ICTV's Community News Delivers

[by Mandy Taylor]


Image: supplied

The pilot series of Indigenous Community TV’s Community News has broken new ground in providing information and stories on national, regional and local issues relevant to residents of remote communities.


The final episode of Community News goes to air on Friday August 13 but it’s hoped long-term funding can be secured for the program. The eight-episode initial series is presented in three Indigenous languages from Central Australia, as well as English.


It provides a platform for freelance reporting in languages and from communities throughout remote Australia. ICTV General Manager Rita Cattoni says Community News gives ICTV’s audience a complete news package.


It covers everything from serious topics, like COVID, land rights and deaths in custody, to lighter segments about local sport and community profiles.


“Community News presents important information and stories in a way that is accessible to our audience,” Ms Cattoni said.


“Remote Indigenous audiences need access to the important information broadcast by news services, but it’s not always presented in a way that is readily understood. By delivering this information in language and simple English we are trying to address a critical need for information transfer for Indigenous Australians living in remote areas.”


Western Aranda news presenter Damien Williams said Community News also provides important training opportunities.


“The program is a great opportunity for our contributors to learn and develop new skills around news gathering and delivery,” Mr Williams said.


“One of the reasons I was keen to join the Community News team is the platform it gives people in remote communities to preserve and strengthen their language.”


Warlpiri presenter Theresa Napurrurla Ross says the program has strengthened knowledge and communication in her community.


“It’s about communicating with the Yapa [local Indigenous person] voice,” Ms Ross said.


“People in my community get to find out what’s happening in Australia through the news in their own language and they wouldn’t have been able to find that out before.


“And then they share that news when they go to another camp with people who haven’t heard the news. That’s the Yapa voice, people telling each other about what they just heard – communicating.”


ICTV is working to secure Federal Government funding support to continue Community News into the future.


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