Newsroom - a year of making things matter
It’s hard to believe Newsroom is just one year old. We’ve broken some of the biggest and most important stories in that time. Most recently the Russell McVeagh sex scandal which has tipped the law industry on its head.
Hundreds of emails have come in to us to thank us for our courage and for an investigation well overdue.
Today Newsroom.co.nz marks a year since our launch as an independent, quality news and current affairs site for New Zealand.
We maintain that an independent news organisation is critical for a healthy democracy.
Our thanks to all of you who have read and shared our journalism these past 12 months and to those who have supported us financially with individual donations, subscriptions to Newsroom Pro and Foundation Supporter sponsorships.
We set out to fill a gap in our media landscape for news on subjects we described as the Things that Matter. We believe, with your support, we have gone a considerable way towards achieving that goal. There is much yet to do, many stories still to be told and subjects needing more attention and interpretive journalism.
But the first year has seen Newsroom, operating from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, break a clutch of major national news stories - and also expand or elevate the media's overall coverage on subjects such as the environment, foreign affairs and trade, the economy, politics, legislation, science, social development, gender issues and human rights and justice.
Among the high-profile journalistic achievements in our first 12 months are:
Newsroom's Todd Barclay investigation The politician, the police and the payout
An investigation into Family Court-ordered uplifts Taken by the state
Winston Peters's superannuation overpayment Co-habiting Peters billed $18,000
We had a big election year. It was the kind of news event made for a site like ours, aiming to cut-through and analyse what was breaking around us all. Our readership through August and September confirmed our confidence in the demand for independent, interpretive journalism on the big issues.
The Newsroom team has also created and developed the Newsroom Pro subscription site and daily newsletter. These contain additional, real-time and detailed content on subjects of interest to organisations such as government agencies, local government, corporates, some NGOs, diplomatic missions and professional firms.
We have been backed from the start by Foundation Supporters Holden NZ, Chorus NZ, the University of Auckland and Victoria University - and then fortunate to be joined during the year by Kiwibank, Bell Gully and Ecostore. We thank them all for their confidence and contribution to a site for improved journalism for the public good.
Individual readers have also been generous in supporting our cause: almost 500 people make monthly contributions via the PressPatron sign-up buttons on this site, and a further 300 have made one-off donations. The support is at a level far higher than we anticipated and has allowed us to focus efforts on news of significant public interest. We are grateful to you all.
We go into our second year confident of reaching a greater audience with news that matters, and of repaying the faith our readers and supporters have shown thus far. Among our inititiatives for 2018 are:
- Expanding our team at Parliament with the addition of policy analyst Thomas Coughlan to write for both Newsroom Pro and the Newsroom.co.nz site
- Appointing highly-regarded business journalist Nikki Mandow to edit our BoardRoom section and analyse big business stories
- Making good on our intent to bring on talented new journalists with the appointment of graduate news reporter Farah Hancock
- Extending our video content capability by broadening our multi-media, sports editor Steve Deane into a camera and editing role
- and, today the launch of LockerRoom, dedicating our sports journalism predominantly to covering women's sport.
Newsroom also has, at the time of writing, five separate new investigations under way - continuing to look into the actions of people in power and positions of authority possibly misusing their influence.
It has been a huge year. We hope and believe we have added to the sum of New Zealand journalism in our first 12 months and pledge to do the same, and more, in the next year.
Thank you for reading.