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Public Interest Journalism Fund

NZ On Air administered the Public Interest Journalism Fund which closed in June 2023.

The $55 million Public Interest Journalism Fund supported 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 was made up of $10 million in 2020/21, $25 million in 2021/22 and $20 million in 2022/23. 

You can find out more about the Public Interest Journalism Fund on NZ On Air’s website

In June 2023, the allocation phase of the Public Interest Journalism Fund (PIJF) officially came to an end. The fund was announced by the government in 2020, to support news media through the COVID-19 downturn for a limited period up until 30 June 2023. It was designed to provide targeted, short to medium-term support for roles, projects and industry development across the media sector. And over its seven rounds of funding, it supported 73 projects, 219 roles and 22 industry development projects in total, supporting journalism across the length of the motu. While allocation of the fund is now complete, its legacy lives on some of those roles and projects are funded to run until January 2026. Read more details in NZ On Air's 30 June 2023 Shorts Newsletter.

Cabinet Papers


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. 
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’.
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 vital public interest journalism while the sector adapts and evolves.
What will the funding cover in relation to public interest journalism content? Ie, 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?
NZ On Air has announced that it will create three funding streams to address at risk public interest journalism, following sector consultation. Please check the NZ On Air website for further details.
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 30th June 2023