The way mainstream media reports indigenous health influences how policies are developed, communicated and implemented, participants at the University of Canberra's Media and Indigenous Policy symposium heard last week. Research presented at the symposium confirmed what those working in the indigenous health field already know
-- the dominant feature of mainstream media attention to indigenous health is a lack of interest.
Most of the time, journalists do not report on indigenous health issues at all. But when the media spotlight highlights health issues, reporting is marked by intense spikes of interest and confined to a narrow range of news frames.
Indigenous health news in three newspapers, 2002-2007