Welcome to Newsroom.

Today we launch our free, independent news and current affairs website – aiming to bring you quality New Zealand journalism on the Things that Matter.

Things that matter to the advancement and progress of the country, to our biggest city, Auckland, to all our communities and to our shared future.

Newsroom.co.nz has brought together some of New Zealand’s best editors and journalists to provide an alternative digital news source in a market crowded with content delivered at speed to achieve little more than rapid audience ‘clicks’.

We start small, having published a temporary site over summer to provide a sample of interesting reading. But we have big ambitions for helping you, the reader, to understand better the big challenges and changes New Zealand faces.

Today we also launch a separate but related subscription service for emailed news alerts and stories, called Newsroom Pro, which is designed to provide news intelligence out of Wellington on government, policy, industry and the economy.

For details on our combined journalistic team, click here.

We believe there is a clear gap in the news marketplace. Many news media still commit good journalism in an age of the trite and the frivolous.

But steep and sustained falls in revenue from advertising and newspaper sales have seen most titles and sites forced to cut spending and staff and withdraw their focus from a range of subject areas. It is not the journalists’ fault – they have more to do, across many live and immediate digital channels, than ever before. More to do, less time and fewer colleagues on their teams. Their good work is often hidden, buried, overlooked.

Newsroom is a start-up and has the benefit of choosing what to cover and how; our group of four Foundation Supporters, Holden NZ, Chorus, Victoria University and the University of Auckland, stand with us in seeking to improve the reporting and debate on public issues affecting both our clients and theirs, customers and communities. We are grateful for their support for this venture and for quality New Zealand journalism.

This site aims to avoid journalism’s Crap Trap – a mix of celebrity, crashes, crises, crime, court, social media hot-takes and faux outrage mashed together seamlessly from home and abroad. We want you to tell us if we somehow feature ‘viral’ photos of kittens, pandas or sharks.

On this site today you will see some of the subject areas we want to concentrate on. They are conventional areas of focus for newsrooms everywhere: politics and the economy, health, science, the environment, education, international relations and trade, justice and human rights, culture and demography, consumer rights and corporate responsibility, migration, housing and the future. What is unconventional right now is that a digital news site would give them time, expertise and profile. We will add more as Newsroom grows – always with the aim of helping Kiwis understand what is really going on in the halls of power and behind the scenes.

Our journalism will try to be interpretive; more than bare reportage but not descending into pure opinion. Flanking the news coverage will be declared commentary from a stable of informed writers. And we will tell stories in video, text and with mobile users as a priority.

The proof of this particular pudding will be in the reading and the viewing. From today we will strive to provide real news, calmly but appealingly told, fact-checked and quality controlled. Please let us know what you think – and what you’d like to see more of as we develop and grow.

Thank you for visiting Newsroom.co.nz and for taking the time to read and think about what we are setting out to do. If you sign-up to our morning email newsletter, you will receive the best of our daily menu, plus editors’ recommendations of what you might like to view from elsewhere.

We are excited to do the news.

Tim Murphy (tim.murphy@newsroom.co.nz)

Mark Jennings (mark.jennings@newsroom.co.nz)

Tim Murphy is co-editor of Newsroom. He writes about politics, Auckland, and media. Twitter: @tmurphynz

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