The Interpretative Resources of Aotearoa New Zealand Journalists Reporting on Maori (2007)
AuthorsMatheson, D.show all
This paper explores the interpretative resources which news and features journalists in Aotearoa New Zealand draw on in making sense of their reporting on Māori people and themes. As many commentators and scholars have noted, often in blunt terms, the news media in Aotearoa New Zealand fail, by a range of criteria of good journalism, in their reporting of Māori individuals, society and culture. In particular, a very limited range of themes and topoi is drawn upon in their coverage. That limited range is, moreover, one familiar to scholars of ethnic prejudice in many western cultures. I detail some of those criticisms shortly, but the paper builds on rather than details existing findings. Based on detailed interviews with seven newspaper and magazine journalists, its argument is instead that, while the journalists were sometimes aware of limitations and shortcomings in their reporting of what is usually called ‘Māori affairs’ or ‘race relations’, they drew on a limited repertoire in talking about what was wrong with the coverage or what might be done differently. Their interpretative resources to reflect on that reporting were tightly circumscribed. The paper concludes with some thoughts on the implications of its argument for journalism education.
CitationMatheson, D. (2007) The Interpretative Resources of Aotearoa New Zealand Journalists Reporting on Maori. New Zealand Journal of Media Studies, 10(2), pp. 40-46.
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