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NSW government policy review recommends increased focus on First Nations and multicultural media outlets

Brendan Foster -

New South Wales is home to almost 90 independent multicultural and Aboriginal publications and 210 radio programs, spoken in more than 56 languages.

For many First Nations people, these publications and radio shows are trusted sources of information for many linguistically and culturally diverse communities.

There are also more than 190 languages spoken at home across NSW, including Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese and Vietnamese.

Now more communities across NSW can access the latest government information after the NSW government's 2023 Multicultural Media and Policy Review Report recommended several changes with an increased focus on First Nations and multicultural media outlets.

Several multicultural media outlets and government agencies were consulted as part of the review undertaken by the Department of Customer Service and Multicultural NSW.

The recommendations include:

Elevating the required expenditure targeting multicultural and First Nations communities in government information campaigns from 7.5 per cent to 9 per cent.

Implementing more robust data collection and reporting practices to enhance understanding of media consumption behaviour within NSW multicultural and First Nations communities.

Increasing the total number of languages targeted across advertising campaigns to ensure broader reach and representation.

Annual reporting on multicultural and Aboriginal advertising spend.

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government, Jihad Dib, said the report marked an important step forward towards an inclusive approach to government communications.

"The increased focus on distributing information through independent multicultural and First Nations media will help ensure government agencies are sharing important messages with the diverse communities of NSW," he said.

"The detailed findings of this review provide a roadmap for the NSW Government to build further understanding, transparency and effectiveness of its multicultural advertising practices."

Minister for Multiculturalism, Stephen Kamper, said NSW had one of the most culturally, linguistically, and religiously diverse populations in the country.

"One in four people speak a language other than English at home, so it is crucial NSW Government information resonates with every community," he said.

"NSW Government advertising campaigns should be targeted to reach all communities with important messages. This was highlighted during COVID-19, where community safety relied on effective communications to all NSW residents."

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