Weekend Herald

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.

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