Extremist rallies, far-right organised groups and racist dog-whistling have been regular features of the news over summer (and, well, for more than a year). But what looks like a clear-cut case of racism to some is often described in the news with vague terms: "protests", "activists" or "extremist".

And when a person is called racist, it's often strongly refuted. Late last year, Sky News presenter Rowan Dean threatened legal action against anyone who suggested on social media he was racist, among other descriptors, after his co-host Ross Cameron was sacked for racist comments about Asian people.

And after Indigenous academic Marcia Langton made comments on the ABC's Q&A in 2014 that commentator Andrew Bolt said implied he was racist, the program's host Tony Jones and Langton herself apologised to Bolt -- a man who has previously been found by a court to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act.