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Carmen Parahi

Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hine, Rongowhakaata

Pou Tiaki Editor Carmen Parahi has been a journalist since 2001. The Pou Tiaki strategy she leads at Stuff, an Aotearoa media company, aims to provide fair representation of Māori, and all underrepresented people and perspectives through equity and Treaty of Waitangi principles, diversity and inclusion practices.

She won Executive of the Year at the 2021 Voyager Media Awards and was Runner-Up Reporter of the Year in 2021 and 2019. Last year, she received the Best Story in English at the 2020 Massey University Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Journalism Awards.

Part of the Pou Tiaki strategy included: Our Truth, Tā Mātou Pono, a project investigating how Stuff had reported on Māori for more than 160 years ago. It found racism, marginalisation and stereotyping against Māori applied through a eurocentric news perspective. In November 2020, Stuff offered an historic public apology to Māori. The project received the Best in Asia/Pacific 2021 INMA Global Media award and Best Project/Campaign at the 2021 Voyager Media Awards.

Representation, racism, power and mass communication

Media can carry social power and influence for owners and leaders and may reflect and favour their worldviews over others if internal and external checks and balances are lacking. Unchecked media can cause harm to others by excluding the authentic voices of communities, stigmatising and marginalising people, surfacing prejudice, creating negative stereotypes and perpetuating racism.

The internet has amplified the issues around representation and power in mass communication with users being able to access all forms of digital communication. Algorithms delivering what readers have preferred to view in the past can play a role in amplifying misinformation and disinformation, increasing prejudice and creating conditions that increase inequality.

What does it all mean? How do people keep themselves informed but safe, too? What responsibility do media companies have to acknowledge and counter the prejudices that may lie within? What are some of the solutions?

Carmen Parahi
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