National Indigenous Times
The National Indigenous Times (NIT) was an indigenous Australian affairs newspaper first published on 27 February 2002. It is now[when?] an online publication owned by indigenous businessman and former Kimberley Land Council CEO Wayne Bergmann (51 percent), Australian journalist Tony Barrass (41 percent) and Richard Gregson, a former PwC senior partner and now a director at Hall Chadwick WA (9 percent).
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.
Major news stories broken by the NIT include:
- stolen wages (which won a Walkley Award)
- government staff anonymously representing themselves as independent witnesses in the Lateline report on child abuse in remote communities, with particular reference to Mutitjulu, Northern Territory.
At the first Multicultural Media Awards September 2012, Gerry Georgatos, then an investigative reporter and feature writer with the paper, received two awards: Coverage of Indigenous Affairs and Investigative Reporting, and Feature Writing. In three years with NIT Gerry Georgatos delivered breakthrough stories on Native Title, corrupt practices and government neglect of poverty-stricken communities. Georgatos is now[when?] a university researcher and has expertise in racism, suicide prevention and Aboriginal issues. His correspondence for NIT was as a volunteer, "bringing to the fore voices from his many travels".
At the 2013 Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards (MIMA) at the NSW parliament, Georgatos won three awards including Journalist of the Year for his coverage on the extent of suicide among Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. Georgatos was able to secure commitments from Federal Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, to increase suicide prevention responses and strategies.
On 27 February 2012, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's program Media Watch aired a segment that detailed how the newspaper had been taking repeatedly a substantial amount of material from other media sources without giving any citations. This was addressed by editor Stephen Hagan who promised to deliver more original material and use citations when using external references. Hagan departed in February 2013.
Administration and change of ownership
In January and February 2015 the NIT was placed in administration because of accumulating legal bills arising from a defamation case and an unfair dismissal claim by a Stephen Hagan. NIT has survived administration with a mix of the longstanding owners/founders and a number new part owners. Just before Georgatos announced in February he was no longer with the newspaper, he went in to bat for the newspaper on National Indigenous Television.
In December 2015, Tony Barrass bought the NIT masthead from Sydney liquidators O'Brien Palmer and successfully launched the online version on February 28, 2016.
A decision to produce a printed version of NIT will be made late in 2016.
- Finalists and Judges 2004 Walkley Awards for "Stolen Wages Payback Shame"
- "OIPC's 'Baby-faced Assassin': Senior public servant adopts bogus identity; backs minister's claims", NIT Issue 109, 13 July 2006. Accessed 22 October 2006
- "MMC Awards sponsored by NSW Government"
- ABC's Media Watch transcript
- Andrew Burrell (13 February 2015). "Push for National Indigenous Times". The Australian.
The NIT’s parent company, Destiny Publications was placed into voluntary administration last month over mounting legal bills sparked by an unfair dismissal case brought by former editor Stephen Hagan and a defamation case launched by former Fortescue Metals Group executive Michael Gallagher.(subscription required)
- "Push for National Indigenous Times" by Andrew Burrell, The Australian, 13 February 2015
- "Administrators put award-winning National Indigenous Times newspaper up for sale" by Emilia Terzon, ABC News, 19 January 2015
- on YouTube, NITV News