I am not the problem : challenging deficit narratives of indigenous development through alternative media : a research report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Development, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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The aim of this research was to explore the extent to which alternative media sources challenge normative representations of Indigenous peoples and provide an opportunity for alternate representations, specifically expressions of agency and empowerment. Mainstream media oversimplifies Indigenous development goals and relies heavily upon stereotypes and problematising discourses. Critical analysis of alternative news articles show that alternative media represents issues related to Indigenous development from a collective perspective, demonstrating a strong presence of solidarity. Contestation of problematising discourses is commonly situated in a context of colonisation and ongoing marginalisation and through this narrative stories of agency and empowerment are shared. Overwhelmingly, there was evidence that Indigenous development was not being undertaken in a participatory approach, the state failing to consult and instead enforcing paternalistic and punitive policies specifically targeting Indigenous communities. A key finding of this research is that alternative media provides a voice for those silenced by state processes and policies, disseminating urgent calls for community-based engagement and recognition of the ongoing impacts of colonisation for Indigenous development.
Indigenous peoples and mass media, Alternative mass media, Indigenous peoples, Economic conditions