The international award-winning Te Rito Journalism Project – led by New Zealand Media and Entertainment with support from media industry partners – has won another major accolade tonight at the Deloitte Top 200, taking home the esteemed Barfoot and Thompson Diversity and Inclusion Award.
Te Rito is a journalism cadetship programme born in February 2022, developed to address a shortage of diverse voices in New Zealand’s newsrooms. The programme, funded by NZ On Air, is led by NZME in partnership with Whakaata Maori, Discovery-Newshub and Pacific Media Network, collectively representing Māori, Pasifika, and mainstream media. Cadets gain real life experience working in newsroom environments, publishing and broadcasting content across digital, print, television, radio, social media and podcast platforms.
This is the second major award win for the programme, having won a global Best Innovation in Newsroom Transformation Award at this year’s International News Media Association (INMA) Awards in New York.
Lois Turei, Te Rito Programme Manager and NZME Head of Cultural Partnerships and Newsroom Diversity, says she is beyond proud that Te Rito has been recognised yet again for being the ground-breaking collaboration that it is.
“Te Rito supports the need to amplify voices from diverse communities across our country including Māori, Pasifika, ethnic, LGBTQIA+, and disabled communities, fostering a newsroom environment that reflects New Zealand’s diversity. Our cadets have enriched our newsrooms with their unique perspectives, and their important voices have the potential to shape the future of news media here in Aotearoa. We are hugely grateful to our three media industry partners for their support of the programme, and to our talented cadets for their valuable contribution to our media industry,” she says.
Murray Kirkness, NZME Chief Content Officer, says NZME has been proud to play a part in providing training and mentorship opportunities to candidates who otherwise might not have entered journalism through traditional tertiary institutions.
“Te Rito has delivered incredible results, with 22 cadets graduating from the first programme and securing jobs within our industry. Within NZME, nine cadets were recruited into various newsroom teams spanning live news, rounds news, business, sport, regional news, radio, and pioneering youth news initiative What the Actual?! on social media platforms. Te Rito graduates and cadets play a pivotal role in introducing new angles to stories, drawing from their life experiences, cultural aspects and unique viewpoints, creating a strong point of distinction in our newsrooms,” he says.
Michael Boggs, NZME Chief Executive Officer, says NZME is dedicated to cultivating a workplace that nurtures innovation, engagement, and inclusion.
“A huge amount of work has gone into fostering the Te Rito Journalism Project since its inception in 2022, and winning this award is testament to all those who have been involved in its development, establishment, and ongoing success,” he says.