first of all, a huge thank you to russell brown for mentioning me on his blog today(http://publicaddress.net/system/topic,937,hard_news_another_big_day.sm). really didn't expect that when i sent him a quick email, and i really appreciate him taking the trouble to do it. sure made my day.
kowhai, i'd love to turn on the rss feed thing, but don't know how. i looked through all the "settings" tabs and none of them seemed to do that. if you or anyone else can give me simple instructions, i'll definitely get on to it.
yesterday i saw a half-page ad in the waikato times from maori tv, explaining their coverage on waitangi day. have to say that i'm totally impressed. it's full of debates, documentaries and live coverage relating to the treaty & the events of the day. i think its a great effort, and am looking forward to watching what i can. the only sad thing about it is that the people who would most benefit from these programmes are probably going to be spending the day at the beach or at the shopping malls.
in fact, i've been impressed with maori tv for a long time now. i particularly like the foreign language and off-beat films they put on in the weekends, as well the documentaries on indigenous peoples around the world. its just what public service broadcasting should be, and seems to me to be tax money very well spent.
the only issue i have is the separation of maori programming on a single channel. i have the same issue with all the separate ethnic media - the indian radio channels, the chinese newspapers, iwi radio etc. what bothers me is that communities are not talking to each other nor hearing each other's points of view.
i agree with the need for people to be able to express things in their own language. but i remember a conversation i had with bill ralston when he was still with tvnz. he complained that he would like to have more maori reporters for tv1 news, but all the good ones preferred to work for maori tv or iwi radio. they didn't want to work for him. the net effect is that the non-maori population is not getting a strong maori perspective on the most popular new programmes - be it tv1, tv3 or prime news.
this is more evident with newspapers. i think there's a terrible lack of diversity in the newsrooms of our major newspapers (although things are slowly improving). yet there is some damn fine work being done by ethnic language newspapers. the rest of the population doesn't get the benefit of that work, so doesn't get the benefit of the ethnic perspective, or an understanding of how ethnic communities view the world. i would, for example, love to know what the chinese community are saying on skykiwi - what their key issues are, how they go about debating them, what conclusions they come to.
there are a few exceptions - lincoln tan in the herald, although i much prefer reading tapu misa's pasifika perspective. there's derek fox on radio nz, as well as the waatea news they broadcast in the mornings and evenings. but these examples are too few.
i don't know what the answer is. as i said, i see the need for people to express themselves in their own language. and there are things are particular to each community eg i expect most new zealanders aren't interested in bollywood gossip, but the indian community loves it. perhaps more sharing between media outlets is the answer - like the waatea news which is created for iwi radio but also broadcast on radio nz.
in the meantime, go maori tv! you guys are doing a great job.