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What is the
Civics and
Media Project ?
The Civics and Media Project examined the
• Support for public interest journalism,
following question: How do we ensure we
through enabling policies and funding
have a well-informed and civically engaged
from both the public purse and alternative
population in 2030? Convened by Victoria
funding sources, is required to ensure that
University of Wellington, the University of
we continue to have a strong, independent
Auckland, NZ On Air, the Royal Society of
media industry that covers the big issues
New Zealand, the McGuinness Institute
affecting society.
and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage,
• Resources and initiatives aimed at engaging
three workshops were held in Auckland
adult New Zealanders in elections and non-
and Wellington in late 2015. Participants
political community initiatives need to be
represented media, government, academia,
better supported and promoted.
education and the wider community.
The evidence and full set of observations
We found there was a strong desire among
from the three workshops are reflected in the
workshop participants to come up with
Proceedings of the Civics and Media Project:
innovative ways to answer the question that
a report of the three workshops held in 2015
drives this work. Under the three key themes
(2016). The material found on the project
of media, civics and civics education, priorities
website (
both for government policy and for industry- and
is testament to the commitment and creativity
sector-specific initiatives were identified. The
of the more than 150 people who attended
three main conclusions from our work are as
these workshops. We plan to continue this
conversation, to elevate the most promising
• Civic education needs to be strengthened in
ideas and collect new ones along the way. There
schools and in tertiary institutions so that the
are no rapid solutions to the problems we have
young individual considers social problems
identified. But collectively we can bring about
to be at least partly his or her own, and is
change on a number of fronts that will help us
equipped with sufficient critical thinking
secure the future New Zealand we, and others,
aspire to live in.
Page 30 – Policy Quarterly – Volume 12, Issue 2 – May 2016