Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Pacific Scoop

Reporting diversity in New Zealand: The ‛Asian Angst’ controversy

Volume 15, Issue 1

May, 2009

From page
to page
Hannis, G. (2009). Reporting diversity in New Zealand: The 'Asian angst' controversy. Pacific Journalism Review, 16(1): 114-130.
Diversity, Identity and the Media
Author(s): Grant Hannis
Publication date: 
May, 2009

A recent cause célèbre in the reporting of diversity in New Zealand was ‛Asian Angst’, an article published by leading magazine North & South. Following the influx of Chinese immigrants into New Zealand over recent years, ‛Asian Angst’ painted a picture of consequent rampant Chinese crime in the country. The article caused an uproar and the Press Council later ruled the piece was inaccurate and discriminatory. This analysis reveals how the article conformed to the traditional Western stereotype of Asians as the Yellow Peril, and concludes that the magazine adopted this stereotype because it was apparently determined to portray Chinese immigrants in a poor light and was unable to interpret the relevant crime statistics correctly.