Mastheads owned by Fairfax Media in New Zealand’s Marlborough region will shift to a new digital-focused publishing model in May, with the Marlborough Express reducing its print editions to three days-a-week.
The Express also will switch from an afternoon to a morning paper published on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. An e-newsletter, called Marlborough Express Daily, will be sent to subscribers on weekdays. News will be continually updated through Stuff.com.nz and pushed through local social site Neighbourly.
The community masthead Marlborough Midweek will move to Thursday publication while no changes will be made to the Saturday Express.
Fairfax Media group executive editor, Sinead Boucher, says that the decision to retreat from daily printing was not taken lightly.
“Media organisations the world over are having to rethink the sustainability of their local newspaper models,” she said.
“It’s exciting to be at this stage where we’re ready to introduce the change we have worked on with the community and we hope it will prove to be a more sustainable model for our local journalism in Marlborough.
“By shifting the Marlborough Express to a morning publication and reducing the number of days we print, we will be making significant savings in distribution and production. Most important though is that we’re giving Marlborough readers options for receiving their local news in the ways that suit them best, with little compromise to our journalism representation in the region”.
The changes were arrived at in consultation with the local community. Readers also had the opportunity to suggest new sections for the newspaper to better reflect the community. The Marlborough Express will introduce the culture sections on Mondays, Insight Marlborough on Wednesdays and Fridays and a heritage section in the Friday edition of the paper.
The e-newsletter will launch in early-April, with the changes in printing cycle following on May 1.