Pasifika, Māori and diverse journalism cadets marked their graduation from the Te Rito media training course at a special ceremony at Whakaata Maori in Auckland last Friday.
A first of its kind, Te Rito is a collaboration of mainstream, Māori and Pasifika media outlets, which saw students train and gain work experience across the different facets of journalism from digital, print, radio and television.
The programme was designed to create cultural awareness in New Zealand newsrooms and to address the shortage of reo Māori, Pasifika and diverse journalists.
Guest speaker and Minister of Broadcasting and Media, Willie Jackson says the programme has been innovative, bringing together a collaboration of local media and 20 cadets of various backgrounds, ethnicities and languages.
He congratulated the graduates and highlighted their work which has seen more than 600 articles published across various media platforms with more than 4.9 million views.
Jackson, a former broadcaster, says, “there is always a challenge as a Māori, Pasifika or diverse journalist and that challenge is, when do you put that journalist hat down and come back to your respective hats? There’s a line.
“It’s a balance and it’s tricky for Maori and Pasifika. It’s not easy, not easy in an all-European newsroom, but you have to have a line and you have to work out where it starts and where it finishes and that’s going to be a challenge for many years to come.
“Is the story everything? Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t.”
Te Rito graduate Waimanea Nuri says it has been great to be part of this once and a lifetime opportunity.
“For me, Te Rito has helped me gain exposure and experience in 4 different newsrooms – Whakaata Māori, TP, PMN + NewsHub. I’ve learnt the easiest parts of Journalism and most importantly the hardest parts…I am forever grateful to those who fought hard to create and produce this once in a lifetime opportunity, E mihi ana”.
The four Media partners Whakaata Maori, NZME, Newshub Discovery Warner Bros NZ and Pacific Media Network, with support from Sunpix Ltd developed a programme that would inject the media industry with a stronger diversity of voices which better reflect New Zealand’s communities.