Alistar Kata completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies (Honours) in 2015 looking at "Peace Jounalism" in New Zealand news media. The idea for her dissertation began with her journey to Fiji in 2014 to cover the election. She observed a disparity between the coverage by international media and local media and decided to analyse TVNZ’s coverage of the Fiji election over a two-week period.
Alistar looked at the stories TVNZ covered; the script, the language and images used, and analysed them through a peace journalism framework.
She found TVNZ would focus on the issue of ‘coup culture’ in Fiji, instead of giving attention to what local Fijians were thinking and feeling about the current state of their country.
“I knew I needed to do something about the way Pacific news is handled and the way Pacific issues are broadcast in New Zealand," says Alistar, who is of Cook Island-Māori descent.
Through her research, Alistar hopes to inform and educate Pacific people in the diaspora, especially young people, who may not know what is really going on in their own countries. It is her life mission to bring this to light in New Zealand and her dissertation is her first step in this direction.
Alistar was the recipient of two awards at the 2015 AUT School of Communication Studies annual awards ceremony: the Spasifik Magazine Prize and Storyboard Award for Diversity Reporting, as well as the Radio New Zealand International Award for Asia-Pacific Journalism.
See Alistar’s Pacific Media profile