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Racism in the media: The lie that built a Northern Territory Intervention


On 21 June 2006 the ABC broadcasted a Lateline report titled "Sexual slavery reported in Indigenous community".

In this film the ABC presents a harrowing story about an Aboriginal Community in Central Australia, where an alleged paedophile abused little children. Lateline claimed men in the community conspired together to protect the man, despite the efforts of some ‘local heroes' such as the community doctor and an anonymous "youth worker" who tried to expose his activities.

The following day, in response to the story, the Northern Territory government announced the Little Children Are Sacred report, the 6-month inquiry which the Howard government used as the basis for the Northern Territory intervention.

Chris Graham, founding and former editor of the National Indigenous Times, reveals this Lateline report was based largely on fiction.

His presentation was given on Tuesday, 6.7.2010 as part of the conference "Defend Aboriginal Rights" in Alice Springs. Due to its importance the speech was repeated on Thursday, 8.7. at the same conference.

An updated version of the presentation was given on Friday, 3.9.2010 in Sydney (please click here for further information, or here for video footage of the event).

The transcript of the Lateline report is available here