Earlier this year, NITV published a compelling story by award-winning journalist, Ben Hills, about the mistreatment of detainee, 22-year-old Ms Dhu who died in police custody. Additionally, he investigated the number of Aboriginal incarceration rates and deaths in Australian prisons.
As such, his work has been nominated for the Kennedy Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
"It is not that Aboriginal people are more likely to die in custody than non-Aboriginal prisoners; they are not. It is that there are, proportionately so many more of them in Australia’s jails and lock-ups," Hills wrote.
NITV made a significant effort to cover this important story about a young woman's injustice and Ms Dhu's case was also followed heavily by current affairs program, The Point. It was a major contributor to a national conversation and many more Australians came to understand the shocking treatment of Indigenous people in the prison system.
"It is not that Aboriginal people are more likely to die in custody than non-Aboriginal prisoners; they are not. It is that there are, proportionately so many more of them in Australia’s jails and lock-ups."
This demonstrates the importance of this award category, as it recognises particular topics, subjects and content that is largely ignored by mainstream media.
Other entries in the The John Newfong Award for Outstanding Indigenous Affairs Reporting include; Natasha Robinson (ABC) for her coverage on education and violence issues in Aurukun and Dan Box's (The Australian) podcasts on the Borwaville Murders.
Last years' winner was Bill Poulos from The Northern Daily Leader for his story on sports heroes in the local community of Moree, NSW.