The media in New Zealand has not been a rich avenue of access for Deaf people. Despite a number of other countries establishing popular Deaf programmes for both children and adults, New Zealand has struggled with this concept. From early news items about Deaf schools produced by the Government’s National Film Unit, to modern documentaries on aspects of Deaf life, Deaf inclusion in media programmes has for the most part been mainstream productions about the Deaf community. These items often focus on the lives of a small group of individuals to illuminate understanding of the community as a whole by society.
News Review took a huge leap forwards in including NZSL in what was intended as a mainstream programme. NZSL has found its way onto the media from time-to-time, but on the whole this is one area that clearly needs improvement, to enable Deaf people to tell their own stories, ones that are relevant and important for them.