Minister for Broadcasting and Media, Kris Faafoi has announced a $55 million package to support public interest journalism. The Journalism Fund will support New Zealand’s media to continue to produce stories that keep New Zealanders informed and engaged and support a healthy democracy.
The $55 million package will be made up of $10 million in 2020/21, $25 million in 2021/22 and $20 million in 2022/23.
The fund will be open to all media entities: from large media organisations, through to small, local entities and Māori, Pacific and ethnic media. It will be for content that media outlets are able to show fill a public interest need and would otherwise be at risk or not produced without this fund’s support.
The Journalism Fund will provide transitional support to media organisations as the sector evolves in a way that ensures the longer-term sustainability of New Zealand’s media.
The fund will be administered through NZ On Air. Note that delivery and design of the fund, including dates for funding rounds will be available in late March. Please check the NZ On Air website for further details on timeframes and how to apply.
Q and As
9. What will the funding cover in relation to public interest journalism content? I.e. is it money for a news outlet to distribute, is it pinned to a journalistic project, or is it attached to the employment of particular journalists?
1) What is the purpose of the Journalism Fund?
The Journalism Fund will preserve and enhance public interest journalism that will otherwise be at risk or lost due to the impact of COVID-19 on newsrooms. It will support the production of journalistic content that is critical to an open, progressive democracy, and to protect jobs at a local, regional and national level.
2) What is the definition of public interest journalism?
For this fund, public interest journalism is defined as ‘journalism that contributes to a person’s ability to function as a valued and informed member of the communities in which they live and/or work’.
3) What forms of public interest journalism will be supported?
That detail will be finalised through the course of the fund design, incorporating input from the media sector. The current criteria aim to be as inclusive as possible and includes: the likes of photojournalism, data journalism and investigative journalism.
4) Why is the $55 million being phased over three years?
The $55m fund is split across three years: $10m for the remainder of 2020/21, $25m in 2021/22 and $20m in 2022/23.
The fund is designed to provide for a period of transition between the short-term Covid relief provided to the media sector and the longer-term work to support the sustainability of the sector that is underway. The funding will support the vital public interest journalism while the sector adapts and evolves.
5) When will the fund open for applications?
Details on the delivery and design of the fund, including dates for funding rounds will be available in late March. Please check the NZ On Air website for further details, as they become available.
6) How will media apply to the fund?
Applications will be through NZ On Air, however there is still work being done on the detailed design of the fund. Please check the NZ On Air website for further details, as they become available.
7) What are some examples of content that the fund may support?
NZ On Air is consulting with the sector on key points that will define the funding scheme. This consultation will inform the shape of the first funding round. From there, the process will be iterative – what is learned from the first round will be applied to the second round.
Eligible content may include at risk journalism that:
- • seeks to inform and engage the general public about important issues of the day
- • investigates and reports on public policy and matters of public significance
- • holds power to account or
- • covers matters of interest to New Zealanders such as cultural, ethnic, artistic expression, sports, science and health.
8) What types of media organisations will be eligible for support from this fund?
All media, from large media entities through to small, local entities and Māori, Pacific and ethnic media entities, will be eligible if they can demonstrate a need and an audience for their content.
Crown-funded public media entities will only be eligible if the funded content is additional to content they are already funded for, if the content doesn’t duplicate other content funded through the initiative and if they are working in partnership with independent producers.
9) What will the funding cover in relation to public interest journalism content? I.e. is it money for a news outlet to distribute, is it pinned to a journalistic project, or is it attached to the employment of particular journalists?
That detail will be finalised through the course of the fund design, incorporating input from the media sector. The funding is for production of content and may also include some support for supporting resources associated with producing and sharing content.
The funding is not intended to be attached to employment contracts.
We also anticipate the fund will build capability by providing necessary infrastructure support as well as training and development.
10) Why is NZ On Air administering the fund?
NZ On Air has significant experience in funding applications assessment and distribution of funds to a broad array of NZ media and content makers. They have the capability to implement an effective system for allocating funding for journalism.
Updated on 12th February 2021