Stan Grant has lashed out at the Australian media and the treatment of Indigenous journalists during the Voice to Parliament referendum.
The former ABC presenter officially quit the public broadcaster in August, months after he went on leave following a barrage of racial abuse.
He has since taken up a new career as a journalism professor at Melbourne’s Monash University.
Speaking at CONVERGE, the annual conference of First Nations Media Australia in Canberra, Grant called out what he saw as negative traits of his former profession.
‘We should not hide behind the lies of objectivity and neutrality,’ he told attendees on Tuesday.
Former ABC presenter Stan Grant (above) accused the Australian media of hiding ‘behind the lies of objectivity and neutrality’ during the Voice to Parliament referendum
Grant criticised the treatment of Indigenous journalists during the Voice to Parliament referendum, who he claimed were lambasted for telling the truth.
‘We were accused of being divisive and our claims were trivialised,’ he said.
Grant said this treatment was at odds with how the claim colonisation had benefitted Indigenous Australians was received.
He said the media had taken truth and ‘yindyamarra’ and ‘turned it into hate’.
Yindyamarra is a word from the language of the Wiradjuri people of central New South Wales, and broadly means ‘respect’.
‘It remains a hostile environment [for those who want to tell the truth] … it has put poison in the bloodstream of society,’ he said.
Grant stepped down as host of Q+A in May after being subjected to ‘relentless racial filth’ following his appearance on a panel discussing colonialism ahead of King Charles’ Coronation.
Grant (pictured with wife Tracey Holmes) left the ABC in August after receiving racist backlash to his colonisation comments ahead of King Charles’ Coronation in May
The motivation behind his departure was due to unrelenting pressure from media outlets over his references to the negative effects of colonisation, and a lack of support from ABC management.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs Linda Burney also addressed the Canberra conference, which runs until Thursday.
Like Grant, she had criticisms to make of the media in the wake of the referendum’s overwhelming rejection.
‘I think the media needs to look at themselves and look at how this issue was dealt with,’ she said.
‘We are almost in a post-truth era and that is so crucial for media.’
She also said there was a need for more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander journalists in the press gallery in Canberra.
‘This is about lives, about change for our people, not just something interesting every second day for people [to watch].’
Grant (above) has since been appointed as the inaugural Director of the Constructive Institute for the Asia Pacific at Monash University
Monash University has since announced Grant has been appointed as the inaugural Director of the Constructive Institute for the Asia Pacific region in its Faculty of Arts.
The role will see Grant lead projects and debates that ’embrace global solutions, nuance and dialogue to newsroom cultures’.
He will also juggle a dual role as professor of journalism.