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The Mud breaks new ground

The Mud breaks new ground

Rotorua online news web site The Mud has broken new ground with the posting of video interviews of candidates standing for mayor and the Rotorua District Council.

The video interview sessions were held on Saturday 24 August and on the evening of Tuesday 27 August.

The interviews are now live on the web site at www.themud.co.nz and are available for candidates to utilise on their own web sites and other digital services.

Of the 31 councillors standing, 20 responded to the invitation from The Mud to attend the video sessions. As well as the council candidates, four of five mayoral candidates took part in video interviews, including the incumbent Kevin Winters and his closest challenger, former Labour government minister Steve Chadwick.

“We are delighted by the response and hope this marks the start of a new era for election coverage and democracy not only in Rotorua but also in New Zealand,” said The Mud principal, journalist and publisher Mike Smith of Business Media Services Ltd.

The Saturday and Tuesday video sessions were shot at the offices of Dowthwaite Law. David Dowthwaite is also a principal of The Mud. These interviews were conducted by Kevin O’Connor of Zeal Communications, a formerly of the Dominion Post, TV current affairs report and public affairs adviser. Most of the videos were shot by Nancy Groh, while Mike Smith conducted separate interviews with the two main mayoral challenges.

The Mud grew out of a frustration with the dwindling focus on community news as mainstream news services in Rotorua downsized staffs and has increasingly charged high advertising rates for candidates to publicise their policies.

The community has responded well to this innovative service, with several candidates welcoming this new opportunity to gain exposure otherwise denied to them.


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