NZ On Air, Wellington, 19 September 2016: A new regional media initiative launching today, Local Focus, joins a stable of regional media funded by NZ On Air to extend local content choices for regional audiences.
Local Focus is an innovative partnership between NZME and Very Nice Productions which will tell audio-visual stories for and about four regions in the North Island. Local Focus has employed video journalists in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay and Whanganui. Their stories will be housed in a new section of the NZME owned nzherald.co.nz site.
Local Focus joins three other funded regional media projects. In Christchurch CTV and Star Media have created and adapted a “One Newsroom” approach to their media stable, with a now fully integrated newsroom. Their journalists will extend the CTV news audience by taking news items to growing online audiences through social media platforms, an on demand site, Star Media news sites and their publications. The new integrated newsroom has been in operation since August 1 and the transition is working very well across all platforms within the group.
Also down south, Allied Press are working on their plans to create an integrated newsroom with video journalists covering issues for and about the lower region of the South Island.
And in the Far North, Te Hiku Media and Channel North have combined forces to provide a new integrated news and information service for the region. Viewers will shortly see the rebranded Haukāinga content which will include live streams and on demand content.
“We hope regional audiences for quality local news and information will grow as they become aware of what’s on offer. This is intended to be genuinely different to national news coverage – it’s for and about regional audiences,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.
The four regional media projects have been funded for the first time this year, after a review of regional television funding prompted a quest to find a new way to connect regional audiences with news and information through converged media. The total funding for this year is $1.3 million.