Living Black - Taken Indigenous Issues Reporting Finalist

Amnesty International Australia Media Awards: Meet the 2021 Indigenous Issues Reporting Finalists

The Amnesty International Australia Media Awards recognise the important work of media professionals operating in Australia to expose human rights abuses around the world.

With the impending announcement of this year’s winners on the 18th November – meet the finalists in the Indigenous Issues Reporting category and their entries to this years’ awards. In no particular order:

“Abuse of Power: Sexual Abuse Allegations in Youth Detention”, Reporter – Michael Atkin, Production by Scott Kyle, Christopher Gillette, Tom Pawson, David McSween, ABC

Photo of Abuse of Power – 7:30 Report

This reporting was an in-depth investigative television story produced for the ABC’s national TV current affairs program, 7.30. This exclusive reporting revealed new allegations by two Aboriginal men about being subjected to sexual abuse following strip searches in youth detention.

The judges’ comments:

“A powerful insight into the harms experienced by two men allegedly abused in youth detention, and a deeper discussion of the ongoing impact and the broader scope of this issue. The investigative reporting has made a difference in seeing authorities take active steps to improve their duty of care to juvenile inmates. The report demonstrates the determination of the journalist in uncovering systemic problems in a space where public disclosure is rarely given.”

“Aboriginal Justice Agreement”, Laetitia Lemke & Michael Franchi with support from ABC News NT’s John McElhinney, Sara Everingham, Jessica Henderson & Donna McDonald, ABC Online

Video of Aboriginal Justice Agreement – ABC News

Following the Director of the Aboriginal Justice Unit Leanne Liddle, on her mission to deliver the Territory’s first Aboriginal Justice Agreement, this story allows us to hear the issues with the justice system.

The judges’ comments:

“Nuanced and compelling storytelling, providing a detailed and contextualised understanding of a complex issue. The program intricately weaves perspectives and experiences in a powerful illustration of a deeply-troubling social problem. The program presents a timely opportunity for audiences to consider the matters discussed at a moment when decision-makers will be required to take steps in addressing the needs of the Northern Territory’s First Nations peoples.”

“‘Taken’ – Living Black”, Karla Grant, Julie Nimmo, Mark Bannerman & Susan Bell, NITV

Photo of ‘Taken’ – Living Black, NITV

In this Living Black half hour investigation we exclusively hear from three Aboriginal children caught in the NSW child protection system who take huge personal risk to describe the harsh realities of being in “care” and what occurs after a State sanctioned, forced removal from their family.

Two sisters and a young man recall the experience of being taken into the out-of-home-care system, in terms akin to police arrest, abduction, segregation, isolation and eventual incarceration for almost 2 years in ever-changing, impersonal hotel rooms with rotating case workers.

The judges’ comments:

“The sensitivity of this program, in allowing children who have experienced significant trauma to tell their stories freely has given a profound insight into this issue. An insight which further highlights the power of First Nations reporting on Indigenous issues. The program has not only revealed a systemic failure in the treatment of the family involved but has also elevated this into a moment allowing for the empowering of young, black voices which are rarely given a platform to speak. That ‘Taken’ has effected real change and generated a positive outcome is a testament to its’ skilful reporting.”

Thanks to this years’ Indigenous Issues Reporting judges

  • Jodan Perry, NITV
  • Miriam Corowa, ABC News 24’s Weekend Breakfast
  • Larissa Behrendt, ABC Radio – Speaking Out

Follow the Media Awards

Winners of this years’ Media Awards will be announced in an online ceremony on the 18th November. To find out more about the Awards you can follow the coverage on our social channels, or follow updates on our website.