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Newsletters > Diversity Action Programme > Nga Reo Tangata: Media and Diversity Network > 2009 > April

Nga Reo Tangata: Media and Diversity Network

ISSN 1178-0932 April, 2009

Media organisations are facing tough times in the current economic climate, but the editor of New Zealand’s longest-running newspaper sees it as a time of opportunity.

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It was against similar conditions in the early 1990s that David Soh, a migrant from Malaysia, launched Mandarin Pages - and while other publishers are scaling back or shutting down, Mr Soh says he is looking at launching another community newspaper for central city dwellers.

"It is times like these, when advertisers can't afford to place ads in mainstream papers is when ethnic newspapers can go in for the kill," Mr Soh said. He said although there had been a 10 per cent decline in display advertising, the paper is seeing a growth in its classified advertisements. "Advertisers, who usually place their ads in the mainstream papers, are now coming to us because of affordability," Mr Soh said.

Mandarin Pages, New Zealand's first free-sheet Chinese newspaper, started in 1991 as a weekly with a circulation of 5,000, but it is now printed daily (except Sundays) with a 17,000 print-run. The paper is also increasing its focus on its editorial content rather than just advertising, and has recently employed three reporters. "I think the mainstream media is still not catering to the growing diversity of New Zealand people, which leaves the market wide open for businesses like ours" Mr Soh said.

A series of fairs and expos is being organised by local ethnic newspaper publisher Migrant News, with the aim to help migrant settlement in their adopted country. Continue reading…

From June 13-14, the paper will be organizing the 7th Auckland Migrant Expo, Migrant Health and Safety Expo and the 1st International Students Fair. Another first at the event will be "Look East", which will feature South East Asian Food, culture, fashion and trade.

The event will run concurrently at the ASB Showgrounds between 10am and 4pm daily. Organiser Mel Fenandez said: "It's the biggest migrant event of its kind ever organised in New Zealand, and the new addition will ensure that migrants have an opportunity to keep in touch with their home cultures and for Kiwis to experience them." For more information contact Mel Fernandez (09-4761987/ 027 4958477).

Free-to-air community television Triangle Television has ceased transmission in Wellington since the start of this month because of a lack of money.

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The station has failed to generate an income stream in the capital, and had been subsidised by Triangle's Auckland service. Triangle had offered programmes such as PBS Evening News from Washington and Middle East coverage from Al Jazeera English-language news service.

"What a loss for us all," wrote Lindsay Shelton in Scoop. "Triangle has been an oasis of sanity on Wellington's free-to-air television system since it began transmission here in August 2006." She added: "For Wellingtonians like me who want to continue to watch the varied perspectives on Triangle, the only option is to buy a Freeview box...we'll also have to buy a satellite dish, however, because Triangle's Stratos programmes are not available on the Freeview terrestrial service - this would I understand cost a further $400,000 per year."

Journalism grads head East

Four new Kiwi journalism graduates will be heading East for internships with newspapers in Asia.

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Those graduates include Kristina Koveshnikova, who is currently working part time at the New Zealand Herald, Guanting Liu to China Daily in Beijing, Claire Rourke to the Jakarta Post, and Keira Stephenson to the Philippine Daily Star.

"I am really excited at the prospect of working in a media organisation that would be totally different to that of New Zealand," said Kristina, who wants to pursue her journalism career in either Singapore or Hong Kong.

Charles Mabbett, Asia New Zealand media adviser, presented the international internship scholarships at the AUT University in April and spoke warmly of the four-year partnership with AUT over Asia-Pacific journalism.

Fiji-born reporter Dominika White, who says she has a passion to be the “voice for the voiceless”, has won the Māori Television Prize and AUT University Pacific Media Centre Storyboard Award for diversity journalism for her articles in Spasifik magazine.

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"There are many stories out there which are newsworthy and do not get reported because they are a niche," said the Bachelor of Communication Studies graduate at the AUT University communication studies awards earlier this month. White believes "diversity" should include people with disabilities, elderly and those who are not necessarily in the news; not just a term representing Māori, Pacific Islanders and Asians.

Peter Rees, editor of Spasifik, praised White as a deserving winner for the award.

"She has a good grasp of issues important in the region - and domestically - particularly indigenous issues that are making an impact in our Māori and Pacific communities which make up our core readership," he said.

Some of the news stories White wrote last year included the New Zealand election, which was reported from a Pacific perspective, and a profile of renowned Fijian women's rights campaigner Virisila Buadromo, winner of last year's International Woman of Courage Award.