PMC communications researcher named on Meta Aotearoa panel

Communications researcher Khairiah A. Rahman
Asia-Pacific communications researcher Khairiah A. Rahman (left) with media research colleagues from Indonesian university UGM (Universitas Gadjah Mada) during a research visit to AUT. Image: Khairiah Rahman/PMC

Pacific Media Watch newsdesk

A Pacific Media Centre advocate and researcher is one of five people named today in the Meta Aotearoa News Innovation Advisory Group to help support New Zealand’s news industry in a changing digital world.

Khairiah A. Rahman, an Asia-Pacific communication studies specialist at Auckland University of Technology, PMC advisory board member and assistant editor of Pacific Journalism Review, was delighted to be selected.

“It’s a privilege to be part of such a worthwhile and inclusive initiative that recognises the value of media diversity for a fully functioning democracy,” she said.

“I look forward to serving in the advisory group and seeing culturally diverse media receive the help they need to develop and flourish.”

The other panel members have been named as Te Karere presenter Scotty Morrison; former editorial director of the NZ Newspaper Publishers’ Association Rick Neville; media consultant and former MediaWorks news director Hal Crawford; and award-winning journalist and business owner Brodie Kane.

In a statement, Meta announced that it was committed to supporting quality journalism in New Zealand.

“While news is a small part of the experience of most Kiwis on our platforms, including Facebook, we recognise that we can play a role in helping New Zealand’s news industry thrive in a changing digital world,” said news lead Andrew Hunter for Meta Australia and New Zealand.

The New Zealand government’s Public Interest Journalism Fund aimed to preserve and enhance public interest journalism, he said.

“We share the government’s commitment and believe by helping publishers reach people through free distribution, and investing in free tools and programmes specifically designed to help build audiences and revenue, we can support sustainable business models for the long term.

‘More diverse plurality’
“Today we’re furthering our investments in the local news ecosystem to drive greater and more diverse plurality in the sector, while encouraging a digital transition that is key to sustainability.”

The corporation’s four-part investment is designed specifically for Aotearoa New Zealand and tailored to support the local industry, especially regional, digital and culturally-diverse publications.

Meta’s investments include:

  • Supporting local publishers develop sustainable business models through an Accelerator and Grant Fund;
  • Establishing a Meta Aotearoa News Innovation Advisory Group;
  • Investing in video and content innovation with Kiwi publishers; and
  • Dedicated training for Kiwi publishers on growing and engaging digital audiences.

Hunter said the accelerator fund would bring 12 publishers from regional, digital and culturally-diverse publications together to “innovate, learn from experts, and collaborate on new strategies to improve their business both on and off Facebook”.

Facebook News Day
Hunter said a Facebook News Day would be launched to engage with New Zealand publishers on sustainable business models

The programme would be funded and organised by the Facebook Journalism Project. Grants would be provided through the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).

“Newsroom leaders across the world are finding ways to better serve their audiences and boost revenue, and we are committed to supporting those efforts,” said Johanna Carrillo, ICFJ’s vice-president of programmes.

“We’re excited to now support New Zealand publishers as they work to build more sustainable news outlets in the public interest.”

The Meta Aotearoa News Innovation Advisory Group
The Meta Aotearoa News Innovation Advisory Group. Image: Meta/FB


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