- Scoop Independent News
Friday, 19 December 2014
Scoop.co.nz, the pioneering online news resource with a deep publicly accessible archive, rich journalistic heritage and influential audience, is seeking new supporters to make it stable and sustainable into the future.
From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.
The internal transformation process - dubbed "Operation Chrysalis" - is necessary to secure the support Scoop needs to sustainably support an informed society and a healthy democracy in a digital age [for further detail see editors notes below]. It is expected that the process will lead to a new ownership structure for the enterprise.
"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.
"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them."
Pluralistic, publicly accessible raw-news provided by Scoop has proved very popular in New Zealand and reached an average 268,000 NZ users each month in 2014[*]. The audience is primarily professional and at work. Public servants at work spend an average 4000 hours each month researching information on the Scoop website[**].
"Using raw communications content as our base we have grown our offering to include a significant quantity of original journalistic content which speaks truth to power in the best traditions of NZ journalism," Thompson says. "Gordon Campbell's must read news commentary has featured at the heart of Scoop's news coverage since 2007, and online satirist Lyndon Hood has been a key member of the Scoop Team since 2004 and its news-editor for the past 8 years.
"Over our 15 and a half years of operation Scoop has also become a lifeboat for the craft of news. In 2013 we championed a journalist led effort to create a charitable foundation for public interest journalism. Since the beginning of news blogging we have provided a hub directing our audience at the best NZ online content from academics, independent journalists and bloggers. And Scoop was also a launch partner for the BusinessDesk independent business news wire service at its inception in 2008."
For the past six years Scoop has provided an online home for some of NZ's most outstanding journalists including Gordon Campbell, Alison McCulloch & others (Werewolf.co.nz), Lindsay Shelton (Wellington.scoop.co.nz) and David Robie's AUT based Pacific Media Centre (Pacific.scoop.co.nz).
Scoop's successful formula for digital news in the 21st Century is based around the simple idea of providing free public access to what is in effect the inbox of the news-desk at NZ's major online media outlets, i.e. providing readers with a news-editor's view of the news in real-time.
"In a news environment where much of what occurs in any given news cycle never makes it to publication, Scoop provides a complete picture of the "news undergrowth" enabling all-comers, including political parties, activists, businesses and civil society to participate in the national debate and ensure their views (including those that never make it to print or air via the mainstream media) are widely and publicly accessible," Thompson says.
"Scoop has for a decade and a half faced constant challenge. By both revenue and audience reach we remain the strongest independent online news company in NZ and as this process begins today we are already actively discussing Scoop's future with several significant institutions."
Scoop's "Operation Chrysalis" will focus initially on building a safe structure to secure Scoop's publishing operation which sees Scoop publish close to 1000 pieces of content - mostly press releases - each week. This operation has till now operated continuously for 5658 days.
From today Scoop is seeking expressions of interest in from individuals and organisations in assisting Scoop in the following ways:
- Providing internet hosting services;
- Bringing new "entrepreneurial" vision and energy to the Scoop project;
- Ethical Investment & Sponsorship; and,
- Making a purchase of from Scoop's communications product range (Newsagent, Infopages and Advertising).
At the same time, Scoop will be moving to new leadership, with Thompson announcing his intention to depart as the site’s founding editor during 2015.
The communications campaign starting today will consist of advertising on the Scoop website directing interest to pages explaining what Scoop needs and how they contribute. Scoop will also be reaching out directly to stakeholders and significant users and contributors to the Scoop project.
In addition early in the New Year Scoop will launch a "State of the NZ Media" content series consisting of reflections on how NZ's media is changing and the implications of this change on NZ society. Scoop is interested in hearing from anyone who wishes to participate in this project by submitting a reflection.
Finally Scoop will also be asking its subscribers fans and supporters to sign-up to a support crew email list to keep informed as the project progresses.
For further information or to arrange an interview contact Scoop Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson on 021 707044 or at email@example.com
An Effective Partner For NZ Democracy And Public/Govt. Engagement
- For 15 years Scoop has fostered "constructive" public participation in the public policy arena. (Note #1: For Budget 2014 Scoop published twice as much reaction as any other news source.)
- Scoop is a “magnet” for public outreach. NZers who are paying attention to and engaging with what is happening in their country read and contribute to Scoop. (Note #2: Research shows Scoop’s audience includes “the” decision makers in NZ civil society, business leaders, government, media and communications.)
- Scoop now reaches an audience of 500,000 monthly unique users (60% from within NZ). Scoop publishes 1,000 original news items every week. (Note #3 : Scoop’s online audience is more than twice as large as NBR’s and comparable with Radionz.co.nz.)
- With more than 1 million Google indexed news pages dating back to 1999 Scoop is a gateway to anyone Googling NZ Civil Society, Business and Government information. (Note #4: In May 2014 Scoop was read in 231 nation states – everywhere except Greenland and Western Sahara.)
A Changing Media Landscape Requires Changing Methods
- The capability of traditional media to serve the “information” needs of Civil Society, Government and Business is being degraded , a trend which is expected to continue. (Note #5: Scoop gives you access to the “News Editor’s” inbox in real time.)
- For communications professionals the "old ways" of doing things are losing their effectiveness. (Note #6: Getting a “story” placed in the traditional media - TV, Radio and Newspapers - is getting harder every day.)
- Constant change, pressure selling and legal complexity makes the internet at times a bewildering and expensive communications channel to use. (Note #7: NLA vs Meltwater has changed the law about commercial use of online content - ref. recent PMCA License cost increases)
- As a trusted 15 year partner of NZ communicators and those who rely on information professionally, Scoop can provide proven cost effective services that deliver results. (Note #8: Scoop serves 100k pages of information to public servants at work each month = 4,000 working hours of research time[**].)
[*] Google Analytics Jan-Nov 2014 - 346,000 high in September
[**] Google Analytics – March 2014