New Zealand Media and Entertainment, Māori TV, Discovery / Newshub and the Pacific Media Network have selected the 25 cadets of the Te Rito development programme.
Te Rito is a ground-breaking initiative by the four media partners, with support from NZ on Air’s Public Interest Journalism Fund, to train and develop new journalism cadets that will inject the industry with voices that better reflect the diverse communities of Aotearoa.
The cohort has representation across eight ethnicities that include Māori, Samoan, Cook Island, Rotuman, Tongan, Fijian-Indian, South-east Asian, Finnish, ten languages, the diversability and rainbow communities, as well as male, female and non-binary cadets.
Based in Auckland, cadets will be paid a junior wage during the one-year programme of training and work experience which will begin next month.
Cadets will experience all facets of journalism across radio and broadcast television, digital and print, and be mentored by experienced newsroom operators.
NZME Head of Cultural Partnerships, Lois Turei, says interviewing such a diverse range of candidates for the programme was an inspiring and humbling experience for the panellists.
Te Rito partners had been challenged on whether the project would attract 25 suitable candidates from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Lois says, “The response to the recruitment drive was astounding, and competition for places was fierce. We had close to 100 applicants who had a broad range of professional skills, cultural grounding, unique lived experiences and a passion to tell stories about issues that affect their communities.
“If we do our job right, we will release a tranche of journalists into newsrooms who have unique and fresh perspectives that better reflect New Zealand communities. How exciting is that?”
Of the 25 positions, ten will be based at Māori TV and 15 at NZME. All cadets will learn and work across the newsrooms of the four partners and other affiliated media organisations.
The programme is led by Gesa Luamanu, a dedicated advocate for Māori and Pasifika communities with extensive corporate media experience.
Newshub’s Director of News, Sarah Bristow, says, “It’s so exciting to have cadets with such diverse backgrounds wanting to be involved in news journalism and embarking on the Te Rito journey.”
Pacific Media Network CEO, Don Mann says they are excited to welcome the 25 cadets to the inaugural programme. “Each bring their own mana, skills and perspectives that we know will broaden the journalism landscape of Aotearoa. This is our investment into strengthening the future journalistic voices of Te Moana-nui-a-Kiva tagata, and with this special programme, we look forward to seeing great returns for our Pasifika and indigenous communities to be seen and heard.”
The cadets begin their programme on 7 February.