Newsroom, the news website being launched by Tim Murphy and Mark Jennings, has secured car brand Holden as its first founding partner.
“We are delighted to welcome Holden as a foundation backer,” Jennings and Murphy said in a joint statement sent out to media. “They are a dynamic and high profile company with a strong engagement with Kiwis over a long period and they share a commitment to a better New Zealand.”
In announcing the site to market, Murphy outlined plans to secure a family of five partners, and he says negotiations for the four other exclusive category sponsors are underway.
He told StopPress that leak of the news organisation's business plan to the Commerce Commission brought interest from "two big, good players in the tech sector".
Further information on these potential sponsors is yet to be released.
Commenting on the decision to back Newsroom, Holden marketing director Marnie Samphier said: “Holden is very proud to be supporting Newsroom in what is a very important year for us. As Holden goes through one of the largest re-vamps in our history we look forward to supporting the Newsroom crew on their quest to bring quality NZ journalism to Kiwis throughout New Zealand”.
Alongside the announcement of the car company as a founding sponsor, Murphy and Jennings also revealed the official branding, developed by Sanders Design, that will appear on the site once it launches.
The site is set to go live in early 2017.
Original story, published 7 December: Newsroom set to give Stuff a daily dose of its content
Since making its public debut last week, Newsroom has announced a string of developments, including a content deal with Fairfax NZ, which will see Stuff publish its content.
When Tim Murphy and Mark Jennings' independent current affairs and news website launches in March next year, Stuff.co.nz will publish up to two pieces of video or text content from the Newsroom team every day.
Murphy says the relationship between the two news providers is based out of the personal relationship both he and Jennings have with Fairfax group executive editor Sinead Boucher.
Murphy says while it hadn’t thought any of the “majors” would be interested in carrying its material, it was Boucher who made the suggestion.
She says Fairfax is delighted to be able to bring its audience some of the excellent journalism that will be produced by Newsroom's high calibre team.
"It is very important to us to support the growth of strong New Zealand journalism by opening our stuff platform and audience to others trying to work in this space," she says.
For Newsroom, the content deal will provide a chance for the content its journalists produce to go beyond where it can get it, particularly in the early stages when its audience is small.
The content it provides will be from open public site Newsroom.co.nz, not the paid subscriber Newsroom Pro news service.
And for its content, Newsroom will receive a share of revenue through KPEX coming in from any ads associated with the content it provides.
As well as that income, Newsroom has had a strong response from corporates interested in its group of founding supporter roles, as well as investors aware of the prospect of quality journalism being created in a a sustainable business, and from media partners.
The first founding supporter has been confirmed and will be announced shortly.
Newsroom has also made a second agreement this week to work with news agency AAP’s content divisions, and base the website on AAP’s digital publishing platform, AAP Publish.
Murphy and Jennings commend it for being a “smart, contemporary platform with excellent user experience and state of the art social media integration”.
Newsroom and AAP will work closely together over the next to month in finalising the Newsroom.co.nz site structure and design before its scheduled March launch.
For Murphy and Jennings, they say these recent developments are a “real boost” as they form their journalistic team and refine its plans to provide quality news and current affairs on the things that matter to New Zealanders.
For those who cannot wait to see what Newsroom has to offer, a transitional 'Summer Newsroom' will go live next week. The website will explain Newsroom’s mission and offering, as well as seeking sign-ons from members of the public who’d be interested in a sampling of Newsroom content over the holidays.