Recent discursive research suggests that contemporary racism is typically accomplished in terms of subtle, flexibly managed and locally contingent discussion of the 'problems' associated with minority groups. This study contributes to this work by focusing on the ways in which a particular formulation: 'the possibility of change' was repeatedly implicated in descriptions of two 'riots' that received widespread media attention in Australia: one involving Indigenous, and the other involving non-Indigenous, community members. Data were drawn from a corpus of newspaper articles, television and radio interviews, and parliamentary debates. Analysis demonstrated how, in respect to the event involving Indigenous Australians, 'change' was repeatedly represented as an outcome that was not achievable. By contrast, descriptions of problems within the non-Indigenous community regularly represented 'change' as an achievable outcome. We discuss how discourses around 'the possibility of change' can thus be seen as another identifiable practice in terms of which 'modern' forms of racism are regularly accomplished in media discourse.