenous affairs. Because of this, my future plans will involve offering paid subscriptions, while at the same time keeping the majority of the reporting free and accessible. The Black Witness has been historically silenced, and it is not in the interests of our people to keep their voices confined behind paywalls. The paid subscription would eventually be for those who believe the work is worth supporting and would aid me in travel and reporting costs in the future.

Over the next year, I hope I can show you the value in this work and I hope you can stay with me as I try and build a community of our mob and allies who believe in black media as a tool for resistance. I’ll aim to provide weekly updates about news in Indigenous affairs, providing links to solid work, as well as continuing to provide my own reporting and analysis. Please let me know your thoughts or suggestions or any tips - my email is amygracemcquire@gmail.com.