It will bring regional content from New Zealand’s North Island to a national platform through a partnership between with Very Nice Productions and funding agency NZ On Air, which contributed a $400,000 grant.
Eight local video news stories will be produced each week by the Local Focus team, which will be led by executive producer Alistair Wilkinson.
Belinda Henley, executive producer of NZ Herald Focus, said expanding video journalism into local news would “further cement its presence nationwide and become a ‘go-to’ for those seeking out original, high-quality storytelling from the regions”.
NZME put TV broadcasters in the crosshairs when it first launched NZ Herald Focus last April, and it is now attracting more than 700,000 views each week.
It uses the video facilities of NZME’s new integrated newsroom and was launched to produce eight-minute bulletins three times a day.
It has experimented with the format, discovering a traditional bulletin approach was not ideal.
“The audience numbers weren’t as high as we thought they could be,” said Shayne Currie, managing editor of NZME.
“People on lunch breaks, for example, don’t consume eight minutes of video.”
Producers sliced and diced the show, dispersing shorter video clips across articles to make them easier to find within the relevant news, sport and entertainment sections on NZME’s websites.
Mr Currie continued: “It still has that great quality news content; unique, exclusive investigations and so forth, but it’s attached to stories. The videos are 90 seconds each, rather than an eight minute all-in-one bulletin.”
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