New Zealand audiences want relevant media content
New study from NZ On Air shows many New Zealanders of Asian descent are disengaged and confused about most mainstream media, preferring instead to source content from their home country, in their own language .
The viewing and listening habits of Asian New Zealanders are again the subject of study – with a new survey commissioned by NZ On Air showing that many members of the Chinese diaspora have little or no contact with them. New Zealand media, preferring instead to engage with international news sources. and networks based in China.
Independent researchers Heather Irvine and Wing Morgan conducted the qualitative ethnographic research for NZ On Air, involving extensive questioning of a group of Indian and Chinese New Zealanders in their homes.
The study sought to identify what media they consume, what motivates their choices and what they lack.
NZ On Air CEO Cameron Harland said the agency had been monitoring Asian public’s growing disengagement from local media for some time, and he said it was important for NZOA to understand how best meet the needs of the Asian public in this country.
“At the end of the day, it’s about social cohesion. There is an opportunity to offer something unique, meaningful and enriching for New Zealanders of Asian descent, and in doing so connect them with the New Zealand part of their identity, ”says -he.
Cameron Harland said NZ On Air had previously informed Asian content creators (via the Pan Asian Screen Collective) and local media platforms of the results of the investigation.
“We see a focused partnership with Asian creators and local media platforms as a big part of the solution and we are looking to join that effort.”
The Auckland-based researchers looked at the listening and viewing habits of Chinese and Indian community members using media logs, with in-depth follow-up interviews.
Researcher Wing Morgan says the findings largely confirmed trends seen in similar research, and she highlighted the isolated nature of some of the communities – who feel more comfortable engaging with content in their own language. , and often from the Internet directly from their country of origin.
The survey found that among some of the respondents there was a feeling that New Zealand media is ‘not for them’, and many only engage with local content regarding practical day-to-day information. like the weather, headlines and Covid updates.
Wing Morgan says the issue of languages spoken at home is very important, with some Chinese-Kiwi respondents saying they have no real idea of how to find the kind of content they might be interested in and that they would prefer to see it. ‘it be in their own language.
Respondents said they would be interested in connecting with local content to learn more about daily life in New Zealand, better understand New Zealand and the people around them, and explore the history and traditions of New Zealand. cultures of New Zealand, especially the Maori and Pasifika. The only obstacle being the language problem.
Research shows that Indian New Zealanders have a broader media appetite, including local and international content, and can feel connected to wider New Zealand society through local content, accessible through linear and online dissemination platforms.
As with the Chinese community, some Indian participants say they lost their connection to New Zealand media during the transition to the internet, and some more recent migrants say they never discovered New Zealand platforms. Zealanders.
And while the Indian community may feel more connected to New Zealand media, they are also concerned with the way it is presented there. They want to see themselves reflected in local content in a more authentic and diverse way. “More than dairy theft and arranged marriages,” as one respondent put it.
Researcher Heather Irvine says Indian New Zealand audiences often find New Zealand content they deem “for themselves” and has connections to existing New Zealand platforms. These connections mean they want to be seen as New Zealanders, not outsiders – to reflect their sense of belonging.
“Indians are connecting,” she said. “The challenge is to get the Indian public to stay engaged with New Zealand media as they move online. “
“The other challenge is to what extent Indians are represented in the New Zealand media. Sometimes it’s done well, sometimes it’s very limited in terms of characters and there is a gap in terms of expectations and reality, ”she says.
“With both groups, discoverability is a key challenge and promoting New Zealand’s online platforms is a priority.”
For those who engage, there is room for improvement, especially in the coverage of locally produced news. They feel it is currently too focused on New Zealand and news from the English speaking western world.
These news consumers feel that there is not enough coverage from Asia, especially China and India.
Participants also felt that these parts of the world remain extremely relevant to all New Zealanders, with many interesting and important things happening that should be covered more extensively in the New Zealand media.
The need to provide relevant content was particularly important for young Indians in New Zealand.
Younger researcher respondents tended to think of content produced in New Zealand as something they watched with their parents or something they watched before. Rather, they look to the international and Asian media to reflect their identity and perspectives and connect them to the rest of the world.
Heather Irvine points out that the nature of New Zealand content is key. “The challenge is to ensure that New Zealand content continues to be discoverable to them, and to better represent who they are as New Zealanders, with diverse and multi-layered identities.” she says.
“We need to promote and make the content relevant, so that we can have New Zealand content on their radar that they connect to.”
“It’s about diversity and the Chinese and Indian diaspora as interesting individuals and as New Zealanders – as quality characters, not just Chinese or Indian representatives. “