Supporting young indigenous journalists through the Te Rito Journalism Training Camp

Image: Te Rito cadets engaging in a korero during the training camp.

Indigenous people are the first storytellers of any land - from Waitangi to Rakiura Stewart Island. It’s important that their stories are told to nurture communities and tell histories. This is critical too in our news ecosystem. Which is why Te Rito Journalism Project was set up to help address today’s shortage of Māori and Pasifika journalists and cultural awareness in newsrooms.

For the second year, the Google News Initiative has supported Te Rito with a digital skills training camp for its cadets, to bring the rich history of indigenous storytelling into the smartphones, laptops and desktops of news audiences across Aotearoa and beyond.

In August last year, we hosted the first Te Rito Journalism Training Camp which saw 23 cadets representing multiple ethnicities, languages, and the rainbow and disability communities from all over the motu participate in training focused on digital skilling and fundamental principles of digital tools and reporting. 

This year, for the first time Te Rito included young Indigenous journalists from Australia, supporting critical First Nation storytelling.

Across four days, 24 cadets identifying as First Nations, Māori or Pasifika learnt fundamentals in indigenous journalism. A News Lab Teaching Fellow taught skills in recognising and verifying fake images or information, engaging audiences through digital storytelling and First Nation editors led sessions in Indigenous storytelling and building resilience -including to raise issues of conflict when they arise and deal with trauma.  They were also trained on Pinpoint, a research tool from Google powered by AI, that can analyse large numbers of documents.

Image: Te Rito cadets participated in training on digital skills and storytelling.

Te Rito was established by New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME), Whakaata Māori, Warner Bros. Discovery ANZ and the Pacific Media Network, with support from NZ On Air's Public Interest Journalism Fund.

News is dependent on the people that tell the stories. The journalism and broadcast industry will have much to gain from voices across diverse backgrounds that are representative of all communities in Aotearoa and Australia.

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