LAND RIGHTS NEWS
Land Rights News (LRN) is Australia’s longest-running Aboriginal newspaper. In 1976, the Northern Territory Lands Councils and the Central Land Council launched their own versions of LRN. In 1985, the two councils began jointly publishing Land Rights News: One Mob, One Voice, One Land. In 2011, they returned to producing independent versions of Land Rights News to provide their communities with more regionally focused content.
LRN targets an Indigenous audience, but aims to educate and inform non-Indigenous Australians and to ensure Indigenous perspectives on land rights and issues affecting Indigenous Australians are heard. Former Northern Land Council assistant director Roseanne Brennan described LRN as providing ‘good news stories’ that communicate positive messages to non-Aboriginal Australians and as an ‘authoritative voice within the national Aboriginal community’.
LRN provides information to Indigenous communities, businesses, pastoralists and government agencies about land rights claims, negotiations and legislation. Articles in LRN also cover topics such as land management, control of feral animals, health, education and training. While LRN focuses on Northern Territory news, its coverage of land rights and native title claims, strategies used and outcomes achieved makes it a valuable source of information and support for other Indigenous communities.
Funding for LRN comes from the Lands Council budgets, and the publication has struggled to attract advertising revenue. Until 1989, when a subscription fee was introduced, free copies were distributed to communities and a range of organisations. The free subscriptions were limited to Indigenous communities after 1989.
LRN was awarded the 1988 Print Newspaper Award from the Australian Human Rights Commission and received a Special Citation in the 1988 United Nations Media Peace Awards.
REF: E. Burrows, ‘Writing to Be Heard: The Indigenous Print Media’s Role in Establishing and Developing an Indigenous Public Sphere’ (PhD thesis, 2009).