Herald in diversity project
A groundbreaking initiative to train and develop 25 new journalism cadets — including those from Ma¯ori, Pacific and other communities traditionally under-represented in media — has been announced by Weekend
owner NZME and three major partners.
Te Rito, a unique collaboration between NZME, Ma¯ori Television, Pacific Media Network and NewshubDiscovery
this week won $2.4 million backing from New Zealand On Air’s Public Interest Journalism Fund.
Te Rito will recruit trainees and staff ready for a February 2022 start.
Fifteen of the trainees will be based at NZME’s Auckland offices and 10 reo Ma¯ori-fluent cadets will be housed with Ma¯ori TV. All will work across the nationwide newsrooms of the four partners and affiliated media groups during a thorough one-year grounding in digital, audio, radio, video, TV and print journalism.
NZME head of cultural partnerships Lois Turei said the four companies’ collective approach was unprecedented and would offer a new pathway that would inject the industry with voices that better reflected the diverse communities of Aotearoa.
“Te Rito principles are grounded in tikanga Ma¯ori [protocol] and this will hold the space for cadets of all backgrounds to carry their cultural practices into their professional lives.
“Weaving aspects of their culture into their work will result in stories that are rich and multi-layered — that’s a powerful gift to newsrooms.”
Also successful in NZ On Air’s first funding round for Public Interest Journalism was the Herald’s sister newspaper the Rotorua Weekender. The Weekender will become the only newspaper in the country to print a weekly bilingual section that will shine a light on issues for Rotorua iwi.
NZME managing editor Shayne Currie said the projects were gamechanging. “Te Rito will inspire a new generation of journalists — our future storytellers, whose backgrounds and work will reflect modern-day NZ in all its diversity and vibrance.”
NZ On Air had 123 applications asking for more than $44m from a pool of $9.6m. A panel including independent industry assessors recommended 34 applications for funding.
Te Rito will soon begin advertising for a kaihautu¯ (programme manager) to begin developing the project. Four other trainers and an administrator will also be recruited and applications for cadets will open later this year.