ABC launches Indigenous Language News Service trial
The ABC has launched a trial of an Indigenous language news service in the Northern Territory providing daily radio news bulletins in two Aboriginal languages, Warlpiri and Yolngu Matha, over a 12 month period.
Developed with the support of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, the ABC’s Indigenous Language News Service will be available on ABC News online and mobile services for the duration of the trial. The bulletins will also be made available to remote Indigenous broadcast services for re-broadcast free of charge.
The Northern Territory has an Indigenous population of about 30 per cent. For many Indigenous Australians English is a second language – in the Northern Territory 64 per cent of Indigenous people in remote areas speak an Aboriginal language as their primary language at home.
The ABC Charter requires the ABC to offer services to the community as a whole and reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian population.
ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott said, “The ABC works hard to ensure that all Australians have access to quality media services, including reliable news and information about international, national, regional and local matters,” Mr Scott said, “This trial is an extension of these rich media services”.
Chair of the ABC’s Bonner Committee, Charlie King said, “The Indigenous Language News Service Trial aligns closely with the aims and objectives of the ABC’s Reconciliation Action Plan. This service will increase access to the ABC’s high quality, independent news programming for Aboriginal people living in some of the remotest parts of the Northern Territory for many of whom English is a second language”.
ABC Director Northern Territory, Christopher Smyth thanked the Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service (AIS) who will assist the ABC in producing the Warlpiri and Yolngu Matha services for the duration of the trial.
“This trial service highlights the important role the ABC plays in regional Australia and reflects our commitment to recognising audience diversity,” he said.