Māori Media Shift - The future of Māori news

updated By Te Ao Māori News

As the Māori media sector undergoes a review, Māori news services are looking at ways to appeal more to youth.

But does news necessarily translate into youth content? Bernie O'Donnell is General Manager of Radio Waatea, who delivers Māori news nationally.

He understands the need to provide content that resonates with rangatahi and believes we have to look at mainstream media and what they do. "They fragment their audiences. So they don’t try and be all things to all people like Māori media organisations are forced to do."

With the resources Radio Waatea has at the moment, O'Donnell says they can only do what can do, which isn’t enough. "I get that, but we have to find a better way to start understanding what might work in the right mix."

He adds that there is a fine line between news and really good content, saying "really good content isn’t news for me. I’m from an old school that talks about news being about Māori views and opinions on everything the world has to offer. I haven’t changed that view and we got into news as an organisation because we believed there was a massive imbalance in terms of how Māori news stories were being told and we still believe that."

"We’re not sure if that so much resonates with rangatahi at the moment" he admits. "But someone has to be in the space to be able to tell the rest of the world what Māori think about Māori issues but also about issues that affect them just like the rest of the world."