Topic: Entertainment

A call for more Māori Journos

By Heeni Brown
  • Auckland

Māori journalists from all over the country are looking for solutions to what they say is a ‘crisis’.    

Shannon Haunui-Thompson from Radio NZ says, "It's an important discussion that we need to have cause to be fair we are probably in a crisis, we don't have enough Māori journalists and we compensate by stealing from the other companies."

At a national Māori journalism meeting held today, journalists from all media highlighted a similar issue.

Radio Ngāti Porou manager Erana Reedy says there are few Māori journalists who know how to speak Māori, who are familiar with the Māori world and there are even fewer numbers of Māori being trained to become qualified journalists.   

Radio NZ are hoping to remedy the issue internally by increasing internships.

Haunui-Thompson says, "At the start of next year we'll have some interns and we're specifically targeting Māori interns."

Their concerns come as Māori journalists are recognized tonight for their work at the inaugural Māori Journalism awards.

Māori Television’s Iulia Leilua and Renee Kahukura from Native Affairs are two of four finalists in the Massey University Awards.

Maiki Sherman, Newshub, is also a finalist for her stories with Native Affairs and Maori Television’s Te Kāea news in 2015 as well as Kereama Wright from TVNZ.

Judges noted the impressive standard of entries across television, radio, online and print stories meant that the initial selection of three finalists needed to be extended to four.

It is the second award nomination for Iulia Leilua this year, who won Best Pacific Female Media Personality last month.

The Māori Journalism Awards are in conjunction with the 2016 Ngā Kupu Ora Awards: Celebrating Māori Books and Journalism.