Australian Media
(Image: AAP/Sarah Rhodes)

Another week, another issue of substance lost to political bickering. Australian media has a problem, and last week's narrow focus on the political machinations behind the call for Indigenous recognition showed just how bad that problem has become.

It started when Minister of Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt made a historic pledge for a referendum on Indigenous recognition. This followed the Uluru Statement from the Heart's plea “to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”. But within hours fringe conservative backbenchers -- whose political business model relies on provocations that lay just on the politically-acceptable side of the appalling -- were given grabs on the evening news and lengthy interviews on "Sky After Dark" as they attempted to block that walk before it could build momentum.

The news then became about the response, rather than the issue.