A Tova O’Brien show, The Spin-off, Allied Press receive government journalism funds

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 05, 2022 |

Dunedin-based Allied Press which produces the Otago Daily Times and the Christchurch Star, will receive over $1.2 million from publicly funded New Zealand on Air.

The company will receive over half a million dollars from the ‘Public Interest Journalism Fund’ for a one-year cadet scheme for up to five new journalists, “addressing skills and recruitment gaps in regional and local news organisations.”

Allied Press will receive an additional $695,000 to produce The South Today, “local video news content to local communities in collaboration with the Allied Press daily and regional community newspaper network across the South Island.”

Allied Press is owned by Sir Julian Smith and brother Nick.

In 2018, the Smith family was on the NBR Rich List, worth $80 million.

Tova O’Brien, host of a commercial breakfast radio show, will front a range of radio and news coverage paid for by New Zealand On Air.

Mediaworks will receive up to $50,000 from the Journalism Fund.

The programme will produce “radio interview, news extracts, podcast, a documentary, 3 videos and a 1000word features” in return for the Government funding.

Tova O’Brien

Left-leaning magazine outlet The Spin-off will receive up to $160,187 of New Zealand on Air funds to cover “local elections 2022.”

On the New Zealand on Air website, it said “a dedicated team of writers and contributors to cover the elections throughout the motu.”

There have so far been four funding rounds, allocating close to $44m, with three more to go till the fund wraps up in June next year.

Media commentator and PIJF independent assessor, Dr Gavin Ellis, said the fund “facilitates a public good and we can now see clear evidence it is achieving that aim.

It has funded projects that examine public issues, provided more meaningful scrutiny of institutions such as the courts and local government, and assisted in better resourcing of Māori, Pasifika and ethnic journalism.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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