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

Nga Reo Tangata: Media and Diversity Network

ISSN 1178-0932 June, 2009

This Week: World Refugee Day

Radio New Zealand are featuring a series of dramatised stories from the experiences of former refugees this week.

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Radio New Zealand's Kathryn Ryan was part of the Wellington Invitation Eleven who played (and lost) against the Refugee All Stars at Newtown Park in Wellington on Sunday to kick off World Refugee Day activities. Nine to Noon will feature the series of stories at 10.45 am each day. For other World Refugee Day events around the country see the World Refugee Day website.

New Zealand broadcasters have been urged to rise to the challenge of meeting the needs of a more diverse audience.

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The Office and Ethnic Affairs and New Zealand On Air hosted an ethnic diversity forum earlier this month, which asked: How will the changing demography of New Zealand be served and represented in the broadcasting media?

Producers, writers and broadcasters from throughout New Zealand came to discuss the changing face of New Zealand and the implications for their industry. British High Commissioner George Fergusson, who spoke at the forum, quipped that New Zealand "is not like Britain anymore" and there were some "fascinating challenges". He emphasised the need to serve the diasporas at least as much as the mainstream.

Jim Blackman, chief executive of Triangle and Stratos, said: "As New Zealand changes its face, there is a need to focus more keenly on the preservation of culture, and the preservation of language." Mr Blackman noted that ethnic broadcasting is not commercial, and that all small channels face the challenge of switching to digital broadcasting over the next few years. This is hugely costly.

Another speaker, Pacific Beat producer Stan Wolfgamm, suggested ethnic communities tell inclusive stories and give the message that they are part of New Zealand to break into the mainstream media.

The annual media forum at the New Zealand Diversity Forum on August 24 will focus on Asian Media in New Zealand.

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The forum convenor will be Human Rights Commission communications expert Gilbert Wong, and presenters will include key Asian media leaders. The forum will look both at the media preferences of Asian communities, and how Asian communities are represented in the mainstream. There will also be a forum by Asian media consultancy Bananaworks on reaching Asian markets.

New Zealand’s newest Indian print fortnightly has launched its online edition www.indianweekender.co.nz

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Editor Dev Nadkarni says this was a response to readers' request. The paper's editorial team wrote in its June 12 edition that "Rather than merely shoving our print content onto the web as most publishers tend to do, our aim is to both complement and supplement our print effort with an online component."

"Many of our print stories will have the added dimension of multimedia, with video and audio versions. We hope to grow the online edition into a balance between form and functionality."

Launched in March, Indian Weekender is the main competitor to the long-established Indian Newslink newspaper, also a fortnightly, aimed at the increasingly competitive market of about 120,000 Indians in New Zealand.

Mr Nadkarni said he is also discussing with mainstream media, such as The New Zealand Herald, the possibility of including some of its news stories that may be of interest to Indian readers in both its print and online editions.

TU MAI Magazine Adds KOHA

TU MAI, the 10-year-old indigenous magazine, is to add a hard copy version of the recently launched online magazine KOHA to its pages.

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TU MAI published its 100th edition and relocated from Hamilton to Wellington in September 2008. In April, FOMANA, the commercial arm of FOMA - Federation of Māori Authorities, supported by NZ Trade and Enterprise launched its online KOHA magazine, which profiles indigenous businesses and targets potential investors wanting to do business with Māori.

TU MAI publisher Ata Te Kanawa approached FOMANA soon after, offering to add a hard copy version of KOHA to her TU MAI product and include it in an established distribution and subscriber database, in exchange for the rights to sell advertising around the business focused content of the print version of KOHA.

"The team at FOMANA had contemplated the merit of a hard copy version but distribution seemed problematic for them so the offer was welcomed, and of course it adds considerable business grunt to the lifestyle content of TU MAI," said Te Kanawa.

The community radio service in New Zealand is not adequately funded, says Auckland Access Radio Service Broadcast Manager Terri Byrne.

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Radio station Planet FM has grown to become the most diverse medium in New Zealand. The station was set up in 1987 by the Auckland Ethnic Council to allow non-English speaking communities to hear news, songs and literature in their languages,.

"Sadly though, this public broadcasting service is not adequately funded. The major constraint on its content is the need for the programme makers to pay to air their material," said Ms Byrne. "One of our hopes is that those with the least ability to pay are no longer the only ones who have to pay for media that's relevant to them."

Ms Byrne said the station was currently obliged to choose those who pay, rather than those with the best ideas or the most needed content. She also said the Australian government spends in excess of $20 million of Vote Broadcasting on non-English radio and more again in information campaigns. "The least we can do is add existing multilingual broadcasters to government agency advertising budgets."

A report on new migrants in Southland and the local government’s struggles to educate the wider community about the importance of welcoming them to the province has taken second place in a journalism award.

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Sunday Star Times reporter Karen Arnold was the runner up in the Statistics New Zealand's 2009 Journalism Award with her story "Culture Clash as Migrants isolated and ignored". She said in the report: "Civic leaders including Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt and Southland District mayor Frana Cardno, accused locals of being racist, saying new migrants had been isolated and ignored by some sectors of the community."

Almost 80 per cent of Southlanders are of European ethnicity compared to 56.5 per cent of those living in the Auckland region, and 67.6 per cent nationally. The award was for the best use of statistics in a story. Judges Rod Oram, Jim Tucker and Geoff Bascand said they were impressed with the quality of the overall entries and had looked for readability and the use of statistics to tell a story of general interest.

AUT University’s School of Communication Studies has announced that it will be offering the first Graduate Diploma in Pacific Journalism programme next year.

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Meanwhile, the director of the University's Pacific Media Centre, Associate Professor David Robie is in Tonga until June 17 for discussions with Atenisi University staff about plans to found a Tongan communication studies and media programme there.

Associate Professor Robie will be inducted as one of the international fellows of the Tongan university, together with Professor Ian Campbell, Head of History at the University of the South Pacific; Loata Mahe; Dr Eve Coxon; Dr Malakai Koloamatangi; Dr Opeti Taliai; Dr Wendy Cowling; Niko Besnier; and Patrick O'Driscoll.

An international indigenous current affairs series and programme exchange initiative will be launched by the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network (WITBN).

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The global indigenous television broadcasters' alliance says the initiatives aims to unify television broadcasters worldwide to retain and grow indigenous languages and cultures. A news sharing initiative, Indigenous Insight - a weekly 30-minute current affairs programme produced by Māori Television will showcase the best news stories from WITBN Council members.

The programme exchange scheme will see the "free" exchange between members of four programmes per year. Inaugural chairman Jim Mather, who is also chief executive of Māori Television, says the development of collaborative relationships between the indigenous broadcasters creates opportunities for increased audiences, better access to resources, enhanced knowledge transfer and enhancement of schedules through the exchange of programming.

"Indigenous Insight will be unique - an international indigenous current affairs series, probably the only one of its kind in the world that will provide comprehensive coverage of the issues affecting indigenous communities," Mr Mather says. "The programme exchange scheme also represents an innovative and cost effective means to secure new and attractive programming content in exchange for programme material already commissioned for broadcasting on our channels."

The nine WITBN Council members are National Indigenous Television (NITV), Australia; Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Canada; TG4, Ireland; Māori Television, New Zealand; NRK Sami Radio, Norway; BBC ALBA, Scotland; South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), South Africa; Taiwan Indigenous Television (TITV)/ Public Television Service (PTS), Taiwan; and S4C, Wales.

Chinese newspapers in New Zealand help the diverse Chinese communities here maintain their cultural identity and adapt to a new environment, a study has found.

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Author and AUT mass communications lecturer David Lin's study subject is the free Chinese newspapers that form a significant part of the media consumed by Chinese in New Zealand. His work has been published as a paperback book in Germany. "Little work has been done on Chinese print media in New Zealand and the free newspapers have often been regarded as ephemeral and of little interest to media scholars," Mr Lin said.

"However, they offer insights into the experiences and attitudes of Chinese people in New Zealand both those who have settled here for many years and also more recent migrants. This study is intended to show how these varied newspapers reflect ideas about cultural identity in a diasporic setting."

Two case studies were used to examine and elaborate the idea of how the Chinese print media in NZ present Chinese cultural identity. "People argue about important questions such as 'who we are' and 'what is our identity'. By studying these newspapers, we can gain insights into how the Chinese cultural identity is transformed by the experience of immigration," he said.

Mr Lin said the Chinese community in New Zealand is varied due to the diversity of its origins and the different stages at which the different groups of people arrived: "They show many differences in countries or regions of birth, languages, dialects, religions, values, behaviour and cultural identities."

"Chinese immigration has aroused many and varied reactions in New Zealand. Some saw the Chinese as vital stimulants for a somewhat moribund national economy... others reacted with fear and hostility." Mr Lin said the study looks at the different types of Chinese newspapers and how they reflect the various voices of Auckland's Chinese community by reporting on the same issue differently. The book Chinese Print Media in NZ present ideas of Chinese Cultural Identity can be ordered from Amazon books.

Māori Language Week is from July 27 to August 2, and this year’s theme is Te Reo i te Hapori: Māori Language in the Community.

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The media have played a major role over the past few years in promoting te reo, and television, radio and print have vied for the annual Māori Language Awards. Last year's winners were TV3, the Gisborne Herald and George FM, with I AM TV winning the first time entrant award. The Māori Language Commission also has phrase booklets, bumper stickers, tatts, posters and t-shirts which make great give-aways. Visit the Māori Language Week website for details.