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Fairfax signs on award-winning investigative journalism Trio

Fairfax Media signs on award-winning investigative journalism trio

Award-winning investigative journalism trio Paula Penfold, Eugene Bingham and Toby Longbottom join Fairfax Media from today.

Fairfax Executive Editor Sinead Boucher, said the appointments reflected a focus by Fairfax on increased investment in high quality journalism that mattered to New Zealanders.

“Paula, Toby and Eugene are an exceptionally talented team who have created some of the most compelling journalism in New Zealand. Their flair for hard-hitting investigative journalism and innovative storytelling will be a real asset to our audiences and I am thrilled they have chosen to join forces with us.”

Boucher said the team would be encouraged to experiment with telling in-depth stories in modern formats on existing and new platforms.

The group joins Fairfax’s existing high-calibre line-up of investigative and special projects journalists around the country, who are already serving their local and national audiences with excellent work across Stuff.co.nz and Fairfax newspapers.

“We know that our audiences have a deep need and appetite for journalism that is thought-provoking, serious and in-depth. They expect us to hold the powerful to account and champion the causes that matter to New Zealanders, and we are committed to doing so.”

Among the trio’s most significant work was a three year, multi-part investigation into the Teina Pora miscarriage of justice case. Their journalism exposed faults in key evidence in the case and was credited with helping him get released from prison and having his convictions quashed. Other recent ground-breaking stories they worked on together include the Battle of Baghak investigation into the deaths of two soldiers in Afghanistan and the exclusive interview with Tania Billingsley, the victim in the Malaysian Diplomat sex attack case.

Paula said the group was excited about taking a new direction with Fairfax Media.

“There’s a real opportunity to continue the kind of journalism I enjoy, but in interesting new ways. I’m thrilled to be working for a company that recognises the value of investigative journalism - and is prepared to invest in it.”

Bios

Toby Longbottom is a highly regarded current affairs editor responsible for some of New Zealand's most memorable and vital stories and investigations. He worked closely with John Campbell for six years as an integral member of the Campbell Live team, covering the Napier siege, cyclone Yasi, and extensive on the ground coverage of the Christchurch earthquakes.

Toby spent the last three years working with some of New Zealand’s very best journalists on the 60 Minutes/3rd Degree/3D Investigates programmes. His portfolio includes critically acclaimed stories such as ‘Pornography’s effects on the brain’, ‘Bullying in the Fire Service’, and ‘The Raurimu Massacre’. He was the editor and creative director of the Teina Pora investigation; the case which ultimately saw Teina released from prison in New Zealand's biggest miscarriage of justice.

Outside of work, Toby is a keen artist and filmmaker. He lives in Auckland, is married to Karen and has two young children.

*****

Eugene Bingham has been a journalist for 25 years, gaining a reputation for hard-hitting investigative stories. Most recently, he was a current affairs producer at TV3 for 60 Minutes, 3rd Degree and 3D Investigates.

Eugene had a long career at the New Zealand Herald, where he held senior positions including Weekend Herald News Editor and Weekend Review Editor. His favourite assignments include a stint at the Parliamentary Press Gallery and covering the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics.

Over the years his work has been recognised at the NZ Film and Television Awards and the Qantas Media Awards.

He is looking forward to joining forces with Fairfax’s great stable of journalists and exploring innovative ways of telling important stories.

Outside work, Eugene enjoys marathon and ultra-marathon running. He is married to journalist and author Suzanne McFadden and has two boys.

******

Paula Penfold has a reputation for powerful current affairs journalism, and ‘big-get’ exclusive interviews. Her career began at Radio New Zealand and continued at TVNZ, then TV3, where she worked on 60 Minutes, 3rd Degree, 3D and 3D Investigates.

She likes to tell stories that give a voice to people who wouldn’t otherwise have one, or bring public attention to an issue that should be exposed.

Paula has won several radio and television awards for producing and reporting.
Paula lives in Auckland and is married to journalist Mike McRoberts. They have two teenage children.

ENDS

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