Content and source analysis of newspaper items about Maori issues – Silencing the ‘natives’ in Aotearoa



Maori people appeared rarely in newspapers in 2008; there was very low proportion of newspaper stories about Maori, just over one article a day in dailies, with 25 non-daily papers publishing none in three weeks. Newspapers used as many Pakeha sources as Maori ones in stories about the Treaty and Maori issues. They rarely recognised any right of comment by iwi and hapu whose representatives made up only 10 percent of Maori sources. Daily papers carried more opinion pieces by Pakeha (62%) on Maori issues, while community papers published more by Maori (82%). Business stories dropped from six percent in 2004 to three percent in 2008, despite the growth in the Maori economy. In 2007, mass TV news used more than three times as many male as female sources, compared to Māori programmes, where women made up nearly half the sources. This indicates a possible greater role for women as spokespeople in the Māori world compared to the Pākehā one.