Aboriginal newspapers & magazines
Browse a selection of Australian Aboriginal newspapers and magazines for the latest news stories
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Published fortnightly since 1991, the Aboriginal-owned and operated Koori Mail is distributed Australia-wide, providing news, views, advertisements and other material of interest to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and non-Indigenous Australians interested in Indigenous affairs. The paper claims to be recognised as ‘The Voice of Indigenous Australia’.
From their website: “The Koori Mail is not just a successful national publication – it’s also a true Aboriginal success story. The newspaper is owned jointly by five small Aboriginal organisations in Bundjalung country, on the far north coast of New South Wales. Every cent of profit made by the newspaper goes to Indigenous Australians – in the form of dividends, sponsorships or scholarships to help our people.”
The paper claims more than 100,000 readers each fortnight, quoting McNair Ingenuity Research. Their ABC-audited circulation is more than 9,200 copies each fortnight.
Their website offers short teasers to articles featured in the printed version. Overseas subscriptions are delivered by airmail.
A digital archive dating back to the first edition is available at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.
We really enjoy getting the Koori Mail newspaper here at work – it is full of good news stories and challenges for action.— Peta, Coordinator & Project Officer
National Indigenous Times (NIT)
The National Indigenous Times began publishing every fortnight on February 27, 2002. It went weekly in September 2011, a first for a national weekly for Aboriginal Australians, claiming a nationwide circulation of more than 10,000 copies and availability from more than 1,000 outlets.
In January 2015 the NIT was placed in administration because of outstanding legal bills against it and an unfair dismissal claim by a previous editor. In December 2015, Tony Barrass bought the NIT masthead from the liquidators and successfully launched the online version on 28 February 2016.
Focusing on politics, the paper is staffed and owned by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Predominantly Aboriginal Australian writers and columnists contribute. The NIT claims never to have received government grants or funding.
The newspaper seeks to:
- build a bridge between black and white Australia;
- report the tough issues, giving a "warts-and-all" look at Indigenous affairs;
- Inform, engage and empower through promoting Indigenous achievement.
First Nations Telegraph
First Nations Telegraph is Australia's first free online national First Nation specific e-newspaper covering news, editorial, opinions, features, community stories and sport on a daily basis.
It is an Aboriginal family owned and operated business of Rhonda and Stephen Hagan from Toowoomba in southeast Queensland.
New Matilda is an independent, predominantly reader-funded news site that publishes three times a week, publishing since 2004.
In 2014 the team included Chris Graham, former founder of the National Indigenous Times and The Tracker and Amy McQuire, a former editor of both publications.
Land Rights News
Both the Central Land Council and the Northern Land Council publish the Land Rights News, Australia's longest-running Aboriginal newspaper. First printed in 1976, it tells stories from remote Aboriginal lands from across the Northern Territory. The paper has its own sports section and is printed quarterly.
The latest issue is also available online:
Northern edition, Central edition.
Treaty Republic is a web blog run by Aboriginal activist Robbie Thorpe. The site is committed to issues relating to Australian history, Aboriginal sovereignty, treaty, land rights, justice, deaths in custody, genocide and national denial.
Robbie Thorpe is from the Krautungalung people of the Gunnai Nation, the traditional owners of Lake Tyers in Victoria.
Facebook or treatyrepublic.net
National Unity Government
The site was launched shortly after the 40th anniversary gathering in Canberra of the Aboriginal Embassy on 26 January 2012. That gathering of about 1,500 people from all over Australia reinvigorated the push for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereignty and for a treaty between the invader society and the first nations.
Michael Ghillar Anderson, Convenor of the movement, says the site covers all aspects of Aboriginal people’s daily lives within Australian society.
“There is no one focus because Aboriginal people are affected in many ways. The political focus of the people is asserting their sovereign rights, which have never been ceded. The fact that Aboriginal people have never ceded their sovereignty makes their fight very different from that of other colonised groups in other parts of the world.”
Aboriginal History Journal
Since 1977 the Aboriginal History Journal offers interdisciplinary historical studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s interactions with non-Aboriginal people.
Published by the Australian National University once per year, the journal offers oral Aboriginal traditions, biographies, languages, archival and bibliographic guides, previously unpublished manuscript accounts, critiques of current events, and research and reviews in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, sociology, linguistics, demography, law, geography and cultural, political and economic history.
PDF copies are available for free.
Australian Studies Journal
The Association for Australian Studies is devoted to furthering scholarship concerned with Australia and to promoting Australian studies, both in teaching and research, in German-speaking countries.
It also publishes the monthly Australian Studies Journal / Zeitschrift für Australienstudien which contains essays, analyses, research in progress and reviews. Chapters are available as free PDFs.
View the current issue of Australian Studies Journal.
On their website, the London-based European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights (ENIAR) offers a newsletter and programme of events. The small group of people are also looking for closer liaison with like-minded institutes, organisations and individuals to promote the human rights of Indigenous Australians.
It does this by
- spreading information on Indigenous Australian issues,
- events and actions supporting Indigenous concerns,
- support to Indigenous delegations and cultural groups visiting the UK,
- demonstrations supporting Indigenous campaigns.
ENIAR started in London in 1988 with a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and Brits angry at human rights abuses against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and wanting to do something.
From their website: “We are not affiliated to any government or commercial bodies, are non profit-making and run entirely by volunteers. ENIAR has no formal membership or subscription and no-one is paid. Most of our funding comes from supporters working at music festivals. Most of our work is UK-based but we are in contact with individuals and organisations in Europe who share our aims. We always welcome volunteers wanting to join us in an active or supporter role.”
Directors oversee policy, while day to day work and decisions rest with a coordinator and group of active supporters. More supporters join in for events and actions, and even more follow developments through the website and newsletter.
ENIAR is now a registered non-profit-making Community Interest Company (CIC).
Sadly, some resources have to cease publication even if the team behind it is highly motivated.
The Tracker is a monthly magazine published by the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Australia’s largest Aboriginal organisation.
Launched in April 2011,The Tracker aims to highlight local, state, national and international issues of importance to Aboriginal people, promote their rights and interests, and “keep politicians and mainstream media honest” in reporting Aboriginal affairs.
The Tracker also offers a free daily news service online and delivered as email. In 2012 it claimed a print run of 35,000 copies, making it by some margin Australia’s largest Aboriginal-specific publication.
Tracker shut down unexpectedly in June 2014 citing problems with "cost and effectiveness", but rumours say it might be due to the magazine's October 2013 headline "How Black Australia rejected Tony Abbott" (an election analysis), which offended parliamentarians.
The website used to be tracker.org.au.
The sad demise of Tracker taught me that you can't depend on any other organisation to fund independent media – it has to be totally independent and should be completely free of editorial control.— Amy McQuire, Darumbal and South Sea Islander journalist 
Deadly Vibe Group is an Aboriginal media, PR and events group producing Deadly Vibe, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, sport, music and lifestyle magazine.
The magazine is Australia’s only national publication of that kind, claiming to reach tens of thousands of Indigenous readers across the country, and a circulation of 47,000 each month.
In June, 2014, the Australian government informed Vibe Australia that it would no longer fund the project. As a consequence all projects concluded, and the managing director of Deadly Vibe, Gavin Jones, ended his life.
Cape York News (Torres Strait)
Cape York News was launched on 22 February 2017 through the merger of the Western Cape Bulletin and Cooktown Local News. It is published by Regional & Remote Newspapers. It ceased operation in October 2019 after more than 130 editions.