The shortage of Asians in the news media can be attributed to several factors. One of them is a cultural perception that journalism is not as attractive as other occupations and another is the lack of visible Asian role models in the news media.
“Do you know of any Asian journalists who have made it to the top? If I can see the success of some other Asians, then I know maybe I stand a chance as a journalist too,” said one Asian student.
On the other hand, news editors and journalism tutors say there is a lack of potential candidates.
The head of the JTO, Jim Tucker, says Asians only made up 0.6 percent of journalism students.
While journalism tutors could not pinpoint the exact reason to why journalism was not attracting Asians, one said it has to do with the high standard of English required.
“Yes, and I think myself and a few other individuals in this newsroom have been working hard to get a more diverse newsroom. Have you any idea where we can get more Asian journalists?” one gatekeeper asked.
Most agreed that there was a need for a recruitment or education programme to attract Asians into journalism because more balanced and informed coverage of Asian communities made the news product more appealing to those communities, otherwise all that was represented was a dominant Pakeha view.
The report also suggests that further research into the market potential of Asian communities was needed. For a copy of the study, contact the NZJTO or email Asia:NZ media adviser Charles Mabbett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Kiwi-Asian view on the media