28 September 2022
Atutahi Potaka-Dewes, cadet /
Te Rito Journalism Project
A programme from four major media partners – NZME, Whakaata Māori, Newshub and PMN – to identify, train, develop and hire 23 cadet Māori, Pasifika and diverse journalists to better reflect the communities of Aotearoa. Funded in the 1st round of the PIJF.
What’s great about being a Te Rito cadet?
For me, being in the Te Rito programme has shown me that I have the privilege of bursting into spaces unapologetically as a Māori and Pasifika face and voice. That's thanks to the pioneers of change - Wena Harawira mā, Moana Maniapoto mā, Koro Wētere mā, Airini Grenell mā, Oriini Kaipara mā, Stacey and Scotty Morrison and so many more that have smashed through these doors before me.
Being in newsrooms and seeing first hand the importance of having representation on air, on screen and in print. We don't have enough of shape and colour... yet.
I have been afforded great opportunities to literally rub shoulders with giants in this world and pick at their wealth of knowledge. I'm filling my kete with all that I can and every day use what I've learned to amplify brown excellence in Aotearoa.
Tell us what a good day looks like in your job…
At the moment I am on placement with Pacific Media Network (PMN) and every day is a good day, every day is different! I went from asking the Prime Minister what trade she'd get into one day, to talking curly hair routine with Bella Kalolo the next. I'm reading radio news bulletins for PMN News and having one-on-one training with the incredible Niva Retimanu! I get a backstage pass to some amazing lives!
What’s the piece of work you are most proud of?
I am proud of all the work Te Rito cadets have created on every platform. A win for Te Rito is a win for all of us - tangata whenua and tangata tiriti.