|Pacific Media Watch|
A tale of two indigenous channels
Title -- 5398 NZ: A tale of two indigenous channels
Date -- 27 March 2008
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- Pacific Media Centre 27/03/08
Copyright - AUT University
Status -- Unabridged
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A TALE OF TWO INDIGENOUS CHANNELS
By Carly Tawhiao: Pacific Media Centre
AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch): Two very different people invited to speak at the inaugural World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference (WITBC) in Auckland yesterday shared such similar beliefs it was hard to believe they were from opposite sides of the globe.
John Walter Jones is of Welsh descent and is chairman of the Welsh fourth television channel, S4C, regarded as the oldest indigenous TV station in the world.
He shared his broadcasting background but distanced himself from larger political, linguistic issues in Wales, claiming struggle and activism were just sideshows to the actual work of making Welsh television.
Joe Williams, of Ngati Pukenga and Te Arawa descent, is Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court, chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal and an internationally recognised expert in indigenous rights law.
Judge Williams spoke of the lost art of Pacific navigation as a metaphor for Maori working broadcasters, who are navigating new territory.
Dream your island, he says. Always have your island in sight. Never lose sight of it. Once you get to your island you can focus your sights on another island.
The island he talks of represents, the Maori language, the Maori people, and the movement forward for all New Zealanders.
Aotearoa nui tonu (the great ever after of New Zealand), will be a platform on which our interdependence will be negotiated, says Judge Williams.
From Jones Welsh idea that all things are done in threes, his presentation broke down to the dream, the development and the digital era.
The dream was developed in 1982, as part of a three-year project. Twenty five years later it has developed significantly.
Jones regards S4C as just one of the tools used to retain the Welsh language, with education and people also being responsible for its success. Now his dream is to develop digital broadcasting.
Jones sees this as a convergence of minds as well as the convergence of a technology and he is most proud that his tiny minority TV station can now be viewed all over the world.
The three-day conference at Aucklands Aotea complex is hosted by Maori Television. It ends tomorrow with the launch of the new digital Maori language station Te Reo.
Carly Tawhiao is a Graduate Diploma in Journalism student in AUTs School of Communication Studies.
* WITBC 08 website:
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