Diversity reportage in metropolitan Oceania: the mantra and the reality
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Aotearoa/New Zealand has the largest Polynesian population in Oceania. Three Pacific microstates now have more than 70 percent of their population living in New Zealand. Projected demographics by Statistics New Zealand indicate that the Pacific and indigenous Māori populations could grow by 59 and 29 per cent respectively by 2026. The Asian population will increase even more dramatically over that period, by almost doubling. Māori, Pasifika and ethnic media in New Zealand are also steadily expanding, with major implications for the ‘mainstream’ media industry and journalism educators. For more than two decades, diversity has been a growing mantra for the Aotearoa/New Zealand media. Initially, the concept of biculturalism — partnership with the indigenous tangata whenua—was pre-eminent in the debate but, as the nation’s Māori, Pasifika and ethnic media have flourished and matured, and demographics have rapidly changed, multiculturalism and multicultural media strategies have become increasingly important. This paper examines the regional trends in Oceania, the growth of the indigenous and ethnic media, and their impact on the mainstream in New Zealand as an outpost of globalised media. It also looks at the evolving initiatives to address the challenges.