Potential for growth must be better harnessed

Indian Newslink holds its standards in the tough world of the mainstream print media while pitching to its own unique market and their interests.

It takes a professional view on controversial issues and provides balance coverage on most of the controversial matters it traverses.

For a fortnightly newspaper that caters to a large and varied constituency, it has been successful in maintaining depth and breadth, complemented by focus on international matters.

Sometimes I am surprised how this low budget operation accesses matters of interest to Indians in New Zealand, involving the Indian Government, people of India and other countries with which they have connections.

After 12 years, the principals of Indian Newslink must inevitably be thinking of ‘Where to next?’

There are many options in New Zealand, which is now home to 500,000 people with an ethnic background outside of Maori, Pacific and European.

Expanding scope

While the Chinese and Indian communities dominate this group, there are still sizable other ethnic groups who have need for news similarly packaged in terms of relevance for them.

I believe Indian Newslink can develop a slightly wider mandate and begin to cater for this wider group.

It will require some creative approaches to organising a paper that provides news of interest to the broader ethnic community but also includes segments that are unique to particular groups with less developed avenues for news.

I also think there is something to be gained by promoting a larger number of specialised columns from people who are well informed on matters of specific interest to ethnic communities.

In the same vein perhaps, there ought to be greater experimentation by the newspaper in terms of stories that are run over several issues, stories that traverse on-going issues and which provide greater depth of analysis.

I congratulate Indian Newslink for maintaining such excellent quality over many years. I am proud of its achievements and standards.

Make it weekly

This newspaper should consider becoming a weekly. I realise the demands such a proposal places on the current staff but it certainly is a matter that will emerge before long. A mid-way option might be to have two forms of the paper, a weekly web edition, while retaining the print edition as a fortnightly.

I am pleased to be associated with the Indian Newslink. Well done.

Dr Rajen Prasad is Member of Parliament on Labour’s List and the Party’s Spokesperson for Ethnic Affairs.

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