"The Desert is now being flooded":A Study of the Emergence of Chinese-language Media in New Zealand
Thesis DisciplineMass Communication
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Focusing on the Chinese-language media in New Zealand largely run by the new immigrants since the late 1980s, this study aims to fill the significant gap between the long-time presence of the media in question and the lack of academic study of them. The thesis starts with a review of relevant literature, and a retrospect of the Chinese-language media and the ethnic Chinese community in New Zealand. A content analysis compares the Chinese-language print media with their mainstream Englishlanguage counterparts, emphasising the ethnicity-related reportage on front pages and in editorials. This comparison is extended in the case studies of news stories and editorials. An enhanced and diversified representation of ethnic Asians and more importantly, the Asian (Chinese) perspective in shaping news, are found to be the most salient alternativeness of Chinese-language media in New Zealand. When media identity is examined, it is argued the Chinese-language media exert their alternative input to the formation of New Zealand identity through this Asian (Chinese) perspective. However, the commercial orientation of the Chinese-language media, including the business associations and alliance with elites, has undermined their role as alternative media in a structural sense. The Chinese-language media do not challenge, but rather follow, the existing power relations and ideological infrastructure in media production. It is concluded that the 'alternativeness' of the Chinese-language media is salient in news content and the media's input in the formation of the New Zealand identity. However, the corporate way of organisation, coupled with the free-of-charge model, undermines the Chinese-language media's role in democratic communication and their alternative status.