During the current building phase, the steering committee for the Aotearoa NZ Foundation for Public Interest Journalism has concentrated its efforts on putting building blocks in place for the structure of the Foundation and gathering early feedback and validation.
Now that the work on those essential building blocks is nearing completion, our attention is turning to ideas for public interest editorial projects that the Foundation could provide some form of platform for.
To that end we have been canvassing journalists for their thoughts, and earlier this year Chris Barton (also a steering committee member) submitted an idea based on generating more data journalism in New Zealand. You can read Chris’ thoughts in a post on this site tagged under Project Ideas.
Some other ideas that have surfaced, in précis form, include:
Keeping tabs on the lobbyists – there are hundreds of people in Wellington employed to lobby the government and attempt to influence politics. Who are they? What are their agendas? – a project to keep tabs on the lobbyists in the absence of a lobbyist disclosure regime.
Benchmarking the local councils – how are the local and regional councils performing in terms of financial management, transparency, conflicts of interest, efficiency etc. Some people have been tracking this data for years but getting very little notice. A good opportunity to flesh this out into a decent ongoing project.
Workplace safety - the country’s track record overall is fairly damning – this could be a good starting off point for a project looking to uncover poor workplace safety – from forestry and fisheries to factory work and even the sex industry etc.
Fracking and drilling – where is it happening? – Where are the fracking wells in New Zealand and current undersea drilling sites. What are their safety records like, what chemicals are they using? Infographics, searchable databases, mapping alongside ongoing news coverage.
If you’d like to contribute your thoughts about project ideas please make contact using our Contact Form.
This site is not designed to operate as a blog. There are a huge and growing number of blogs that relate to the current state of journalism, and public interest journalism in particular, which we will be listing or showcasing on this site.
When the Foundation upgrades its online presence we will be looking to draw out content from the blogosphere and wider internet towards helping inform this project.
Meanwhile you should visit Peter Griffin’s blog Future of News.