Newsroom launched in early 2017, founded by co-editors Mark Jennings, former head of news at MediaWorks (including Newshub across TV channel Three and Radio Live), and Tim Murphy, former editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Herald. The website was named joint Website of the Year in the 2018 Voyager Media Awards.
The University was a supporting partner from the beginning, with Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford seeing the relationship as a natural fit for the University and its commitment to promoting and leading public discussion on issues affecting social, economic, environmental, and cultural wellbeing.
“We recognised that Newsroom, with its aim to cover ‘the things that matter’, was a kindred spirit, and so it has proved,” says Grant.
At the awards ceremony, attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, judges praised Newsroom for its in-depth and investigative reporting, saying it “has secured its place as a go-to website for hard-hitting news coverage”.
In all, Newsroom and its journalists were finalists in 16 categories, winning four, including Reporter of the Year and Story of the Year for investigations editor Melanie Reid.
“The University is adding more articles to the site each week,” says Grant. “Many of our academics have had conversations with policymakers and influencers, received an invitation to speak at events, and appeared in other media as a result of being seen there.
“The partnership is helping them reach a wider audience with their research and thinking and to fulfil their role as a critic and conscience of society.”