Regular visitors to the Local Matters website may have noticed some changes. Earlier this year, we were approached by a publisher based in the Bay of Plenty who was keen to set up a national network of independent newspapers. The idea was to support one another financially through shared online advertising revenue, but also to look at how regional newsrooms could be used to build an independent news service across NZ. The fledgling network Newsie (newsie.co.nz) was launched in April, with a commitment to present genuine news stories without clickbait content. One of the site’s founders, Claire Rogers, says the feedback from readers has been very positive. She says there is a real appetite for reliable local news that is not sensationalised.
The service runs seven days a week and pulls stories from all over NZ, as well as overseas. The localmatters.co.nz website joined the Newsie network this month, which means stories from Mahurangi and the Hibiscus Coast, which warrant national coverage, will now automatically appear on the Newsie site. Local stories will continue to dominate our site, but eventually, our readers will also see stories from around NZ as well.
This sort of collaboration is welcome and may be the only way that the small independents will survive the upheavals wrought by the internet, and particularly social media and bloggers. We know that building credibility on a national stage will take time, and we salute those behind Newsie for having the tenacity to give it a go. Local Matters is proud to be among the first publishers to support this new service and we encourage readers to visit both localmatters.co.nz and newsie.co.nz