The recognition of Indigenous protocols within the Australian radio industry is relevant in the context of reporting of the news because research and reports in the past thirty years have confirmed that negative media reporting can create and reinforce negative stereotypes. Hence, codes for better reporting on Indigenous issues have been developed in radio. The more recent issue of protecting Indigenous cultural and intellectual property is also an area radio programmers should consider in developing and broadcasting programs with Indigenous content. Indigenous cultural and intellectual property includes songs, stories, dances and traditional knowledge. These cultural assets are unique to the world. Indigenous people are keen to share their cultures in appropriate ways that promote its integrity, however, they raise concern about how their Indigenous cultural and intellectual property has been used and appropriated by mainstream cultures.
The dispersal of Indigenous cultural material via radio raises issues relating to Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights. Concerns by Indigenous people have in the past addressed how they and their cultures are represented. However, Indigenous people call for the recognition of cultural ownership of their Indigenous cultural and intellectual property including their stories and information within Australian law and policy. This shift has ramifications for how radio content about Indigenous people and their culture is being programmed and broadcast; and the how this information is presented. This paper encourages discussion about radio protocols when dealing with Indigenous content in all areas of radio production including the reporting of the news, and general programming content.