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Public media journalism boosted with new government funding

Nine widely diverse journalism projects have now been selected to receive funding support through the new $6 million Joint Innovation Fund, a collaborative approach by NZ On Air and RNZ to commission public media content for New Zealand audiences.

The Joint Innovation Fund announced in the May 2018 budget allocates contestable funding to projects in three separate categories: Signature Projects for major productions of interest to a broad audience; Growth Audiences with content for Māori, Pasifika, regional and younger audiences; and Diverse Journalism for news, current affairs and factual content.

An RFP was issued in September for the first strand of externally produced content for the Diverse Journalism category. 42 applications were received and a panel of assessors from both organisations whittled these down to four successful applicants who, along with five Fast Start* projects, will receive up to a total of $1.1 million in support.

The successful project applications were:
Daily Podcast, a daily podcast series that will analyse and interpret News and Current Affairs stories of national significance.

I Am Māori I Am modern, a podcast exploring the experiences of young urban Māori today;
Crunch, an interactive series that allows users to explore issues in the gaming sector;
and Conversations With My Immigrant Parents in which first generation New Zealanders share stories with their immigrant parents.

“The four applications supported received unanimous approval from the assessors. We are delighted that this new model of collaboration with RNZ, made possible by new funding, will provide much-needed diversity and plurality of voices in journalism,” said Amie Mills, Head of Funding at NZ On Air.

Kay Ellmers, Senior Commissioner at RNZ agrees: “RNZ is a highly regarded media organisation and the independent production sector is responding enthusiastically to the opportunity to work with us in new ways. We’re looking forward to bringing a wide variety of content from a broad range of perspectives to existing and new audiences”.

*Five Fast Start projects are already underway. These smaller-scale projects are all produced by RNZ alongside independent content creators, and expand the diversity of journalism and factual multi-media content available on RNZ platforms. The first episodes of podcast series Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower are already available, and more of these projects will be released soon.

Two further RFPs are currently open for application; for Signature Projects and projects for Growth Audiences. The deadline for these RFPs is 4pm 20 December.

Funding details
***Budgets are yet to be finalised and will be published on the NZ On Air website in due course.

Daily Podcast, 40 x 15-20 mins podcasts, Newsroom NZ for RNZ, $tbc
Te Ao Māori: I Am Māori I Am Modern, podcasts, photo essay & video, Vice NZ for RNZ, $ tbc
Crunch, 3 x interactive segments, Vanishing Point Studio for RNZ, $tbc
Conversations With My Immigrant Parents, 12 x 30-40 mins podcasts & video, Julie Zhu for RNZ, $tbc
Fast Start projects
Animated History Of NZ, 14 x 15 mins, RNZ for RNZ, up to $114,000
A semi-animated series telling the nation’s story from pre-historic times to modern day.

Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower, 8 x 20 – 30 mins, RNZ for RNZ, up to $27,280
A comedy interview podcast on mental health and related issues.

Kids Science Podcast, 8 x 25 - 30 mins, RNZ for RNZ, up to $57,240
A multi-platform, interactive podcast answering kids deep questions with science
Māori Disparity Project, 4 x 3 – 5 mins, RNZ for RNZ, up to $46,650
A multi-media investigation into the disparity between Māori and non-Māori in health, crime, justice and wealth.

Pasifika Mental Health, 2 x 3- 6 mins, RNZ for RNZ, up to $9,275
A multi-media investigation into issues around the high Pasifika peoples’ suicide rate.


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