Newshub is partnering with three other news organisations to launch a journalism training scheme to foster the talents of young reporters from Māori, Pasifika and other ethnic minority backgrounds under-represented in Aotearoa's media industry.
The programme, named Te Rito, is a collaboration between Māori Television, the Pacific Media Network, Newshub and NZME and is backed by the Government's $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund.
Starting February 2022, Te Rito will see 25 journalists trained, developed and hired to "report and share the important perspectives and stories of Aotearoa".
Each of them will learn and work across the four newsrooms and other media organisations for a year to get a grounding in journalism across platforms - be it digital, audio, radio, video, television or print.
Director of News Sarah Bristow says Newshub is involved in the project because it recognises the media industry needs to be more representative of the communities it serves.
"Te Rito aims to break down some of the barriers that are preventing young, diverse voices from being part of our media landscape," she said.
"It offers development and mentoring opportunities in the hope the cadets of today become the trailblazing journalists of tomorrow."
Wena Harawira, Māori Television's Head of News and Current Affairs, says Te Rito will address a shortage of reo Māori-speaking journalists.
"It's incredibly important that New Zealand's journalism landscape is rich with Māori stories created by Māori, in te reo Māori, for everyone," she said.
"The ability to tell stories and share perspectives is fundamentally shaped by language. Of the 25 cadets, at least 10 will be fluent te reo Māori speakers."
Pacific Media Network chief executive Don Mann hailed the programme as a chance to rectify the "significant under-representation and imbalance within the journalism sector on behalf of the Pasifika community".
NZME Head of Cultural Partnerships, Lois Turei, describes Te Rito as an exciting and groundbreaking initiative.
"Te Rito principles are grounded in tikanga Māori (protocol) and this will hold the space for cadets of all backgrounds to carry their cultural practices into their professional lives," she said. "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."
NZ On Air Head of Journalism Raewyn Rasch Ngāi Tahu/Kai Tahu, says training is one of three pillars to the Public Interest Journalism Fund because it is so crucial for the future of New Zealand media.
"Training is a vital part of the media landscape that has suffered through increasing financial pressures - and by injecting resources back into this area, the Public Interest Journalism Fund will have a positive and long-lasting impact."
Te Rito will soon begin advertising for a kaihautū (programme manager), four trainers and an administrator for the programme.
Applications for cadets will open later in 2021, with the programme to run for one year from next February. Enquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.