First Contact – cultural discovery as reality television

go back cover

When screened on SBS last year, there was widespread interest and commentary – both in print and online. There are many ways for students to engage with this program as related material for the Area of Study: discovery; this hard copy review text will encourage a revision of language features which could be useful in answering questions in Paper 1: Section 1.

Published in the Illawarra Mercury on Friday, November 14, 2014 as the cover story for the ‘TV’ supplement, the subsequent review highlights the importance of Martin as host.

go back review

In the cover image, Martin’s direct gaze conveys sincerity and authority, supported by his central placement, sitting in a relaxed manner as if to share a yarn. He also occupies the central position in the group image accompanying the article. The caption announces the purpose of the program to discover opinions of mainstream Australians toward other cultures.This hard copy newspaper review is structured as short paragraphs across columns to encourage reading. Martin heralds a positive approach in the pull quote by expressing how the participants impressed him with their willingness to ‘learn’.

Each title amplifies a sense of personal and emotional discovery, firstly through the use of the word ‘shock’ and the declaring the series to be an ‘Eye opening experience’. Colloquial language, sprinkled with cliches – ‘out of their depths’ – engages readers through a sense of shared familiarity. The alliterative descriptor of ‘provocative program’ in a leading paragraph prepares us for unexpected reactions from the six participants who travel to remote and urban Aboriginal communities.

Alternatively, students might prefer to use an online article, making sure they analyse relevant features. Read Ray Martin’s personal reflection



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