The NZ on Air has opened an inaugural funding round for the Public Interest Journalism Fund (PIJF) to support ‘at risk’ journalism by phasing the funding over three years and striking a balance of providing support without creating dependency and ultimately deliver the most long-term sustainable solution for the sector.
This initiative is designed to build a critical bridge between the short term Covid relief provided to the media sector and the longer-term initiatives they have underway.
The funding will support the vital public interest journalism function within the sector while the sector adapts and evolves.
The Public Interest Journalism Fund must achieve all of these things:
- Seek to inform and engage the public about issues that affect a person’s right to flourish within their society and impact on society’s ability to fully support its citizens.
- Provide accurate, accountable, and fair coverage that reflects and empowers all sectors of the community upholding the public’s right to know
- Actively promote the principles of Partnership, Participation and Active Protection under Te Tiriti o Waitangi acknowledging Maori as a Te Tiriti partner
- Reflect the cultural diversity of New Zealand
- Encourage a robust and sustainable media sector
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 will be open to all NZ media entities: from large organizations through to small, local entities, and Maori, Pacific and ethnic media.
- Organizations must show their projects fill a public interest service and would otherwise be at risk or not produced without this fund’s support.
- This may include (and is not limited to) investigative journalism, data journalism and photo journalism.
- The Public Interest Journalism initiative will provide transitional support to media organizations as the sector evolves in a way that ensures the longer-term sustainability of New Zealand’s media.
- General Eligibility Criteria:
- Commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to Māori as a Te Tiriti partner: Applicants can show a clear and obvious commitment or intent for commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including a commitment to te reo Māori. This commitment will enhance public interest journalism, resulting in stronger Māori representation and greater bi-cultural collaboration within the wider journalism sector.
- Commitment to Public Interest Journalism (PIJ): We expect applicants applying for funding to have a demonstrated commitment to PIJ. In most cases, a history of broadcasting or publishing journalism will be necessary.
- Data provision: Applicants must commit to use of common metrics where possible and the provision of other audience engagement, output and financial data as required. See section 7 for details.
- NZ commitment: Applicants can show a track record of, or plan for, a sustained commitment to NZ content. Funding will be restricted to applicants who generate content that is focused on the New Zealand market (or a regional or local market in New Zealand), who employ journalists in New Zealand, have an operational presence in New Zealand, and pay tax in New Zealand. This initiative will not support overseasdomiciled organisations that may report on New Zealand affairs from time to time.
- Freely available, simultaneous online distribution: All funded content must be broadcast or published in an acceptable form online (i.e. publishing a PDF online does not meet accessibility standards and therefore would not be considered acceptable under the PIJF). Funded content must be available to the NZ public free of charge. If behind a paywall or in a magazine with a cover price, funded content must also be available free of charge as close to simultaneously as possible in a readily available online location.
- Media Standards: Applicants will be required to be subject to a relevant standards regime (the Media Council or the Broadcasting Standards Authority).
- PIJF acknowledgemen: In the interests of transparency, content will be required to be clearly signalled as funded by the PIJF. Guidelines on PIJF acknowledgement will be provided with the funding contract and will be a condition of the contract.
- Capability: Applicants must be able to demonstrate they have the current capability to deliver (or a plan for how they will intend to deliver) the proposed scope of work.
- Admin/HR capacity: Applicants must have the ability to handle payroll, overheads, holiday cover, sick leave etc. Individual journalists may not apply for funding. For role-based funding, the capacity to manage performance, ability to provide support and exercise a duty of care will be required.
For more information, visit https://www.nzonair.govt.nz/funding/journalism-funding/