Scoop Publishing and Radio New Zealand today announced a content sharing partnership. Under this partnership Radio New Zealand - a publicly funded media organisation will share some of the news content they produce each week for republication on Scoop.co.nz. The new arrangement furthers RNZ’s policy of sharing content with media partners and extends to 14 the number of such agreements RNZ has in place with a range of media organisations.
Why is this partnership necessary?
Paul Thompson, chief executive and editor in chief of RNZ sums it up well writing in his capacity as president of the Public Media Alliance:
“2018 has not started well for the news media. Once proudly independent and self-reliant, we seem to have been reduced to client states of Facebook, fretting about the social network’s move away from news. Facebook has now realised what journalists have known all along. The stakes are high when it comes to news because it is the most effective counter to entrenched power. Doing it well costs money, is difficult and requires expertise and judgment. It performs a public service and is no longer a source of ready profit.”
Like most independent media providers, Scoop was hit hard by the crisis in the news industry Mr Thompson discusses above. As a result we have transitioned our business from an advertising-funded to an innovative Ethical Paywall model. This model has ensured we could continue providing a flow of free news to the public while asking professional users to pay a ScoopPro fee. This approach is slowly bringing Scoop toward sustainability while providing an invaluable comprehensive press release publishing and archiving service for the public and professional users. However in this transition period, our ability to independently cover all the crucial breaking news of interest to the public has been limited.
Sharing is caring
“In this environment, public service media have a unique responsibility to help their commercial counterparts survive. Gone are the days when publicly-funded media were obliged to compete for market share. Instead, their role should be to create more public value by sharing their content and expertise freely and developing and testing new ideas and approaches that others are able to adopt.” Paul Thompson, Public Media Alliance
This approach is part of a wider strategy by Radio New Zealand to create more public value by sharing content and sets a good example to other media organisations.
This content sharing arrangement with RNZ provides a welcome boost to Scoop’s ability to offer a greater depth of up to date public interest news content to our readership. Rather than attempt to duplicate the excellent reporting conducted by Radio New Zealand’s expert reporters and top-quality producers, we are now able to act as another channel for this crucial information.
It represents a constructive response to the problems faced by both the public media and independent commercial media like Scoop. The arrangement will help ensure the widest possible distribution of this publicly funded information and maximise its’ public impact. Increasing the diversity of coverage Scoop offers, will also assist us to thrive as an independent and public interest oriented news channel in a highly competitive media environment. Scoop welcomes this forward thinking approach by Mr Thompson and the Public Media Alliance which has clearly informed the sharing approach of RNZ and extends its thanks to Radio New Zealand for this opportunity.
Journalism as a public good
As Paul Thompson sets out in his Public Media Alliance article ensuring multiple sources of independent journalism is an important task for our democracy:
“Journalism is a public good. Multiple sources of reliable, independent journalism are as vital to a functioning democracy as clean air and water. How else can citizens equip themselves to exercise their democratic rights? How else can any community find common ground on credible information that they all can rely upon? If independent news outlets are unable to meet this need, others will fill the gaps, including propagandists for commercial, political and foreign interests.”
Scoop’s transition to a non-profit foundation model
was a recognition of this important ‘public good’ role
journalism plays in supporting a functioning democracy. The
Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism was
formed to support this democratic role by funding high
quality journalism on matters in the public interest. Any
profits raised by Scoop Publishing in the future will go
towards supporting these aims of strengthening information
and dialogue in New Zealand. We look forward to a bright
future as Scoop continues to build a stable independent news
platform providing a comprehensive range of information from
various sources in the interests of furthering debate and
democracy in New Zealand.