Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Regional News Coverage to Be Boosted

Monday, 19 August 2019
Regional News Coverage to Be Boosted by Local Democracy Reporting Scheme

Eight journalists are being sought to work as local democracy reporters in regional newsrooms across New Zealand. The recruitment aims to boost reporting on local body issues and the work of publicly funded institutions, local councils, health boards and similar organisations.

Eight regions have been chosen for the Local Democracy Reporting (LDR) pilot scheme (announced by the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, RNZ and NZ On Air at the end of May).

Funding of $1 million has been provided for the pilot scheme from the $6 million RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund announced by the Government in Budget 2018.

The scheme was proposed by RNZ and the NPA, as a way of strengthening public interest reporting, as an important aspect of having an informed democracy.

The pilot is modelled on a successful project in the UK launched by the BBC in collaboration with British publishers.

It aims to fill gaps in reporting on local bodies and other publicly-funded organisations, addressing issues brought about by a decline in journalist numbers across traditional media, which has been significant in some regions.

Media host organisations and the regions that have been confirmed are:

North Island
Whangārei, Northland (NZME)
South Auckland (Stuff)

Tairāwhiti/Gisborne (Gisborne Herald/Wairoa Star)
Rotorua (NZME)
Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki, Kawerau (Beacon Media Group)

Masterton, Carterton, South Wairarapa (Wairarapa Times-Age)

South Island
Marlborough (Stuff)
West Coast (Greymouth Star)

The funding will pay for eight reporters in locations identified as needing more coverage. The reporters will be given multimedia training and will file stories, photos and videos.

While the reporters will be employed by newspaper companies, all the stories generated will be made available to RNZ and other qualifying media, including competitors. Media companies who wish to access the content will be known as LDR partners.

The new local democracy reporters will report solely on publicly-funded local institutions including local councils, council committees, community boards, council-owned commercial enterprises, district health boards, local trusts, and publicly-owned ports.

The funding from the RNZ/NZ On Air Innovation Fund* is guaranteed until the end of August 2020, with funding beyond that dependent on the success of the pilot.

For more information on the LDR scheme, the Memorandum of Understanding can be found here.

Media companies can register their interest in applying to become LDR partners by contacting RNZ via


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


$7.5 Billion Surplus: Government Accounts "Show Strong Economy"

“The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more on infrastructure and make record investments in health and education,” Grant Robertson says. More>>


New OIO Application Trumps Judicial Review: OceanaGold Cleared To Buy Land For Waihi Tailings Expansion

In a surprise turnaround, the government has given OceanaGold a greenlight to buy land to expand its Waihi mine after the application was previously turned down by Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage. More>>


Christchurch Rebuild: Fletcher Sued For $7.5m Over Justice Precinct

Fletcher Building is being sued for $7.5 million by utilities contractor Electrix, one of the subcontractors on the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct. More>>

Three New Drugs: PHARMAC Signs Bundle Deal For More Cancer Medicines

420 New Zealanders with lung cancer, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and respiratory disease will benefit each year from a bundle deal PHARMAC has finalised with a medicine supplier. More>>


"Levels Playing Field": Government Responds To Electricity Price Review

The changes announced today include: • Supporting new and independent retailers by requiring the big power companies to sell into the wholesale market at affordable rates. • Extending discount rates to all customers • A pilot scheme to help customers who have not switched power providers before to shop around for better deals... More>>