|Pacific Media Watch|
Pacific publishing tough in NZ, say publishers
Title -- 4810 NZ: Pacific publishing tough in NZ, say publishers
Date -- 9 October 2005
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- AUT Journalism 8/10/5
Copyright - AUT
Status -- Unabridged
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PACIFIC PUBLISHING TOUGH IN NZ BUT SLOWLY GETTING BETTER
By Suenje Paasch-Colberg
AUCKLAND (AUT Journalism/Pacific Media Watch): Publishing ethnic magazines and newspapers in New Zealand is a hard business - but it's slowly getting easier, say Pacific publishers.
Michael Jackson, publisher of the weekly bilingual newspaper Niue Star, says he sometimes thinks about giving up the paper.
"But there is nobody else. And we need to have a newspaper," says Jackson, whose paper is the only printed media in Niue. It has a circulation of 800.
He was speaking at the annual Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) conference in Auckland today when a panel of publishers outlined their media issues.
Mere Lomaloma Elliott, a former Fiji broadcaster and now Pasifika Festival director, who set up the free bilingual community newspaper Fiji Observer, says getting the paper out is hard work.
But she also says that it is worth the effort as her team is getting very positive feedback from the readership.
"Somebody has to do it. We're doing it for love," says Elliott, who is also a masters student in communication studies at Auckland University of Technology.
However, the four publishers say the situation is gradually improving.
"We're struggling, but it's going forward step by step," Jackson says.
He says the quality of the Niue Star recently improved as the paper now has four colour pages.
Innes Logan, publisher and editor of the glossy magazine Spasifik, says New Zealand's magazine market is very competitive.
"There are hundreds of magazines in the book stores. It is a fight to be seen among them."
He says the magazine is still new and starting a business always means taking some losses.
"We're still there and we are still growing."
Spasifik magazine now has a circulation of 8000 and is distributed in Australia, Hawaii and the US as well as New Zealand.
Logan says publishing ethnic media will become easier as Pacific Islanders become more important as a market.
"If you look at the demographics, Pacific Islanders are among the biggest growing group."
However, he says his business will still be tough as the competition will become harder as well.
"If you make something successful, it's only a matter of time until others jump up."
PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).
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