4: Changing the way we report

This e-learning module is the fourth of a four-part micro-learning series from the Taumatua project – a roadmap for newsrooms wanting to build cultural intelligence.

The media has a significant role to play in accurately representing different cultures and communities. Reporting on issues related to Māori can be sensitive and complex. Traditionally in mainstream media, the representation of Māori has been loaded with negative bias, unhelpful stereotyping and an inaccurate application of te reo Māori creating environments full of mistrust.

How our newsrooms look and feel from the inside is a great place to start. Creating culturally safe newsroom environments and culturally sensitive teams is an ongoing process that requires a commitment to understanding and addressing the ways in which unconscious bias can impact reporting on Māori issues. 

We explore the importance of providing training and education to all newsroom staff on the history and culture of Māori, as well as the importance of cultural sensitivity and avoiding bias in reporting.

Ensuring that the newsroom is diverse and inclusive is essential, which includes actively recruiting Māori staff and other staff from diverse backgrounds, and ensuring that there is diversity in decision-making roles within the newsroom. Employing Māori journalists who understand Māori issues and can report on them accurately and sensitively can help to ensure that reporting is culturally safe.

We provide proactive steps that media organisations can take by regularly reviewing and evaluating reporting practices that help to identify areas where unconscious bias may be present and provide opportunities for improvement.

Access the e-learning module here

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