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Vice Australia wants to prove young people are after serious content with incarceration issue

Vice IncarcerationVice Australia has devoted a special edition of its magazine to Australia’s “complicated relationship with imprisonment” with editor Royce Akers hopeful the serious nature of the magazine will prove content for young people does not have to be frivolous.

Launched today, the Incarceration Issue aims to serve “as an audit” of social issues and is accompanied by an online edition featuring a documentary series called ‘Over Represented’.

Speaking to Mumbrella, Akers said: “We wanted to show that while we make content for young people that doesn’t mean you have to make frivolous content. Young people care about fairness, what’s going on and this is a way for us to show that.”

Akers said there is a “level of secrecy” that goes on when it comes to the media reporting imprisonment, saying Vice wanted “to talk about it, to tell stories, these are stories we feel need to be told and that our readers want to read.”

“What young people are really concerned about is fairness and therefore respond really well to discourse around social issues like domestic violence, drugs, immigration, Aboriginal disadvantage.

“When we do special editions it feels like we’re focusing our energies and our readers energies on something and hopefully elevating that discussion,” Akers said.

Akers

Akers

Akers  noted that selling advertising in the edition has been somewhat challenging however, the likes of Amnesty, CSIRO and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas have all booked space in the print edition.

The special edition’s accompanying documentary series features episodes that follow Indigenous rapper Adam Briggs as he visits Sydney’s Reiby Juvenile Detention Centre, and a ride-along with the Larrakia Nation’s Darwin Palmerston Night Patrol. The series will also air on ABC2 and ABC iview.

“We have three stand-alone documentaries that are all under the theme of indigenous incarceration. We have one that’s in Darwin, one in a juvenille facility in NSW and another on in Melbourne. We’ve been shooting and cutting those over the last three months,” said Akers.

Miranda Ward

The Incarceration Issue launched in line with the weekend’s Vice hosted panel, chaired by John Safran, at Festival of Dangerous Ideas at The Sydney Opera House. You can watch the panel below. 

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