New Zealand’s Minister for Broadcasting and Media, Kris Faafoi, has launched a fund to support public interest journalism in the country.
This is in an effort to ensure that people across NZ are kept informed on issues affecting them and their communities.
“Grassroots public-interest journalism, such as community reporting and investigative media enterprises, have been in decline or struggled for support in the past decade or more,” the minister stated.
Government has publicly committed to supporting journalism
“Given its importance, and the Government’s Manifesto commitment to support public-interest journalism, we are investing $55-million over the next three years to provide on-going support for public-interest journalism to be produced and shared through New Zealand media outlets.”
Faafoi said the fund will ensure this sort of journalism continues to play a vital role in sharing the stories that keep New Zealanders informed and engaged, as well as supporting a healthy democracy by holding voices of influence to account.
“Covid-19 and the lockdowns last year highlighted the important role our media plays in providing up-to-date, independent and trusted information to the public. We want to ensure that kind of coverage is supported and developed across all community levels, where media operations have often cut back resources to reduce their costs,” he stated.
NZ On Air will administer the fund, which will be for projects that media outlets are able to show fill a public-interest service and would otherwise be at risk, or not produced at all, without this fund’s support.
The funding is being made available over a three-year period
It will be open to all media entities; from large media organisations through to small, local entities, Māori, Pacific and ethnic media.
The money will be available over three years, with $10-million available in the current 2020/21 financial year, $25-million in 2021/22, and $20-million in 2022/23.
“The key concepts of the fund have been developed alongside independent media experts and work is underway to gain further feedback from across the sector. These insights will help inform the detailed design and delivery of the fund,” the minister said.