Māori media : a study of the Māori "media sphere" in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Thesis DisciplineMass Communication
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis examines Māori media use and participation in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. A number of news media formats are examined and consideration is given to what the most effective formats for Māori communications are. It is argued throughout the thesis that the commercial imperatives of mainstream media compromise the potential for Māori participation and content. It is asserted that the ideal media model for Māori communication is a combination of big and small media, with Māori active partnership and inclusion of Māori content in prime-time slots within mainstream media and with Māori-controlled media serving the diversity of Māori cultural needs and the demands for local communication. The thesis argues that Māori participation in the news media is vital for Māori self-identity and self-determination because both printed and electronic media are major sources of information about local, national and global issues. It describes how the European colonisers defined Māori people as “the Other” and denigrated their language and culture, and it argues that the current Pākehā-dominated media have continued this process. In view of this, the thesis contends that the advances in electronic media now make it possible for Māori people not only to access the media, but to control their own media, redressing this cultural disadvantage by setting their own information and cultural agendas, producing new cultural forms and methods of distribution. At the same time, the thesis notices how political rhetoric about the media being used for te reo Māori regeneration and Māori education and development, in practice lacked adequate complementary policies and funding. Finally, the thesis details the commitment of Māori broadcasters and publishers in Aotearoa/ New Zealand to using radio, television, online and print publications for Māori communication despite this lack of support.