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ASIA:NZ Media Newsletter June

Media Newsletter

June 2006

Kia ora, vanakkam and welcome to the June edition of the Asia New Zealand Foundation media newsletter. In this issue we focus on the forthcoming release of the Preparing for a Future with Asia report.

Also on the home front, there’s been the recent visit by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, a signal for closer ties between New Zealand and Singapore. Meanwhile the world’s gaze is on the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany where there’s been disappointing early exits for South Korea and Japan. Interestingly, the Socceroos have now joined the Asian community of soccer playing nations to qualify for future World Cups. Will the All Whites be far behind?

- NZ media fails to keep pace with Asia

- Indian media: Never a slow news day

- Urgent thinking on Asia needed - report

- Media travel awards – North Asia

- Asian newspapers buck global trend

- Forum to mark 10 year anniversary

- Ethnic network to launch journal

- Asian cinema at the film festival

- Life as a Chinese international student

- Air NZ to launch Shanghai route

- Going the distance with Guy Ngan

- Migrant voices on Plains FM

- Consolation goal for Asian football

NZ media fails to keep pace with Asia

The media needs to accept a bigger role in informing New Zealanders about Asia’s growing geopolitical and economic dominance, according to a soon to be released Asia Knowledge Working Group report.

Despite Asia’s growing importance, to New Zealand directly and to world affairs generally, mainstream media organisations give the region a low priority, the report says.

In terms of news selection, mainstream media tend to regard Asia as less important than Australia, Europe and the United States. As a result, New Zealand viewers and readers do not receive detailed and balanced information about events of importance in Asian nations.

Another finding has been that the mainstream media is not engaged with Asian communities within New Zealand. As a result, events of importance to those communities do not receive coverage, and other New Zealanders do not receive a balanced view of those communities.

It also found that levels of general knowledge about Asia within newsrooms are low.

This is despite the fact the region is growing faster than any other, has rapidly expanding markets for goods and services, will increasingly influence New Zealand culture and way of life and is set to play a major role in world affairs for decades to come.

Today, three of the world’s top five economies (in terms of purchasing power) are Asian: China, Japan and India. South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines are also among the world’s top 25 economies.

By 2017, The Economist magazine has predicted that China will become the world’s largest economy followed soon after by India becoming the third largest economy, overtaking Japan.

The Asia Knowledge Working Group report, entitled Preparing For a Future with Asia, is a joint project between the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the Ministry of Education.

Media is only one of the sectors covered by the report which is the result of a one year long consultative project. The others included in the report are the business, education and cultural sectors.

The Preparing For a Future with Asia report will be available on July 4. For a copy of the report, contact Asia:NZ’s media adviser Charles Mabbett at cmabbett@asianz.org.nz.

Indian media: Never a slow news day

There are three new exciting opportunities for New Zealand journalists seeking to experience working in journalism in India.

The Hindu newspaper in Chennai and The Deccan Herald in Bangalore has agreed to host visiting New Zealanders for short term working periods.

With a circulation of 11 million, The Hindu (established in 1878) is a national English language newspaper with nine bureaus and a staff of 3000 of which 800 are journalists.

It is printed at nine centres throughout India with a head office in the Tamil Nadu capital Chennai. The Hindu publishing group to which it belongs also publishes its Business Line, Sportstar and Frontline publications.

The Deccan Herald (founded in 1948) is a regional English language newspaper with a circulation of 175,000 based in the symbolic heart of India’s information technology sector in the state of Karnataka.

Bangalore was recently the venue for an announcement by IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano that the company was trebling its investment in India to US$6 billion over the next three years.

One of India’s leading journalism schools, the Asian College of Journalism, is also willing to utilise the experience and skills of New Zealand journalists and tutors seeking to spend time assisting in the development of Indian journalists.

The one year long course is for post graduate students seeking a career in journalism. It has an intake of about 100 students a year and has gained a reputation for being one of the finest television and print journalism schools in India.

In establishing these work experience opportunities, Asia:NZ is working to extend its existing network of Asian media organisations that are willing to host New Zealand journalists. Established relationships already exist with China Radio International, Beijing TV, The Shanghai Daily, The Phnom Penh Post and The Jakarta Post.

If you are interested in applying for any of these opportunities, email cmabbett@asianz.org.nz.

Urgent thinking on Asia needed - report

Never before has the need to increase our knowledge and understanding of our Asian neighbours been more crucial, says the Asia Knowledge Working Group report entitled Preparing a Future with Asia

But New Zealanders are not doing enough to adapt to the rapidly changing global environment.

The report also says only a few New Zealanders understood the region well enough to see the opportunities.

“Most of us don't speak its languages or understand its cultures. Although it's made up of more than 20 distinct countries and markets, many New Zealanders don't even distinguish one from another.”

The co-ordinator of the Asia Knowledge Working Group that produced the report, Pamela Barton, says we now face a choice: adapt, or get left behind.

“As the report states, we simply don't take Asia seriously enough, and that must change rapidly if we are to grasp the opportunities the region offers,” she said.

Established as a joint Asia:NZ and Ministry of Education project, the Asia Knowledge Working Group came out of the Seriously Asia conference in 2003.

Its report is based on months of consultation with leaders in key sectors of society. An important part of the process has been the media, education, business and cultural focus groups.

Unlike Australia, which has recently announced a landmark agreement between federal and state governments to adopt a national Asia education strategy, the AKWG strategy is designed to stimulate action by people at all levels of society.

It is designed to be helpful for those who are undertaking planning at an organisational level but Ms Barton says education is only one part of the picture.

“The New Zealand strategy takes a broad approach, addressing New Zealand's knowledge requirements across a range of sectors – including media, business, community and culture, as well as education.

“In coming months, Asia:NZ will be asking leaders in education, media, business and culture to consider how their sectors can contribute. Through this process, the strategic priorities identified in this report will be translated into specific plans for action,” she said.

This will require a strong commitment not only from government but from everyone.

“In the school sector, for example, the working group found that school trustees, principals, teachers and parents are as important as policy-makers in bringing Asian awareness into schools. New Zealand needs leaders at many levels to start thinking about how we can increase our knowledge of Asia, otherwise we'll be left behind.”

For more information about the Preparing a Future with Asia report, contact Asia:NZ’s education director Pamela Barton at pbarton@asianz.org.nz.

Media travel awards – North Asia

Journalists from Radio New Zealand and The Dominion Post have been awarded Asia:NZ media travel awards to North Asia.

RNZ reporter Steve Wilde will travel to China next month while Simon Morton of National Radio’s This Way Up programme will go to South Korea later this year.

Keri Welham of The Dominion Post will also travel to China later this year on assignment.

Freelance journalist Peter Calder will travel to Mongolia with discretionary funding support.

The deadline for Asia:NZ media travel awards for Southeast Asia close on July 18.

Asian newspapers buck global trend

Increasing newspaper readership in India and China is responsible for an overall increase in global newspaper sales.

While sales have decreased in three of the five largest newspaper markets, sales in India and China are going up due to the increasing literacy of their populations.

The latest World Association of Newspapers (WAN) survey also revealed that 70 of the world’s 100 best selling dailies are published in Asia – with China, Japan and India accounting for 62 of them.

The five largest markets for newspapers are: China with 96.6 million copies sold daily; India with 78.7 million copies; Japan with 69.7 million copies; the US with 53.3 million; and Germany with 21.5 million.

The survey said global sales were up 0.56 percent over the past year and had increased 6 percent over the past five years.

Sales increased in China and India but declined in Japan, the US and Germany in 2005.

Global newspaper advertising revenues also got their biggest increase in four years, up 5.7 percent in 2005.

China and India saw spectacular increases in newspaper advertising revenues. China saw 19 percent growth in 2005 and 128 percent over five years while Indian publishers saw an increase of 23 percent in 2005 and nearly 108 percent over the last five years.

The US remains the largest market for newspaper advertising, enjoying an increase of 1.5 percent in 2005 and 7 percent over the last five years.

Forum to mark 10 year anniversary

The Asia Forum marks ten years of activity with a seminar in Wellington next month.

The afternoon seminar, entitled Ten Years of Asia: Looking Back and Looking Ahead. It will feature a range of speakers including Tim Groser, Philip Burdon, Terence O’Brien and Charles Finny. Topics to be covered include political, diplomatic, security and trade issues.

The forum is a discussion group which meets monthly in Wellington with the objective of improving understanding of Asian political issues and their impact on trade and investment. It also serves to encourage the exchange of views of those with similar interests in different fields.

The event will be held from 1pm to 4.40pm on July 26 at the offices of Bell Gully in the HP Tower on Featherston St. For more information, visit www.apri.ac.nz/Asia_Forum.

Ethnic network to launch journal

A year after the launch of the Aotearoa Ethnic Network, Ruth DeSouza and Andy Williamson are set to launch the AEN Journal.

Providing critical discussion on issues facing ethnic communities, the AEN Journal features articles from New Zealand’s ethnic community and from overseas. AEN Journal offers a new perspective on ethnic community issues – challenging, informative and thought-provoking.

AEN founder Ruth DeSouza says that the AEN Journal “is about communication; telling our stories, giving our views and having our say. It’s a place for smart and creative thinking, somewhere to raise issues and challenge assumptions”.

Issue 1 is launched on July 3 and contains writing from Joris de Bres, Tariana Turia, Mervin Singham, Tze Ming Mok, Kumanan Rasanathan and Mua Strickson-Pua. It will be available on line at www.journal.aen.org.nz and is free.

Asian cinema at the film festival

Cinema from Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Thailand are among a healthy contingent of Asian films at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festivals.

Film festival organisers say there are a record number of films overall with more than 160 feature films and documentaries, as well as experimental and short films.

Of these there are about 30 Asian films or films containing Asia-related themes, reflecting the burgeoning film industries in many Asian countries including the big four – India, South Korea, China and Japan.

Festival director Bill Gosden says the Japanese cinema component is especially strong this year.

The festival will also showcase films by three local based Asian directors – Li Tao (Chinese) with her feature documentary Waves, Marc Laureano (Filipino) with the short film Embers and Chungmin Moon (Korean) with the short film Oh Deer.

Life as a Chinese international student

There can be little doubt that the Chinese international student communities in New Zealand are not well understood by the mainstream New Zealand public and media.

So perhaps one of the more enlightening films at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festivals is a documentary that will certainly give insight into life in New Zealand for Chinese students.

The director Li Tao was a former international student at Victoria University who decided to capture the foreign student experience through her interaction with a quartet of Chinese students at a New Zealand high school.

Each of the four students - Ken, Rose, Lin and Jane - is given a chapter in the film. Ken appears the loneliest; Rose is the most embracing of Kiwi freedoms; Lin, the most conflicted; and Jane, the most purposefully unassimilated.

The film festival programme describes Li’s nuanced portrayal of cultural displacement as one that includes wider themes: adolescent vulnerability and resilience, the interdependence of individual and social identity, the ethnic diversity of contemporary New Zealand.

Li Tao will attend screenings of Waves and speak about the making of her documentary.

Air NZ to launch Shanghai route

Air New Zealand has announced that direct flights to Shanghai from Auckland will begin on November 6.

The airline will fly three times a week to Shanghai on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays using its Boeing 777 aircraft.

Flights will depart about midnight for the 11 hour 46 minute trip to Shanghai's Pudong airport.

Air New Zealand says the flights will include Mandarin speaking flight attendants, Chinese influenced cuisine, and selected on-demand Chinese in-flight entertainment.

Going the distance with Guy Ngan

An exhibition of work by New Zealand Chinese artist Guy Ngan highlights his ongoing interest in the early settlement of the Pacific and in the links between Asians and Polynesians.

The 80-year-old Wellington artist has been making sculptures, paintings, drawings and prints over the past 60 years and his abstract public sculptures can be found throughout New Zealand.

Ngan, who calls himself “Pacific Chinese” was born in Wellington in 1926 but spent a large portion of his early childhood in China. In his work, he draws upon his many cultural influences.

“I have much pleasure in showing some of my works that pay homage to the early Pacific people. Courageously, they discovered so many islands that we unhesitatingly call paradise.”

In 1951 he enrolled at Goldsmith’s School of Art, London University, before going on to the Royal College of Art. He returned to New Zealand in 1956 and has been extensively involved in the NZ Academy of Fine Arts, including ten years as director.

The exhibition, Guy Ngan: Journey – Aluminium Panel, Tiki Hands and Anchor Stones, is on until September 24 at the City Gallery Wellington.

Migrant voices on Plains FM

Auckland’s community access radio station, Plains FM, has begun broadcasting a new weekly series about migrants called Stepping Out.

It's a programme about migrant New Zealanders by two New Zealanders who have experienced being migrants.

Malaysian-born Joanne Lee came to New Zealand five years ago for her children's education. She speaks Malay, Cantonese and Mandarin and has taught English to refugees and migrants.

"My students are the ones who inspire me to make these programmes" she said. "As I find my own voice in this country I would like to help others be heard, understood and accepted.”

Jane Oh is a Pakeha New Zealander who has lived in Malaysia for 16 years and is married to a Malaysian. They have two children.

She says the experience of immigration has been a major influence on her life. "It has given me an empathy and admiration for others seeking to rebuild their lives in a new country.”

Both women are interested in sharing the experience of migration through interviews with others who have come to live here.

Stepping Out airs every Saturday at 1pm on 96.9FM. For more information, contact Plains FM station manager Ron Kjestrup at

Consolation goal for Asian football

The titans of Asian soccer, South Korea and Japan, have proven to be minnows on the world stage at the FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany.

While this has been a disappointing aspect for Asian soccer fans of what has been a very entertaining tournament, there is one consolation although this may not be a long lasting one either, if France gets an early exit.

The Indian media has been highlighting that French midfield player Vikash Dhorasoo is Asian. In an interview with Sportstar magazine he revealed that his great grand parents came from Andhra Pradesh but went to work in sugar cane plantations in Mauritius.

From there his family moved to Le Havre in Normandy where Dhorasoo spent his early years in France. He admitted had never been to India but would eventually like to contribute to the development of Indian soccer.

“I don’t want to go to India as a tourist. I have a real interest in that country. I know India through its movies, its music, its dances and its food. That’s the India I know.”

Dhorasoo, who has been used as a substitute in France’s group games, currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain and has represented France in the under-21 and under-23 national teams.

The next Asia:NZ media newsletter will be available in July. The views expressed by various contributors to the newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asia New Zealand Foundation. If you are interested in contributing to the newsletter, please contact Asia:NZ’s media adviser Charles Mabbett at cmabbett@asianz.org.nz

Toitu he kianga; whatungarongaro he tangata - people are transient things but the land endures.


Articles may be reprinted with acknowledgement of Asia New Zealand Foundation


Asia New Zealand Foundation is grateful to its key sponsors - Fonterra, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - for their commitment to the Foundation's activities.


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