ECCV/SBS Refugee Media Mentorship project

Following unfair portrayals of multicultural communities by mainstream media, the ECCV held a media forum in May 2010 in Melbourne (Spotlight on Stereotypes) to discuss issues of fairness in reporting. SBS were represented on the forum panel.

The forum was prompted by news that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) had found that all 3 commercial TV stations in Melbourne had breached their Code of Conduct in that their reporting of an incident had “…created an unfair presentation overall of Sudanese people as being particularly prone to commit violence and crime”. We should note here that no Sudanese were involved in the story that was presented.

All 3 stations were found to have breached the code and committed to expose the relevant staff to some training. As a result, ECCV wrote up a paper which identified a number of problems in the media that we would pursue in the coming years. They were;

  1. The significant levels of unfairness and stereotyping of news and current affairs reporting particularly in the commercial media
  1. The negative impact this can have on identity formation
  1. The weak regulatory regime which relies on a voluntary Code of Conduct

   4. The lack of diverse media faces as TV presenters and actors in TV dramas

  1. The perceived lack of a reasonable number of young media graduates from diverse backgrounds getting a start in the media.

So in 2011 we spoke with SBS and over a period we negotiated with them a Refugee Media Mentorship Project. The overall aim of this mentoring scheme is to start to address issue "" by providing a greater chance through mentoring of young migrant/refugee media/journalism students making a successful transition from study to work as a media professional, to increase their chances of moving into the mainstream media as employees and to provide a confidence building role for SBS employees.

From April 2012, 8 migrant/refugee background students in the first year of the media and journalism course at Macquarie University in NSW were selected as mentees to be linked to an SBS mentor in Sydney. It is anticipated that the same arrangement will be in place by July 2012 at Deakin University in Victoria. This process will be undertaken within an agreed framework. To discuss this project contact the ECCV Director Ross Barnett at or on (03) 9349 4122

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