Fairfax Media has today announced a major expansion of its business journalism online and in print. The company will harness its business reporting resources from across the country and, as part of today's initiative, will boost its Businessday presence by eight journalists in Auckland.
The move - in line with Fairfax Media's integrated multimedia business model - will see the closure of The Independent newspaper next month and a refocus on the Businessday and Businessday.co.nz brands.
Fairfax Media executive editor Paul Thompson said today that the group already had New Zealand's largest team of specialist business journalists providing compelling content to print and online readers. The company's Auckland-based multimedia business newsroom will, from July 1, be boosted by eight journalists now working for The Independent.
"The move is designed to make sure that the excellent work produced by The Independent journalists is made widely available to the large number of people who read our daily newspapers and websites each day," Thompson said.
"Those journalists will form a crucial part of Fairfax Media's multimedia Auckland newsroom, which provides high-quality journalism to all our brands in print and online. We believe it is particularly important to provide stronger business coverage online as that is where most readers of business news go first for reliable and agenda-setting stories."
Businessday sections appear in Fairfax media newspapers The Dominion Post, The Press and the Waikato Times. Businessday.co.nz appears online as the business section of award winning news website Stuff.co.nz.
While The Independent title is coming to an end, its content will stay alive through Businessday. The content will be presented to a bigger audience as Fairfax Media extends its business reporting powerhouse across the group's online and daily metropolitan newspaper titles and, because of this, there will be no editorial redundancies as a result of The Independent closing. Instead, the company will have the biggest and best team of business journalists breaking thought-provoking, investigative stories on the minute, on the hour, on the day.
However, despite the pooled journalism talent, local business content will remain paramount for Fairfax Media titles. Each title will retain its own unique flavour and commission its own content from the business reporting team accordingly. Each publication will continue to focus on their own readers' needs and wants, with the Businessday multimedia newsroom freed up to deliver strong journalism from Auckland with a national focus.
Independent editor and recently appointed Fairfax Media business managing editor Fiona Rotherham said Businessday.co.nz was already the most popular business site in New Zealand and a finalist in this year's Qantas Media Awards.
"We're building on our success by making The Independent's high quality, trusted and influential business content readily available to readers on Businessday.co.nz and within the business sections of the Waikato Times, The Dominion Post, The Press and Sunday Star-Times.
"While The Independent will no longer be published in a weekly print format, all the best bits in the paper will remain, including the well respected Chalkie column and in-depth weekly feature.
"Readers can look forward to us focusing more on breaking news online and then moving those stories on in our daily and weekly print editions, including insight and analysis."
Rotherham's extensive print journalism background will be backed up by Businessday.co.nz editor Kate Geenty's online expertise.
Geenty joined Fairfax Digital in January and has already helped guide Businessday.co.nz to the number one business news site in New Zealand, as measured by Nielsen Netratings.
Geenty brought a wealth of business reporting and editing experience to BusinessDay. She was formerly the managing editor of Australian Financial Publications magazine group and the Business editor for news.com.au. Earlier, she was Fairfax Media's Australian business correspondent based in Sydney.
BusinessDay.co.nz recorded more than 579,000 domestic unique users in May, 44,000 above nearest competitior NZHerald.co.nz. BusinessDay also recorded 4.1m page impressions for the same period, compared to 3.7m for the NZherald.co.nz.