6 Oct 2011

Researchers win grant to study Maori Television

6:55 am on 6 October 2011

Maori Television is about to undergo a thorough examination by academics.

Two researchers have won a Marsden Fund grant to look at what role the channel is playing in people's understanding of what it means to be a New Zealander.

They will also examine how the channel balances the needs of Maori while appealing to the three quarters of its audience who are non-Maori, through public broadcasting such as Anzac Day coverage.

The Marsden Fund has allocated $770,000 to the three year study.

The work will be done by Dr Jo Smith from Victoria University in Wellington and Dr Sue Abel from The University of Auckland.

They will also study the broadcaster's sister station, the Maori language channel, Te Reo.

The fund notes that while there's plenty of research into the way mainstream media shapes the New Zealand identity, Maori media in general and Maori Television in particular has so far received little attention.