The New Zealand Herald recently published a column which criticises its own record on race. Teuila Fuatai explains why she felt she had to call out the paper that commissioned her.
In the column, freelance journalist Teuila Fuatai detailed her concerns about the Herald’s record on race and her efforts to raise those with her editors.
It wasn’t what she was originally commissioned to write.
Her editors had asked for an article about racism in New Zealand more generally, covering systemic issues in institutions like Oranga Tamariki, the police, and the justice system.
Fuatai says she started out trying to follow that brief before a conversation with the New Zealand organisers of Black Lives Matter left her feeling she couldn’t follow through on that brief without addressing the Herald’s coverage first.
“I suppose it was just a week after the first protest march in New Zealand and I thought they’d be a great group to speak to as an anti-racism group,” she says.
“It changed when they basically said they didn’t want to talk to me because the Herald and its coverage was racist and upheld structures of white supremacy.”