Indigenous Media

Indigenous media around the world have gained increasing attention from scholars over the recent decades, mostly because of their at times phenomenal growth (albeit from a low base). Yet, most analyses have been concerned with media industries at large, rather than specifically focusing on indigenous journalism. Despite journalism’s undoubted importance in empowering Indigenous communities and in counteracting dominant negative stereotypes resulting from mainstream news coverage, extremely few analyses of its role, context, challenges and opportunities have been forthcoming over the past decades. Yet, this is crucial if one wants to examine the contribution Indigenous news media make to emerging Indigenous public spheres. Indigenous journalism plays a crucial role in providing Indigenous communities with information they need to make decisions related to their lives.

To begin filling this gap, I have undertaken an in-depth study of Māori journalism culture in Aotearoa/New Zealand. In 2011 I conducted interviews with 20 Māori journalists employed in print, television and radio. I am especially interested in the ways in which culture and language affect journalistic practices. I have also been involved, as an academic mentor, in an Australian study, funded by the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, which conducted interviews with indigenous Australian journalists.

Currently, I am working on two major projects in this area. The first is an authored book with my colleague Sue Abel (University of Auckland), which examines the history and current state of Maori journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand. The book will be published by Palgrave Macmillan. The second project is a co-edited (again with Sue Abel) collection of studies about Indigenous journalism across the globe. That book is to be published by Peter Lang.

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