Vice re-launches with NZ documentary to follow

Punk-zine turned media-empire Vice re-launched its website this week with the promise of an “explosion of new content,” and New Zealand is not being left out of the blast.

Vice head of communications for Australia and New Zealand Josh Gardiner says Kiwis can look forward to more local stories, including a New Zealand documentary.

While he cannot share details at this stage, he says the documentary is already in production.

Vice Media will also be hiring across Australia and New Zealand soon.

“We’re making more of the content that we care about, and that our audience cares about. To help do this we’re growing the staff from 40 to 70 across Australia and New Zealand in the coming months,” Gardiner says.

Producing more local content is a focus for Vice, which is responding to its audience.

“Vice’s exponential audience growth in recent years has called for a renewed exploration of the subjects our readers want to dive deeper into: the new era of Vice.com will see more politics, LGBT, crime, arts, local news and a broader comment section,” the publisher says.

With millions of young people visiting the Vice network each month, the publisher has clearly done its research.

Logging on to the new, improved and fully responsive Vice website the user now has easy access via menu buttons to the content Vice is zoning in on.

The first tab is ‘Crime’. “Why did photos of a strangled woman appear on 4Chan before her body was found?” and “California just became the first state to defelonize drug use,” the headlines read.

Local content can be found under the second tab, Australia/New Zealand. Most of the content is Australia-centric (Vice currently has 30 staff in Australia and just five here), but there is a notable article on the New Zealand election.

With Vice planning to amp up its content offering, they’re going to be hiring “new columnists, filmmakers and writers to ensure Vice continues to set industry standards for digital video and editorial in the coming months”.

Other new aspects of the site include a dedicated photo section, more content from Vice’s other nine verticals including their food site Munchies and tech site Motherboard.

In the theme of more-is-more, Vice is also increasing its load of original video content.

The media outlet is known for its unapologetic, off-kilter and often very brave video series.

These include The Real, a series exploring the characters and stories said to inspire cult TV and film; The Vice Report, an investigative series with subjects ranging from the rehab industry to New York’s waste and refuse super system; and its award-winning self-titled HBO show Vice.

Vice launched in 1994 as a punk-zine and at 20 years old has grown into a global, multimedia, multi-channel platform.

But like an old rock star it hasn’t yet lost its youthful airs and a cool-factor that ad executives lust after.

Despite this overhaul, Vice.com still maintains its original feel: monochromatic design, controversial content and edgy imagery and comment that keep the kids coming back.

“Today’s redesign is the result of many lessons learned over the years about running truly all-digital multimedia channels,” it says.

For more on Vice read Inside: Vice Media

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