This week, the allocation phase of the Public Interest Journalism Fund (PIJF) officially comes to an end. It’s been a frenetic couple of years and the NZ On Air Journalism team would like to acknowledge all those who supported the Fund and the team along the way.
The fund was announced by the government in 2020, to support news media through the COVID-19 downturn for a limited period up until 30 June 2023. It was designed to provide targeted, short to medium-term support for roles, projects and industry development across the media sector. And over its seven rounds of funding, it supported 73 projects, 219 roles and 22 industry development projects in total, supporting journalism across the length of the motu.
While allocation of the fund is now complete, its legacy lives on – as some of those roles and projects are funded to run until January 2026. Those with current PIJF contracts won’t see any change as the administration, reporting, accreditation and invoicing will continue as usual.
Who to contact
The great news is that our team will be staying on with NZ On Air. Journalism Manager, Gabriel Thomas, will continue to provide ongoing support and oversight of the roles and projects that will continue into the next two years. You can reach Gabriel on email@example.com. Meanwhile, Dr Fairooz Samy, our Journalism Funding Advisor, will be moving into a role in the research space within NZ On Air. As for myself, as Head of Journalism, I will be moving into a new role within NZ On Air, where I will continue to focus on building strong partnerships within the wider sector.
With the NZ On Air Journalism team heading into new roles, any future PIJF comms will come via the NZ On Air newsletters so, if you aren’t already, make sure you’re signed up for those here.
Other ways to access contestable funding for Journalism
As there was prior to the establishment of the PIJF, limited funding within our usual contestable funding rounds is available for specialist journalism and current affairs projects. This sits under our Non-Fiction contestable funding. It’s important to note that Non-Fiction funding is more restrictive than the PIJF – for example, it does not include funding for roles – because we don’t have the ongoing level of baseline funding that’s needed to support the scale of journalism initiatives we did under the PIJF.
If you want to find out more about journalism submissions into Non-Fiction or Capability funding rounds, contact Gabriel Thomas for more info (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check our funding round guidelines here.
Interim Summary Report
As previously communicated, a PIJF Interim Summary Report is currently being compiled. This will summarise the allocation phase of the PIJF and some of the outcomes of the fund to date. Once the Interim Summary Report is ready, we will be sharing that with the sector.
Lastly, my team and I are very proud of what’s been achieved by the PIJF in such a short space of time. But the biggest vote of thanks goes to the hundreds of journalists around the country who have so far created in excess of 70,000 outstanding, and in many cases award-winning stories, programmes, podcasts and projects, providing Aotearoa New Zealand with an incredible level of public interest journalism. Weekly PIJF viewing figures recently topped 3m views showing funded content is reaching audiences and it’s heartening to know this is only set to grow as that content continues to roll out.
Ngā mihi nui,
Raewyn Rasch (Ngāi Tahu/Kai Tahu)