National | Journalism

New generation of jounalists graduate from Te Rito

After a year of intense training, journalism cadets from Te Rito have graduated.

Te Rito is a collaboration between Māori Television, NZME, Pacific Media and Newshub to train 25 budding journalists to develop more diverse voices in the industry.

Kahumako Rameka is one of the cadets who graduated this year.

"It was a challenge I thought I could meet, that we could meet. So I thought, let's give it a go. Now we have made it, it's finished."

The majority of cadets are barely in their 20s, with the aim to train the next generation of journalists. Atutahi Potaka-Dewes, who has gone onto find work at the Pacific Media Network, says the time has come for a new approach to news.

From cadets to fully trained journalists in the industry.

Industry crying out

"It's not just Māori it's all walks of life here in Aotearoa, all those stories coming together. But being told truthfully, being told respectfully through the lens of those indigenous groups."

About 100 people applied for one of the 25 places on the cadetship, with NZ on Air investing over $2m in the course, with around $1.7m to be spent on the next cohort starting this year.

NZ on Air journalism head Raewyn Rasch says Te Rito is something the industry has been crying out for.

"We have had no mechanism to build capability within Māori journalism or Pacific journalism or even diverse-voice journalism and, without that capability, even if newsrooms wanted to hire Māori journalists, they just weren't there."

And while there has been a fair amount of investment in Māori journalism over the years, Susana Talangi Guttenbeil, who is general manager of content at the Pacific Media Network, says Pasifika journalism has seen years of underinvestment.

"The proportion of Pasifika journalists in the journalism industry was at 1.8%. Ten years later that number hasn't changed and for us, that is incredibly disappointing because we know the value that Pasifika people add to this country."

Te Rito