As an independent radio documentary producer Helene Thomas is interested in telling stories that appeal to our shared humanity. She has developed a practice that she calls culturally responsive journalism, based on her experience over the past six years telling stories in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
There she worked in collaboration with local people on how to represent distant others in an ethical, dignified and responsible manner. This develops her PhD research, which investigated what is required of Western journalists to practice a culturally responsive journalism in Africa and lessen Africa's 'otherness' in journalistic storytelling.
She describes her own journalism practice as slowly evolving and she believes in telling stories 'not in a hurry'. Her work has been featured on ABC Radio National's 360documentaries, Encounter, Into the Music and AWAYE!, and on Third Coast Festival Re:sound.
Helene's research interests focus on media representation of distant suffering; power and trust in the media encounter; constructions of otherness; ethics and responsibility in journalism practice; empathic storytelling; reflexive journalism; and new revolutionary journalism practices. She is particularly interested in slow journalism.
Many of Helene's research projects incorporate radio documentaries.