It is a part of human nature to want to belong, to strive to be a part of a group. just as every country prides itself on it’s culture, each one of these is made up of a number of different sub-cultures. While it is important for an Australian to feel Australian, it is also important for a New South Welshman to feel like they belong in New South Wales. Sub-cultures may get smaller and smaller as you move in and take a closer look, but the desire to belong doesn’t.
This is where the media comes into it. For a long time, there has been publications which tell the stories of a certain group, to a certain group.
If you’re a student of the University of Wollongong, you may read the student magazine published by students of UOW, because you want to hear stories of people who belong to your group.
If you’re a member of the LGBT community, you may want to hear the stories of and have discussions with other members of that community. This is why we have publications specifically designed for certain groups, because it allows people to tell their own stories to their own people, and fosters that sense of belonging that I’ve been harping on about.
Diasporic media allows stories to be told first hand, instead of being repeated by someone on TV who has no idea what they’re talking about. This is why, when it comes to stories of LGBT people, those people turn to sites like SameSame, instead of mainstream news outlets like News.com.au.
It all comes back to a sense of community and acceptance. People want to hear stories about them, told by people like them, and that is why it’s important for communities and sub-cultures to have their own voices.