(Image: AAP/James Ross)

If “good” journalism is reporting with impact -- journalism that changes public policy for the better -- then Australia’s media is still a long way short of the journalism we need about asylum seekers.

We’re now 18 years on from that moment when MV Tampa steamed into our public debate and re-made Australian politics. Yet, as we saw with the reporting of the Biloela asylum seeker family’s threatened deportation, journalism is struggling to make a practical difference to the policy residue left in Tampa's wake.