Wakul is a digital reporting tool that supports real-time tracking of the media content that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are accessing, producing and sharing. It collects real-time data from over 170 news outlets and social media sites that are produced or regularly accessed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, then generates previews of the stories and displays them in a filterable news feed. It serves as a practical tool that journalists can use to identify potential sources and gain insight into debates and conversations that are taking place in the Indigenous news network that may not be reflected in mainstream media.

The Wakul app was originally developed by the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne, led by then Indigenous cadet, NITV journalist Jack Latimore. Its full title, which was developed in consultation with the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture cooperative in Nambucca Heads, is Wakul gagil ngarraldiyn, meaning “coming together through knowing” in Gathang language.

Find out more about the origins of the Wakul app here.

The app is currently being road-tested in a live newsroom setting as part of the Amplifying Indigenous News project. Funded by the Australian Research Council, this project supports a First Nations journalist to work with the Wakul app in The Guardian Australia newsroom. The research team will track stories produced using Wakul and explore its uptake within the newsroom, which will in turn inform further refinements and developments to improve the app’s usability and functionality.

The Amplifying Indigenous News project is led by Dr David Nolan at the University of Canberra and also involves Monash University, RMIT University and IndigenousX. An Indigenous Advisory Committee has been appointed to provide guidance and feedback on the app and its appropriate use and deployment. The aim is that Wakul will be made available for use by other media organisations and practitioners in the future.

If you are interested in finding out more about Wakul or the Amplifying Indigenous News project, please contact Project Manager, Alanna Myers: alanna.myers@canberra.edu.au.