Media giant apologises for past ‘racist’ reporting

‘We will, though, continue to hold ourselves to account’

Media giant apologises for past ‘racist’ reporting

New Zealand media giant Stuff has made a public apology for what they deemed as past ‘racist’ reporting.

In an online piece, editorial director Mark Stevens reflected on the way in which the news outlet had portrayed Māori people throughout its tenure.

“Our coverage of Māori issues over the past 160 years ranged from racist to blinkered,” he wrote.

“Seldom was it fair or balanced in terms of representing Māori.

“One front page article from the 1800s reported this: ‘For an inferior race, coming in contact with one greatly superior, there are generally but two possible and conceivable destinies – absorption or destruction.’

“That racist tone was not uncommon back then.”

Stevens made a “commitment to change, to do better in the future”, including introducing the principles of Waitangi and partnering with Māori Television in order to properly cover all Māori issues.

“The distance left to travel on our journey includes ensuring our journalism is for all New Zealanders and trying to repair our relationship with Māori,” added Stevens.

“That will take time and effort, and from time to time we might stumble.

“We will, though, continue to hold ourselves to account.”

This commitment to inclusivity has been reflected through NZ culture of late, as PM Jacinda Arden appointed the most diverse cabinet to date.

Speaking to HRD, Diversity Works New Zealand chief executive Maretha Smit, lauded the new selection of national leaders.

“Ensuring all groups and sectors of society have representation in Government is essential to establishing equality in Aotearoa,” she explained.

“Not only that, Parliament is a workplace like any other, and it’s gratifying to see our country’s leaders sending a signal to all organisations that there are immense benefits to having diverse teams.”

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