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Journalism educators are calling for action

Conference Communique: Journalism Education Association of New Zealand

Journalism educators are calling for action to support journalism at a time of falling student numbers and journalism school closures.

They want to see Government action and leadership from the industry to encourage more young people into journalism as a career.

Journalism is essential for a healthy democracy, and talented graduates are important for the future of profession which is being revitalised with new start-ups, roles and platforms.

The 2018 Journalism Education Association of New Zealand Conference on December 13-14 included discussions with the Minister of Broadcasting Kris Faafoi, and most major news organisations.

Association members agreed on the following statements and calls for action:

- JEANZ congratulates Broadcasting Minister’s Kris Faafoi’s commitment to work with industry to address concerns about gaps in news coverage and its impact on democracy and diversity. The government is urged to consider the model recently announced by the BBC for funding local coverage.

- JEANZ accepts the invitation from Radio NZ General Manager Paul Thompson to facilitate a nationally co-ordinated relationship between news media industry and education.

- A working group of members across teaching institutions is to explore a national student news website which could contribute to this relationship.

- JEANZ wants to see more support for students and for the industry to produce good quality content.

- We also believe the Government could do more to support public interest journalism through measures such as freeing up access to public information, and strengthening the role of the Ombudsman and freedom of information legislation.

- The website’s narrow description of journalism jobs and roles be either changed or removed, that correct research be conducted on pay rates, and the ministry uses research other than job ads for its evidence given that most jobs are not advertised. For example media organisations usually go directly to tertiary institutions, based on existing relationships, when hiring.

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