Clever, community-produced digital media urges Indigenous communities to stay home

Thanks to new media capabilities, the government's coronavirus messaging has become all-inclusive, and accessible to all Australians. Image: IndigiTube.

Indigenous media organisations are getting the word out to stay home through community-focused tech initiatives.

In the last few weeks most have us have received the government’s messaging to stay at home, as part of a nation-wide campaign to help flatten the curve and stop the mass spread of COVID-19.

“Only leave for what you really need – exercise work and medical care,” reads the government’s latest SMS alert, a sentiment plastered all over bus shelters, social media and our living rooms too.

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But for Indigenous communities living in remote areas, where the perhaps the messaging isn’t accessible to all, new innovative ways of communicating have started popping up.

Getting the message across

First Nations Media Australia (FNMA) along with partner organisations, have dedicated themselves to producing strong, audio-visual updates that reinforce the government’s restrictions in a relatable and localised format.

Created by and for remote indigenous communities, the digital material focuses on ways that individuals can stay healthy and safe, with an emphasis on protecting the elder members of family groups.

inDigiMOB, a project of FNMA that supports digital literacy access in remote areas, is one of the partner organisations working with FNMA to support digital workers produce material on-community.

It regularly helps facilitates digital activities and workshops with remote Indigenous communities and has helped build up STEM and basic digital literacy skills in over 20 indigenous communities.

“Our digital access workers and digital mentors are working to support media workers on the ground to get out key information as fast as possible,” explains inDigiMOB manager Ben Smede.

“This is important work on getting out very important messages that, as has been said by everyone from the Prime Minister down, can save lives.”

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Ben rates a short video produced by PAW Media as one of the coolest projects to come out of the crisis, which incorporates inDigiMOBs infamous Indigimojis (yep, indigenous emojis).

“The result is a strong audio-visual message that clearly illustrates why people should stay at home and not travel to towns and other communities,” says Ben of the clip.

Check out more of the awesome work coming out of First Nations media here.

Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.

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