Newsroom turns 2, adds more journalism
It's been a hell of a two years.
On March 13, 2017, we started this website, newsroom.co.nz, to try to fill a gap in the media market for news reporting on the things that matter.
Today we expand and augment that goal with a number of new initiatives to provide New Zealanders with more independent, quality journalism.
Newsroom has repeatedly broken big, important national news stories and established a platform for interpretive journalism and insight on issues from climate change to sexual harassment and bullying, science to foreign affairs and women's sport to politics.
In our inaugural year, Newsroom, with 16 staff, was named joint-winner of the Voyager Media Awards Website of the Year - alongside the market giant, Stuff.co.nz.
Investigations editor Melanie Reid was named Reporter of the Year at both the NZTV and Voyager awards and we won Best Single Story for 2017 with our investigation into former National MP Todd Barclay.
Major stories through 2018 included:
As well as the free Newsroom.co.nz website, our paid-for, subscriber news service Newsroom Pro has grown rapidly. It provides companies, organisations and individuals with breaking news and analysis in politics, policy, economics, trade and business throughout the day and via Bernard Hickey's outstanding morning newsletter.
The Newsroom team owes much to our growing base of subscribers, our Foundation Supporters Kiwibank, Vodafone Business, Bell Gully, ecostore, Chorus, Holden, the University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington.
And to the generosity and support of a number of individuals who have made substantial one-off donations, with a further 640 of you choosing to support us with monthly donations via the Press Patron platform. That funding is vital and we continue to seek donations here.
We believe we are adding to the public debate, covering areas which need attention and holding power to account where needed -- and are deeply grateful for all who help make this happen.
Forging a sustainable business model in these tumultuous times for media is not for the faint-hearted, so we continue to seek support from our donors and from potential foundation supporter sponsors who can help us keep Newsroom progressing.
As we enter our third year, Newsroom has a number of new projects to broaden the reach and depth of our journalism:
* Starting next month Newsroom and RNZ launch a daily morning podcast - which will be available on this site and rnz.co.nz looking in behind the major issues of the day and explaining what is going on and why.
* Melanie Reid and Newsroom have won funding from NZ on Air for six substantial video current affairs investigations in 2019. Today we introduce a dedicated section on the Newsroom homepage for our investigative work over the past two years and for the new projects coming up.
* Newsroom and RNZ have reached a content-sharing agreement in which stories from both organisations can be published on the other's site - with a 'Latest News from RNZ' box on our homepage starting today adding an up-to-date and breaking news element for readers visiting Newsroom.co.nz
* Stories from Newsroom will also now appear on MSN New Zealand's home page msn.com, the landing page for many Microsoft customers, with a monthly unique audience of around 1.4 million (October 2018).
* Thanks to support from leading professional services firm Beca we will expand our New Auckland section this year with greater coverage of the city's future development needs and opportunities.
* Today we expand our section for comment and analysis from our university partners, Auckland and Victoria, with a new name, IdeasRoom, and more prominent display of the regular think pieces from their many academics who have helped Newsroom readers better understand issues in the public mind.
As we reach this start-up milestone of two years, we are thrilled to have a full programme of independent journalism ahead of us - and thankful for the legion of 'unique' readers each month who visit the site, subscribe or donate money to back Newsroom's mission. Your help certainly makes a difference. Thanks for reading and engaging.
Tim Murphy and Mark Jennings, co-editors
If you'd like to make a one-off or monthly recurring donation to support our journalism, you can do so here.