Banding together: Newsie gives regional news national reach

  • Media
  • March 21, 2017
  • Erin McKenzie
Banding together: Newsie gives regional news national reach

Earlier this month, New Zealand’s media landscape saw the addition of Newsie. However, it doesn’t mean a new team of journalists providing a new stream of stories into the existing offering; instead, it’s about ensuring the stories of independent regional publishers get the attention they deserve. 

Coordinated by New Zealand-owned publishing company Sun Media, which operates the SunLive news website based in the Bay of Plenty, director Brian Rogers says Newsie is a recognition that there was a gap in the market for an independent body of news where the regional news gets a look in.

To fill it, Newsie pools the resources of New Zealand-owned and independent news companies by publishing their stories to provide a balanced range of national news.

There’s also international news that impacts the lives of New Zealanders to keep them in touch with what’s happening beyond the country’s shores.

Those involved span the length of the country, including the Kaipara Lifestyler, Howick and Pakuranga Times, Advocate South, Nelson Weekly, The Post and the Wanaka Sun alongside many others.

It plans on adding many more to the pool in the coming months.

Sun Media has been contacting publishers since August and Brian says it’s opened their eyes up to how many publishers are scattered across the country, doing really great work but are unheard of.

“They’re doing great journalism too, so to be able to bring that to the light of day and show it is pretty special,” he says.

So far, none of the publishers have said no to the invitation to be a part of it. In fact, Sun Media director Claire Rogers says they’ve been happy to hear a platform like Newsie finally exists.

“A lot of them have said it's ‘about time, we were waiting for this kind of thing to happen’. They’ve really grabbed it with both hands, it’s brilliant.”

And it’s not just publishers who’ve had a door opened for them through its conception, as Claire adds it plans to get freelancers throughout the country involved as contributors.

“If you’re a journalist in a small community, what this does is give them a chance to be on a national platform so they get their work seen across the country, which is nice because they might not otherwise get that opportunity,” she says.

As well as creating a cooperative effort of independent publishers across the country, it’s also championing a move away from clickbait, to ensure its news impacts the lives of New Zealanders.

Brian says readers are sick of being led down a path to click on headlines like, 'You can’t believe what happens next’, only to be delivered nonsense.

Because of this, he says the Kardashians are outlawed and celebrities will have to earn a mention—not merely get a haircut or a new spouse.

A platform to be nurtured

Though the website is still in its early stages of development, it’s been in the pipeline since May last year, and Brian and Claire have been drawing on their experiences developing SunLive to make it a reality.

Sun Media cut its teeth with the news website seven years ago when there were no other publishers using a regional model like SunLive’s, so developing it and rolling it out was a case of making it up as it went along.

Throughout that process, the pair say they overcame the challenges and pitfalls of creating a news website, giving it the confidence to proceed with Newsie as well as a wealth of experience they can pass onto independent publishers that are also looking to grow online.

SunLive regularly achieves over 800,000 hits a week, and we get told by a lot of other publishers that they’d like to do something similar - now’s our chance to share our knowledge with them,” Brian says. “They can tap into what we’ve already figured out.”

It's also worked to grow SunLive's Facebook likes to nearly 30,000, and while Newsie’s achieved just over 6000 likes so far, it’s a number that’s growing rapidly and each thousand generates a buzz among the Sun Media team.

“We aren’t going to take over the world in the first week,” Brian says. “It’s something we’re growing and nurturing.”

And while they also make mention of Stuff and the New Zealand Herald’s incomparably large number of Facebook likes, Sun Media doesn’t consider itself to be in competition with those publications.

Brian says it offers different material and a different style, and sees Newsie working alongside them to offer regionally focused news.

“It’s a matter of New Zealand media banding together and the real competition is beyond the media, it’s with Google and Facebook and those giant international companies that are pillaging traditional media income streams,” Brian says.

He adds that because Newsie is locally owned and operated, it’s focus and passion remains on the news, rather than filling the pockets of offshore shareholders.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

The best of StopPress 2017

  • Advertising
  • December 15, 2017
  • StopPress Team
The best of StopPress 2017

Before we shut down our computers and leave the StopPress comment section unattended (to a degree) over the Christmas/New Year break, we take a look at the highs and lows from the last 365 days with the top 10 StopPress stories.

Read more
topics
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...
news

'I don't want to Russian into this': how DDB started scamming scammers

A year after hitting the drawing board, Netsafe and DDB have launched Re:scam, an AI bot that's taking on scammers by wasting their time. We ...

voices

Fjord Trends report predicts tensions and technology to impact 2018

  • Trends
  • December 15, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Fjord Trends report predicts tensions and technology to impact 2018

The annual Fjord Trends 2018 report has been released, which analyses seven emergent trends predicted to impact businesses, technology, design and society in the year ahead, and provides suggestions as to how organisations can navigate these currents and design for positive change.

Read more

Fairfax and health insurer Nib partner up

  • Media
  • December 13, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Fairfax and health insurer Nib partner up

The companies have launched Done, a new range of affordable, tailored health insurance designed to make it easier for the surprising number of Kiwis that don’t have any health cover.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit