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Asia:NZ newsletter - October 2008

Media e-newsletter

Kia ora and welcome to the October edition of the Asia New Zealand Foundation newsletter. Read on for information about the foundation’s Foreign Policy in Asia media seminar, Diwali festivals in Auckland and Wellington, the rise of China’s outspoken netizens and the journalism students from Massey, AUT and Canterbury who will be embarking on work experience in Asia.

In this issue:

• Foreign policy in Asia media seminar

• Huge Diwali crowds expected for seventh year

• China’s netizens and the milk powder scandal

• Asians in Christchurch report

• South Asia media travel grants

• Five journalism graduates for Indonesia

• Media scholarships to Cambodia, China and India

• Wellington photographer’s images of India

• Young composers make fusion classical music

Foreign policy in Asia media seminar
New Zealand journalists with extensive experience of working in Asia are among a talented line-up of Asia-savvy speakers at the Foreign Policy in Asia Media Seminar in Auckland on Tuesday November 4.

Aimed at working and student journalists, this registration-only Asia New Zealand Foundation media seminar will feature a number of high-profile speakers from international media outlets as well as government and university representatives.

Four of the speakers are based overseas and they will be giving their perspective on recent events and trends in the Asia region.

Jamil Anderlini is the Beijing deputy bureau chief of the Financial Times newspaper. Formerly he was the Beijing business correspondent for the South China Morning Post and the chief editor of the China Economic Review. A graduate of Victoria University and AUT University, Mr Anderlini has lived in China for most of nine years and reads and speaks Chinese fluently.

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Anna Fifield is a former Rotorua Daily Post and NZPA reporter who has worked for the Financial Times newspaper for the last eight years. From 2004 to 2008 she was the Seoul correspondent for the FT, covering everything from North Korea's nuclear programme to Samsung's mobile phones and economic opportunities in China. This year she was posted to Beirut as Middle East correspondent.

Dr Sudha Ramachandran is an independent journalist based in Bangalore, India. She writes on South Asian political and security issues and has reported from conflict areas including Kashmir and Sri Lanka. In addition to writing for the Asia Times and other publications, she teaches journalism students at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.

Sidney Jones is senior adviser to the Asia Programme of the International Crisis Group, an international independent NGO dedicated to preventing and resolving deadly conflicts through field-based analyses and high-level advocacy. Ms Jones, based in Jakarta, works with a small team aof analysts and is an authority on separatist conflicts, communal and ethnic conflicts and and Islamic radicalism.

The event is free for journalists but registration is required. For more information about the Foreign Policy in Asia Media Seminar and details on how to register, visit http://www.asianz.org.nz/media/seminarnov08

Huge Diwali crowds expected for seventh year
Diwali is perhaps the most important and ancient of the Indian festivals. It is celebrated throughout India as well as in Indian communities around the world.

It is colloquially known as 'The Festival of Lights' - the time when families light small oil lamps and candles around the home and set off firecrackers and fireworks.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation in partnership with Auckland City and Wellington City Council has been organising the annual Diwali Festivals in Auckland and Wellington for the past seven years.

The event gives Indian communities the opportunity to share this much-loved cultural tradition with other New Zealanders and their families. The festivals regularly draw up to 100,000 people in Auckland and 30,000 in Wellington.

The Auckland festival will be at the Auckland Viaduct Harbour over two days - October 18-19 - and the Wellington celebration will be held at the TSB Bank Arena on October 26.

For more information and a full list of performers, visit http://www.asianz.org.nz/diwali and click on Auckland or Wellington.

China netizens and the milk powder scandal
As the size of China’s milk powder contamination problem spread, the Internet became the outlet by which many Chinese vented their anger at a scandal that has caused the deaths of four babies and made thousands of others ill.

As a guide to New Zealand journalists seeking a window on China, the following English language websites have been instructive for gauging reaction among China’s netizens.

The China Digital Times is a news website that covers 'China’s social and political transition and its emerging role in the world'. The team behind CDT aggregate news and analysis about China that can be found on the internet, translating content from Chinese language websites into English - www.chinadigitaltimes.net

The person behind EastSouthWestNorth is Roland Soong, a 56-year-old Hong Kong blogger with a PhD in statistics. His website has been praised for quickly and accurately translating Chinese language newspaper articles, blogs and websites into English - www.zonaeuropa.com/weblog.htm

The Chinese word danwei means work unit, the old term for a state-owned company that was supposed to provide cradle-to-grave employment, housing and medical treatment. It is also the name of an influential website edited Jeremy Goldkorn, a Chinese-speaking Beijing-based South African writer – www.danwei.org

China Rises is written by Tim Johnson, the Beijing bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers in the United States. He covers both China and Taiwan. http://washingtonbureautypepad.com/china/

Imagethief is William Moss, an American public relations professional and writer working in China since 2004. You can read his take on the San Lu issue and other topics at http://news.imagethief.com/blogs/china/

China Smack is a website that shares a 'slice of Chinese life' with English-speaking foreigners. Its creator, a Chinese woman named Fauna, collects and posts popular and interesting items that can be found on the Chinese-language internet for the benefit of non-Chinese speakers - www.chinasmack.com

Shanghaiist is a website that was established in July 2005 about Shanghai in particular and China in general. It is edited by American Dan Washburn and Singaporean Kenneth Tan, and includes local and national news and events - www.shanghaiistcom

Asians in Christchurch report
A new Asia New Zealand Foundation report says Christchurch’s Asian population is generally young, educated and has grown faster than other parts of New Zealand.

The report - Asians in Christchurch: The 'most British' city diversifies - is the foundation’s third in a series reporting on migration and the Asian population of New Zealand.

The research shows that after Auckland, the Canterbury region had the largest migration gain between 2001 and 2006, and most of this gain was in Christchurch.

Over this period, the Asian population of Christchurch grew about 50 percent, a proportion only slightly less than the percentage growth in Auckland. When birthplace is considered, the number of 2006 Christchurch residents who were born in Asia approached the level of those born in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The report shows the Asian population of Canterbury region is substantially younger than the total population of this region as a result of the age selective nature of the permanent residency immigration criteria. This is especially notable for the Chinese of which nearly 50 percent are aged between 15 and 30, reflecting the large numbers of international students in the tertiary sector.

In the Korean population, there is a notable 'bulge' of those aged less than 20, reflecting the fact that many of these are international students in the primary and secondary school system.

On average, the Asian population of Christchurch has high educational qualifications, with 24 percent of those over 15 years of age holding a university degree, compared to 15 percent of the total population.

The report notes that while there have been cases of friction and racism manifest publicly and occasionally in the media, there have also been important initiatives to counter these problems. These initiatives include specific programmes to facilitate the integration of migrants by Christchurch City Council, the development of ethnic associations, and the work of the Rewi Alley Education and Cultural Centre and Chinese School.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation report - Asians in Christchurch: The ‘most British’ city diversifies – is now available here: http://www.asianz.org.nz/asianz.org.nz/research/outlook/outlook08highlights.

South Asia media travel grants
Three New Zealand journalists will receive Asia New Zealand Foundation funding to go on assignment in South Asia. The three applied under the South Asia round of media travel grants in September.

Dominion Post journalist Ruth Hill and freelance journalist Keri Welham will travel to India early next year while independent documentary maker and freelance journalist Jim Scott will go to Sri Lanka.

Next year’s media travel grant rounds are May 15 (North Asia), July 15 (Southeast Asia) and September 15 (South Asia). For more information on how to apply, go to http://www.asianz.org.nz/grants/media

Five journalism graduates for Indonesia
Five New Zealand student journalists have been accepted into an Australian-run six-week Journalism Professional Practicum (JPP) in Indonesia.

Three of the journalists – Charles Anderson, Andrew Livingstone and Alison Pugh – are currently studying at the University of Canterbury school of journalism while two – Su Ann Ong and Rhiannon Horrell – are students at the AUT University journalism school.

The field trip that is designed for young journalists seeking to learn more about Indonesia is organised and run by the Australian Consortium of ‘In Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) based at Murdoch University in Western Australia.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is a member organisation of ACICIS and will be providing scholarships to all five New Zealand journalists to support their participation in the JPP which will be held in January and February 2009. More information on Asia:NZ's ACICIS membership is available here: http://www.asianz.orgnz/media/acicis

The JPP aims to give students the background knowledge and theoretical insights required to work in and report on Indonesia. Participants will experience the social, workplace and professional journalistic cultures directly through class work and practical work placements in media organisations, and also get a taste for the environment in which a foreign correspondent might operate and the nature of international journalism.

The New Zealanders will be part of a group of 33 student journalists from 12 universities. ACICIS received 59 applications for 25 positions, but this has been extended to 33 to help meet the evident demand for the course.

The larger group was made possible by JPP Project Officer Louise Williams who went to Jakarta last month to finalise internship places. She was able to find another eight English language internship placements.

The applicants were chosen mainly on the basis of journalism industry experience, academic record and general life experience. This year, three New Zealand journalists took part in the JPP – two from AUT University and one from Massey University. Two accounts, by William Robertson and Dylan Quinnell, can be read here: http://www.asianz.org.nz/media/coveringasia/fieldnotes

For more information about ACICIS, visit http://www.acicis.murdoch.edu.au

Media scholarships to Cambodia, China and India
Five Massey University journalism students will get the opportunity to work at Asian media organisations in India, Cambodia and China.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation has been working with the Massey University journalism school since 2000 to offer work experience opportunities beginning with the Phnom Penh Post in Cambodia.

Since then the network of host media has grown to include the Shanghai Daily in China and the Deccan Herald in Bangalore. All three newspapers are in English and provide a brilliant introduction for young New Zealand journalists seeking to learn more about Asian nations.

The five journalists (and their respective assignments) are: Marika Hill (Phnom Penh Post), Lauren Jackson (Shanghai Daily), Michael Fox (Phnom Penh Post), Kate Newton (Deccan Herald) and Cushla Norman (Shanghai Daily).

By supporting opportunities for young New Zealand journalists to develop professionally and to gain a better understanding of the region, the foundation believes it will inevitably lead to continuing improvement in the way the New Zealand news media portrays and understands Asia both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Since the Asia New Zealand Foundation and Massey University began this initiative eight years ago, 24 New Zealand journalism graduates have embarked on these scholarships which in 2008 for the first time will include a placement at the Deccan Herald. Read about Asia:NZ's media grants here: http://www.asianz.org.nz/grants/media

Wellington photographer’s images of India
Images of India taken by a Wellington photographer will also be one of the attractions open to the public at the Diwali Festival in the capital this month.

The 60 images taken by Wellington photographer Karim Sahai will be on display at the Michael Fowler Centre from October 18-28.

The exhibition - Yatra: A Photographic Journey through India – charts Karim Sahai’s personal odyssey across Assam, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and several other states. The word yatra is Sanskrit of spiritual journey or quest.

Mr Sahai says his aim is to present the intense hues and surprising aspects of daily life in India. For a preview of the exhibition, visit www.indiaphotojourney.com

Young composers make fusion classical music
Five young composers will compete for the best composition for a musical quartet but with a twist.

The competing entrants will need to include two Chinese classical instruments – the erhu (a Chinese two-stringed violin) and the dizi (a Chinese flute).

The organisers, the Music Association of Auckland, devised the project as an educational and community event that focused on integrating ethnic elements into mainstream composition practice in secondary schools.

The five finalists are Alice Wang, Sarah Van Zyl, Michael Ford, Angela Kong and Kelly Chan. The main judges will be David Hamilton and Alex Codwdell and the five finalists were chosen by composer Yvette Audain.

The competition will be on Saturday October 25 at 2.00pm. The venue is the Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, 13 Reeves St, Pakuranga, Auckland. It is free to attend. For more information, contact Iris Cheng at diss@xtra.co.nz

The next Asia:NZ newsletter will be available in November. 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, contact Asia New Zealand Foundation media adviser Charles Mabbett at cmabbett@asianz.org.nz. For regular news on Asia:NZ's various programmes, bookmark our website at For regular news on Asia:NZ's various programmes, bookmark our website at www.asianz.org.nz


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