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Kawea Te Rongo Extremely Concerned For The Future Of Journalism In Aotearoa Following Announcement Of Newshub’s Closure

Published: Wed 28 Feb 2024 05:38 PM
The Independent Māori Journalists Association extends its aroha to all impacted by the closure of one of the country’s biggest commercial media company’s newsrooms at the end of June.
Staff were told today of the news which will have rippling impacts on the industry.
Kawea te Rongo executive member, and former Newshub presenter, Oriini Kaipara, is deeply saddened by the news.
“This is a huge shock and deeply concerning. I’m gutted. Newshub isn’t just a news service but a very large whānau made up of past and present kaimahi who, I have no doubt, will be feeling the weight of this decision.” Kaipara says.
Kawea Te Rongo member and award-winning journalist, Mihingarangi Forbes, who worked at TV3 on 20/20, Campbell Live and The Hui pays tribute to the contribution of TV3, especially in growing many Māori in the sector.
“TV3 has been a wonderful kōhanga for many practitioners in the Māori media and journalism sector. From its very early days, the leadership recognised that Māori in the newsroom, whether in front or behind the camera, offered something different and unique to story-telling and story development.” Forbes says.
Shannon Haunui-Thompson, Kawea Te Rongo member and past employee of 18 years at TV3 and currently the Tumu Māori at RNZ is devastated for her former colleagues and the industry as a whole.
"As a past employee of the TV3 newsroom, today’s news is absolutely heart-breaking. I honed my craft there and learned from some of the best journalists in the industry. I am where I am now because of the time spent in that newsroom.” Haunui-Thompson says.
The future of media in Aotearoa and around the world has been facing huge challenges as the landscape continues to change rapidly.
Kawea Te Rongo co-chairs Ripeka Timutimu and Māni Dunlop say this presents a range of issues for an already struggling industry.
“Plurality, diversity and a range of platforms and sources are key to the health of a credible and reliable media landscape as well as upholding an informed and well-functioning society and democracy - this is now hugely at risk with today’s announcement” Dunlop says
In a time where misinformation and disinformation is rife, now more than ever we need to have news and current affairs that can be trusted.
“As the wider industry faces uncertainty, we are worried this will have further impacts on Māori media and Journalism.
“We have always had to pivot – adaptation is not new for us – but as our numbers and platforms dwindle, the number of Māori in the sector does too, having wider implications on the stories, narratives and diversity of coverage.” Co-chair, Ripeka Timutimu says.
Mihingarangi Forbes, says TV3/Newshub brought much needed competition in the television journalism industry and helped push journalism to new heights.
“In the mid-2000s, it opened its news library to Whakataa Māori and formed a sharing partnership; many reporters and producers have crossed back and forth for experience.
“In 2017, Newshub opened up space for The Hui, its first ever Māori current affairs show and more recently Newshub supported the Te Rito journalism project training young cadets and supporting them into the industry.” Forbes adds.
In briefings to the incoming Media and Communications Minister, Melissa Lee, last year it painted an extremely sobering picture for the industry - which has included continued lay-offs, restructures, closures and huge financial difficulties in recent years.
Kawea Te Rongo is calling on government and industry stakeholders to start looking at sustainable solutions that will help future proof news and current affairs in Aotearoa.
“We hope to be a part of constructive and robust discussions for any sector-led solutions going forward, with an expectation they will be innovative, Tiriti-focussed, and reflect the work of so many incredible people in the sector, impacted directly today, who have significantly contributed to creating a credible and reliable fourth estate in Aotearoa while having to face so much turmoil in recent years.” Dunlop says.

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