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Local Democracy Reporting service takes off

Tuesday, 3 December 2019 for immediate release – 2 pages

New Zealand media organisations are invited to apply to receive content from a $1m pilot scheme aimed at boosting the reporting of local democracy issues across the country. The Local Democracy Reporting (LDR) service announced earlier this year, now has eight reporters employed by eight host newsrooms around the country.

LDR is a free public interest news service supported by RNZ, the Newspaper Publishers’Association (NPA), and NZ On Air. It is administered by RNZ and funded through the RNZ /NZ On Air Innovation Fund*.

The service is designed to fill gaps in the reporting of local bodies and other publicly-funded organisations, mostly in regional New Zealand, brought about by decreases in reporting numbers in traditional media.

RNZ is again inviting expressions of interest from New Zealand media organisations that may be eligible to become LDR media partners. As LDR partners, they will receive the LDR reporters’ stories, photos and videos.

The service’s manager, Nina Fowler, says the aim is to better serve the New Zealand public.

“It’s really exciting to have the reporters in place and filing stories about issues that matter to their communities. There are some excellent stories coming through and I’m looking forward to what the reporters and their editors are going to be able to achieve through this pilot.”

Media organisations providing a reputable public news service to an established audience, and that adhere to the principles of the NZ Media Council and/or the Broadcasting Standards Authority, can apply to join the scheme, subject to its terms and conditions.

Media companies can register their interest in becoming LDR partners by contacting LDR Manager Nina Fowler at or heading to the dedicated LDR web page at for an application form and more information.

The service currently covers the following eight regions:

Northland (NZME)
South Auckland (Stuff)
Whakatāne, Ōpōtiki, Kawerau (Beacon Media Group)
Rotorua (NZME)
Tairāwhiti/Gisborne (Gisborne Herald/Wairoa Star)
Wairarapa (Wairarapa Times-Age)
Marlborough (Stuff)
West Coast (Greymouth Star)


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