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Inclusive journalism seminar in Kautokeino, Norway

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images: Greg Treadwell, AUT University

The Sámi University College, Sámi allaskuvla, in Kautokeino, Norway, curls around a central courtyard like an Arctic fox with its head on its tail. Within the circle of its warmth, the Inclusive Journalism Initiative met on 2nd and 3rd November 2015 to discuss indigenous journalism and the roles of journalists and journalism educators in promoting journalism that tackles prejudice and dominance.

Teachers from all four IJI partners joined Sámi and Māori scholars and students from the College’s Masters in International Indigenous Journalism for a full day of presentations. These combined detailed accounts of Sámi and Māori media and media use with explorations of the conceptual terrain and practical educational initiatives.

The presentations showcased the strength of the College and its links to the Sámi community, particularly in Norway. The audience included some of the most senior Sámi journalists and the next generation of champions of Sámi news media, currently enrolled in the Masters.

On the following days, IJI members discussed those students’ research projects with them, as well as met to further a joint paper on inclusive journalism.

The visit deepened links between New Zealand and Nordic educators in ways that a virtual meeting or a meeting at a conference elsewhere could not have. The visitors experienced Sámi political and cultural self-determination through visits to the Norwegian Sámi parliament, the Sámi national museum and the broadcaster NRK Sápmi, all in Karasjok. Also prominent in the visit were Jane Huria, representing the Māori tribe, Ngāi Tahu, and Desna Jury, Dean of the Faculty of Design and Creative Industries at AUT University.

The location in Kautokeino, three hours drive from Finland’s northernmost airport, also brought its own intensity. The ice of early winter, the Northern Lights and the stark beauty of the tundra took the visitors far from their normal environments and challenged them to find fresh perspectives.

Thanks are due to Prof Tom Moring for his invitation, leadership and travel assistance. Thanks also to the Nordic Council of Ministers Nordplus programme for travel assistance and the European Union ICI ECP mobility programme (the major funder of the IJI).

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