Pasifika Journalist Appointed to Public Interest Journalism Fund Advisory Panel

Seasoned Journalist and Broadcaster John Utanga has been appointed to the newly established Public Interest Journalism Fund Advisory Panel.

Of Cook Islands descent John has more than 30 years of experience in the media industry. He is the news editor and producer of Tagata Pasifika. John will represent the Moana media sector on the new panel.

Irirangi Te Motu NZ On Air has established the Te Puna Whakatongarewa Public Interest Journalism Advisory Panel to ensure the industry can contribute to the continuous refinement and targeting of the $55 million fund. The PIJF was set up in February 2021 to provide targeted, short to medium-term support for public interest journalism.

NZ On Air’s Head of Journalism Raewyn Rasch says the panel’s key role is to help ensure the fund remains fit for purpose. Panel members do not have input into funding decisions and NZ On Air is not bound by their recommendations.

“We expect the panel to continue to reflect issues facing the industry in relation to current and future development of the fund, strengthening its impact for New Zealand audiences.”

The advisory panel, which comprises 13 industry and stakeholder members, plus the independent chair and three representatives of NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho, will meet at regular intervals to provide industry feedback and support for PIJF development.

The panel members are:

  • Hal Crawford – Independent Chair
  • Barry Stewart – Allied Press Group
  • David MacKenzie – New Zealand Community Newspapers Association
  • James Frankham – Magazine Publishers Association NZ
  • James Hollings – Journalism Education Association of New Zealand (JEANZ)
  • John Utanga – Moana Media sector representative
  • Maramena Roderick/Wena Harawira – Whakaata Māori (Māori)Television
  • Mark Jennings – Mid-scale digital only media representative
  • Mark Stevens – Stuff
  • Nevak Rogers – Te Reo Tātaki (TVNZ)
  • Sarah Bristow – Discovery (Newshub)
  • Shannon Haunui-Thompson – RNZ
  • Shayne Currie – NZME
  • Tamati Tiananga – Kawea te Rongo (Māori Journalism Association)
  • Raewyn Rasch – Irirangi Te Motu (NZ On Air)
  • Amie Mills – Irirangi Te Motu (NZ On Air)
  • Blake Ihimaera – Te Māngai Pāho.

The invited members represent the major news publishing groups (including commercial and public broadcasters) along with magazine, community newspaper, mid-level digital-only, Māori journalism, the Moana Pacific sector and journalism education representatives.

Image credit:  Sunpix Ltd