Meta announces successful publishers in News Audience Development Accelerator

Nick McDonnell, Head of Public Policy, Meta New Zealand and Pacific Islands  – February 2, 2022


Today, we are pleased to announce the 13 New Zealand news publishers joining Meta’s Aotearoa Audience Development Accelerator, that will also be eligible for grant funding at the conclusion of the Accelerator training program.

This Accelerator will invest in public-interest journalism, and support Māori, regional, digital and diverse media newsrooms, through training, coaching and mentoring in digital strategies. The 13 publishers were selected, based on eligibility criteria, by Meta’s Aotearoa News Innovation Advisory Group. The Group was developed in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and includes a panel of five, independent industry experts with a diversity of experience to provide guidance on the selection of Accelerator participants and grant ideas, along with input from the Meta News Partnerships team.

The Group includes:

  • Scotty Morrison (media personality, academic and te Karere presenter )
  • Khairiah Rahman (media academic and member of the Pacific Media Centre at AUT)
  • Rick Neville (industry expert former regional editor at NZME)
  • Hal Crawford (media commentator and former MediaWorks News Director)
  • Brodie Kane (media personality and award-winning journalist)

The Audience Development Accelerator is built to provide support in two key ways: through the training program with expert coaches and the attached grant fund, which will allow publishers to invest in strategies from the Accelerator program.

The Audience Development Accelerator will see 13 New Zealand publishers onboard to a 10-week digital strategy training and mentoring program hosted by expert coaches to help participants optimise their audience. Training will support publishers to develop strategies from increasing their reach to growing new audiences, deepening engagement with existing audiences and generating new paying supporters, depending on the publisher’s needs. The program is platform agnostic, focusing on digital strategies and the digital transition to support sustainable newsrooms.

Following the completion of the Accelerator program, publishers will be eligible to apply for grant funding, provided by Meta and distributed by the International Center for Journalists, to apply the lessons learned in the program over the following three months.

The 13 New Zealand news publishers joining Meta’s Aotearoa Audience Development Accelerator include:

This announcement today further outlines our investments in the Aotearoa news ecosystem to drive a more diverse, pluralistic and sustainable media sector, while encouraging a digital transition for publishers. You can read more about the recipients and the program in full detail here.

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