INDIGENOUS MEDIA AND CULTURE
The core role of this research study is to comprehensively study the critical roles of indigenous media channels on the cultures by closely analyzing a media production that is anticipatory in nature carried out in Kiwirrkura, Wave Rock Hyden, Macquarie, Uluru, Nillarbor and Cape York in the most remote areas in Australia. This section will discuss the various benefits and major challenges encountered by indigenous media channels as a tool of communication among the indigenous people in Australia. It follows a conclusive description of indigenous media training on efficient use to communicate.
Indigenous media channels such as verbal, newspaper, video and music arts are among the top indigenous forms of powerful social system tools in establishing personal sense of reality (Zhao et al., 2019.pp.146-165). Indigenous media channels enabled the understanding of the cultural ties of the Aboriginal communities in Australia with the county’s view of herself as a nation that appreciates the diversity in culture. With the rapid increase in globalization and multiculturalism, Australia has branded herself as in a position making diversity a symbol of National strength.
There is however sufficient evidence that education and information is not accessed by the minority groups of people as indicated by one of the scholarly Research by National Indigenous Postgraduate Association Aboriginal Corporation (NIPAAC, 2012). This is because the passage of information was done in modern forms only, disadvantaging the other people in remote areas.
It has proved over time to be the most impacting and influential on grounds that in its sense of culture, the indigenous forms of communication reinforce values and norms which have already attracted the attention and achieved a sensually contextual foundation. The indigenous and independent media channels are the most basic but crucial requirements for proper cultural preservation, passage of information, identity, political liberty, democracy and education. The modern mass media channels are ineffective in such important and necessary processes and activities if they fail to integrate with the indigenous means. The indigenous persuasive press inference indicates that people in most of the times presume the opinions of the public from the view of the content information of the popular media coverage and assumptions about the content depicting significant impacts on the members of the community. Cultural values are acquired through learning and passed from one generation to the other. It’s a mechanism of integration, a socially binding force that brings together a wide diversity of members of organizations and communities. The elements of one social setting are borrowed and integrated with the recipient cultural norms and aid, referred to as diffusion in sociology and anthropology. Only the ancient channels of communication can pass such information efficiently without biasness against the disadvantaged groups of people who might not be in access to the modern channels.
Elements of one culture borrowed and incorporated in recipient culture are called diffusion. The processes of diffusion bring some kind of shifts in the culture. Sometimes diffusion is due to intermediate contact that occurs through the third party. Mass media has a political and a persuasive power over people. Radio, TV, the ‘press’ etc. can manipulate all societies. Political propaganda, advertising and the so-called ‘mind-bending’ power of the media are long-standing causes of debate and concern. Media has a great effect on our social behavior which is a part of our culture. The study assessed various ways of effect of mass media on culture like cognitive, attitudinal, behavioral and psychological. The study aimed to elucidate the importance of media, culture and their relationship and influence over each other.
Statement of the problem
What is noticed very troubling in an attempt to interlink the indigenous channels of communication is the essence that information has to be channeled from one modern generation to the other that could be in most case the old people, illiterate or from remote communities. Modern means are therefore necessary. In the modern times the passage of this information is critical. However, the members of these diverse communal settings are in most cases inclined on the ancient means because they cannot access the modern channels. This paper therefore seeks to elaborate on the complexities on why the ancient methods of communication are necessary as well.
Objectives of the study
Identify the roles being played by the indigenous media in promoting culture
Explore the values adopted by the community as a result of the ancient media channels
Identify and vividly explain the possible challenges faced by communities in the face of indigenous media
To explain how the ancient people have utilized the media in advancing their political, economic and cultural status.
The allegations that media production empowers, educates and informs lay the foundation of the literature review on the indigenous media production. For instance the acceptance of the television, film and video as just one of the many forms of indigenous expressions pose a coincidence with a rise in context of education, information and conservation of cultural norms among the Aboriginal communities have been noted to significantly increase since 1960s.
The core issue here on the indigenous media and culture is not the care and close preservation of people’s culture, non-westernization or otherwise but empowerment, education and passage of information to people irrespective of their cultural beliefs in all standards to produce their own meditations of cultures. The process of establishing a real time visual image is usually a source of information.
Burrows explains that indigenous media production very important for the generated knowledge and the processes empowering the passage of the same information (Burrows., 2018.pp.1117-1134).
The thoughts and hypotheses on indigenous media supersede the evils of colonialism, ethnocentrism and naiveté regarding the roles of foreigners in context of academic and developmental agenda. Despite the fact that some communal and social activities rejoice their utilization of methodologies with participatory elements, idealism, patterns and condescension, the opposite holds true in all situations.
In Australian remote villages for instance, in’ photo novella’ women have been portrayed by the indigenous media as anthropologists. Anthropology is practice with an objective of increasing empathy. As the research demonstrates, the photo novella avails an opportunity for these anthropologists to market the empathy of foreigners rather than idealism, condescension and paternalism directed to their day to day lives.
Scholars argue that in hardly any known community do people just relax and expect foreign people to educate, inform and preserve their culture. But most likely beneficial information and enlightenment excites the foreigner in question. This is thought is noted in several projects in The Nature Conservancy in Australia. The organization stresses on the participation of media in projects referred to as the ‘Photovoice”, a property of The Nature Conservancy and others to educate, inform and preserve the Australian culture.
In contrast, the mainstream and in that matter the supposedly liberal media established by the members of the cultural community is celebrated for its capability and capacity to educate, inform and preserve culture as used in the ancient or rather the indigenous forms of media contexts.
Burrows also notes that inn several cases foreigners and non-native people have a lot of contributions to the ancient and indigenous forms of communication and production of media.
Burrows in his book expressed his concerns about an indigenous Australian aboriginal brought forward to head the editing of a popular film. The aboriginal knew very little about it despite his participation in such similar projects in The Village projects.
Projects were linked to more benefits to the program facilitators that the actual participants. Villarreal 2017) explained this phenomenal in the University Of Washington Anthropology Department in autumn 2008 as he introduced the film Keepers of the Waters they had created. Perhaps in attempt to admit that they never had an intention of offering absolutely creative and innovative indigenous makers of films in video editing facilities in the village. These facilities were after some time shifted away from a location that could be easily accessed by the members of the community. On a similar note, the Video in the Village film series augurs well with scholars all through the US and globally as well. It could therefore be hypothesized that the structure of the narrative alluded to the film by the indigenous members of the team who bring ideas and the needed expertise to create projects that are marketable and having the ability to pass the intended message to a broader audience.
The Culture and Gender Research Institute, Photovoice, and the Ethics of Minority Media Production allege that education without biasness, information beyond the literacy levels empower and reduce the gap of inequality. Most of the people engaged in projects to grow the indigenous production of media are the male. Men are dominant in the local media projects.
Villarreal explains why it is this specific gender to get involved in indigenous media projects; they are portrayed as tools of power and politics because they are known to dominate the arena. In one of the scholarly articles, Burrows stands firm to defend his choice to only work with the male gender in a video production as an indigenous means of communication. He goes ahead to argue that separation of gender was in tandem with cultures and therefore appropriate and that forcing the idea of balancing the gender in media projects proves very inconveniencing and inappropriate (Villarreal., 2017).
While the decision is challenged, imbalances in gender purportedly empower the production of indigenous media projects. Extending the research study to the homeward of He Zhonghua, a professor and a scholarly researcher at the Yunnan Academy of Sciences who had authored a book about the Na community, he agrees to the Hinkson’s notions.
Australian Culture and Gender Research Institute follows the philosophy of participatory practices of development and support the idea of using the indigenous media channels to educate the diverse minority ethnic groups of people residing in the remote areas among the most indigenous.
Despite several illustrations on the significance of indigenous media on the indigenous Eora, Erawirung indigenous groups in Australia, there still exists a gap on whether its time indigenous channels are embraced. They are the less biased means of communicating among both the illiterate and other classes of people (Hinkson., 2018.pp.1-10). The project is designed to provide empowerments to the ancient natives by educating, informing and equipping them with basic skills on photography.
Research questions and hypotheses
For the purpose of this study research questions and comprehensive hypotheses were formulated as follows.
Could there be a positive impact played by the indigenous media channels?
Is it time the indigenous media channels are embraced?
Is it possible to make the indigenous means of communication the most dominant form of communication?
The design of this research study is such that primary and secondary sources are utilized. The former were retrieved from diverse mass and social media. The data from these two sources were quantitatively analyzed, codded and analyzed using thematically methods. Interviews and questionnaires were not left out though. Primary sources were provided in partnership with Culture and Gender Research Institute and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) were used. The two organizations designed their projects with an intention of teaching the village members how to use cameras and other channels of indigenous forms. They would bring with them prints, criticized by other people from across political and social divided. TNC hesitated to share the prints with the case study though because of the nature of getting to access the indigenous people in remote areas in Australia.
Area of study
It follows a description of the first media training workshop carried in Kiwirrkura, Wave Rock Hyden, Macquarie, Uluru, Nillarbor and Cape York in the most remote areas in Australia.
The media has an impact in all communities. Interviews and questionnaires carried out in different regions shows that on average, people are impacted by media equally in both rural and urban areas. The figure 1 below shows the proportions of people picked at random against their county of origin in Australian remote areas. When it is observed closely, Kiwirrkura leads at 23% in the number of people who agreed and supported the indigenous media sources of communication. Wave Rock Hyden at 18.66%, Macquarie at 16%, Uluru at 12% Nillarbor at 14.7% and finally Cape York at . This would mean that at least people from all the remote regions in Aistralia according to a research coordinated on the indigenous communities appreciate the impacts of indigenous media and their corresponding consequences on culture.
Table 1: Percentage proportions of 150 people picked at random in Australia
Wave Rock Hyden
Source: Field survey
The figures obtained from the field work indicate that people with the interest to embrace indigenous media channels are equally distributed across both the rural and urban settings in Australian most remote areas.
These results in a pie char creates an impression and justifies that people appreciate the impacts of indigenous channels of communication, equally in both urban and rural areas of Australia.
The shift from indigenous channels of communication is inevitable. However, people depending on their geographical location maybe disadvantaged as a result of the shift. The indigenous media aid in shaping the community and ways of cultures. The importance of print media for instance has created a norm in which people irrespective of their locations receive the intended information with ease. As Burrows says, ‘the medium is the message’. The indigenous means of communication in fact have advantage over the modern in that they cannot be altered by the viewers. The main concern by the government to retain and even support projects and organization such as Postgraduate Association Aboriginal Corporation upholding and embracing the indigenous channels is worth it and very necessary. Indigenous means of communication may however be hybred with the modern channels. Media and culture have very close associations sociologically. In Burrows sociological and cultural scholarly research, it is noted that media and studies on culture are sociological in nature. Indigenous forms of communication need approaches on sociology because it is dominated by elements in sociological research elements.
Films such as Tele Novela should woo the consumers to confront the obvious that indigenous media plays an important role in all cultural. The main challenge is however is the effect the modern channels may have on the execution of strategies to formalize and embrace the indigenous forms. The impact of indigenous media on audience on social perspective and other categories is immense
Despite the problematic thoughts not the allegations behind the influence of indigenous channels of communication, it remains to be very necessary. Villarreal (2017) is right to caution against the dominance on the modern channels. In any anthropological perspective, the inevitable and dilemmas that are ethical must be reconsidered but the engagement with other members of the community should not stop.
Media is the most dominant element in many social settings and nothing remains untouched by the media in the 21st century. The indigenous channels however remain the better way in case the information is intended to reach all the members of the society. Indigenous media dominates culture in such a way that moral values are upheld. Passage of information is not biased. The information passed though indigenous means remains and is never altered by third parties (Cunneen., 2018.pp.227-229). The influence of indigenous media channels can only be appreciated by embracing it through policy development and education. The study and appreciation of indigenous media and their goods in societies extends from Aristotle and Plato to Kant, Hegel, Marx and other philosophers and scholars.
Indigenous media have a unique view Cultural studies have a specific view of the media in the sense that cultural studies can explore and unravel the political dimensions of the media and their texts. Media is the reflection of moral concerns and moral issues which are expressed through a medium in modern social and cultural situations (Ku and Wong., 2018). Media in general establishes panic among people and creates social consciousness in diverse spheres of life. Ku and Wong note that ‘culture is communication and communication is culture’. People learn culture from communication and these media channels are the reflection of communities. To validate this argument however, indigenous means should be embraced and given first priority since it is nondiscriminatory across classes of people. Indigenous media shapes thoughts, beliefs and help uphold the best behaviors and norms.
Burrows, E., 2018. Indigenous media producers’ perspectives on objectivity, balancing community responsibilities and journalistic obligations. Media, Culture & Society, 40(8), pp.1117-1134.
Cunneen, C., 2018. Indigenous People, Resistance and Racialised Criminality. In Media, Crime and Racism (pp. 277-299). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Hinkson, M., 2018. Indigenous Media. The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, pp.1-10.
Ku, H.B. and Wong, Y.L.R., 2018. State, profession, and religion: Reflecting on spirituality and indigenous social work in China in the Yushu Earthquake Relief. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 37(2), pp.146-165.
Villarreal, G.Z., 2017. Indigenous media and political imaginaries in contemporary Bolivia. U of Nebraska Press.
Waller, L., 2019. Indigenous Media in Australia. Transnational Media: Concepts and Cases, p.199.
Zhao, Q., Yang, C., Yang, S. and He, Z., 2019. Insider perspectives on indigenous social media and the language/culture maintenance: A case study of WeChat use among the Naxi of China.