Following the review announced last year, NZ On Air will support a new range of multi-media regional news and information initiatives to serve audiences in seven regions.
Funding for existing regional television news and information programmes ends on 31 August this year. The new services, supported with $1.3 million, are expected to be operational from 1 September.
Funded regional news content was not reaching its intended audiences, something NZ On Air hopes to address with its new initiatives. The new model encourages cross platform partnerships to increase potential audiences.
“The result is a range of regional media services tailored for specific regions. We asked regions and their media to come up with their own solutions. The funded projects are each innovative in different ways, and will provide new or extended local news and information options,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.
Four projects covering seven regions have been supported in the first year of the new regional media content fund. From top to bottom the projects are:
- Far North: online media organisation Te Hiku Media and TV news provider Channel North will provide a new integrated news and information service.
- mid-lower North Island: independent multi-media producer,Very Nice Productions and NZME will create Local Focus, to champion local stories for and about the regions.
- Christchurch: CTV, the most successful of the incumbent regional TV channels, will have an integrated newsroom with local print publishing group Star Media and multi-platform distribution for local news and information. They will provide coverage from Kaikoura to South Canterbury, and west to Arthur’s Pass.
- lower South Island: Allied Press will provide audio-visual news content both on 39 Dunedin Television and regional websites including the Otago Daily Times. Coverage will extend from Otago and Southland north to Ashburton, Waitaki and Timaru, and across to the West Coast.
Allied Press, Southern South Island, terrestrial broadcast & online, $396,821
Star Media, Canterbury region, terrestrial broadcast & online, $400,000
Te Reo Irirangi O Te Hiku O Te Ika, Te Tai Tokerau, terrestrial broadcast & online, $180,000
Very Nice Productions, four North Island regions, online, $400,000