Asian Aussie Research Report Findings

‘Report Card’ On Media Diversity In Australia Shows That It Is Still ‘White’ Dominated

No surprises here. Without a report just looking at Australian news, it is very clear that diversity hasn’t reached a level where it is representative of Australian demographics. Minus networks like SBS and parts of ABC, and the odd or token Indigenous or CALD Australian on mainstream networks, the overall outlook is still quite bleak. Hence its great to see a report out like this to give the facts straight.

In partnership with the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney, Media Diversity Australia (MDA) has released a ‘report card’ on Indigenous and cultural diversity in television news, with insights into what has changed, what has stayed the same, and opportunities to lead the charge toward greater diversity.

Who Gets to Tell Australian Stories? 2.0 examines the Indigenous and cultural diversity of Australian news and current affairs television media – and asks – “Does Australian news and current affairs represent the society they serve?” given the latest Census data revealed Australia is more diverse than ever.

Indigenous Australian representation on commercial networks are still dismal and ‘disappointing’ as said by Professor Nareen Young, Associate Dean of (Indigenous Leadership and Engagement at the UTS Business School said;

“Clearly there has been some work done in the public sector entities, but the commercial sector seems yet to understand the business case for both Indigenous and other forms of diversity, on boards, in leadership roles, on our news screens. It’s very disappointing given the focus in most other areas of business and industry. They’re well behind,” 

“Given the spirit of the times, commercial television needs to get behind the well established push to recruit, support, and promote Indigenous people at the networks. There’s massive amounts of research they can draw on to help them withtheir business case,” she said.

Media Diversity Australia’s CEO Mariam Veiszadeh said,

“MDA is working towards creating a representative media landscape that looks and sounds more like Australia. We not only hold up a mirror to the industry but crucially, we also provide practical and evidence-based solutions.”

Here are some hard truths coming out of the report:


  • The overall share of appearances on television by presenters and reporters of Anglo-Celtic background increased from 2019 to 2022. The Anglo-Celtic category remained vastly over- represented on television, across all states and territories.
  • The share of appearances on television by presenters and reporters of Indigenous background improved overall but was inconsistent across networks.
  • The share of appearances on television by presenters and reporters of European cultural backgrounds declined.
  • Australia’s non-European population is at least 19 times greater than the representation on commercial networks (where it was no more than 1.3% of on-air talent)
  • The non-European category remained the most severely under-represented, particularly on commercial networks.
  • Nine is the only network to decrease its portion of Anglo-Celtic on air talent.
  • The ABC is the only network to show an increase in non-European on air talent.
  • Researchers were unable to identify a single Indigenous reporter or presenter at the Seven Network which has the least on air cultural diversity.


  • SBS remains the only network board to have representation of Indigenous, Anglo-Celtic, European and non-European members. Its board now has two Indigenous members, up from one in 2020.
    In terms of the gender mix, there has been some progress albeit inconsistent across the networks.
  • Evidence showed a greater gender balance on the boards of the ABC, Network 10 and Nine.
  • Concerningly, Indigenous representation and cultural diversity among television news leaders, is even worse than the board profiles.
  • Two free-to-air networks (the ABC and Nine) appear to have exclusively Anglo-Celtic senior television news leadership teams.
  • Other than NITV which has an all-Indigenous leadership team, Network 10 has the most diverse leadership.

Where there has been some progress – thanks to reports like this and advocacy from groups such as Media Diversity Australia, a clear majority of non-European background respondents say they would like to see more cultural diversity represented among presenters and stories told – indicating that cultural diversity may not be as well-represented as asserted.

If interested, please go to this link: to read the full report.

Press release and images provided.

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