Rethinking Journalism and Culture: An examination of how Pacific audiences evaluate ethnic media
© 2016 Taylor & Francis. Studies of indigenous and ethnic minority news media tend to emphasise their political advocacy role, their role in providing a voice to communities overlooked by mainstream media and, increasingly, the cultural forces at work in these media. By considering ethnic media in terms of how ethnic minority audiences understand what they do with these media, this study provides a different perspective. Focus groups held with Pacific audiences at several urban centres in New Zealand found participants routinely use the idea of journalism in evaluating Pacific media—and journalism for them was a term defined to a significant extent by wider societal expectations around journalism, and not by their ethnic difference. Through examining the intersection of media practices with the ideals and expectations of journalism, this paper questions how far we should foreground the specifics of culture in interpreting people's media use, and advocates a commitment to more empirical research to reorient the study of ethnic media away from a fixation on difference and towards people's media practices.
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