BusinessDesk in live newsroom experiments

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AUCKLAND, Today: Three news organisations – Nine Publishing AU, the National Indigenous Times and NZME’s BusinessDesk – will launch live pilots in their newsrooms, focusing on business growth and editorial excellence. The experiments will trial frameworks and the results to be shared with the broader industry. 

Bastion Transform, the AU content strategy and digital transformation agency led by former ABC news director Gaven Morris, is coordinating the projects over the coming six months, and measuring the outcomes and industry impact.

Morris said: “Newsroom innovation is more important than ever and finding the time and resources for journalism teams to step outside of daily coverage to shape, test and learn new ways of connecting with audiences is a struggle.

“This project enables editors and journalists to raise their sights beyond their deadlines and explore long-term change. It’s essential – it’s do or die. 

“The experimentation will focus on the biggest challenges and opportunities the partner newsrooms identify across their operations including storytelling, resourcing, workflows, platforms, data, and technology.”

Google News Lab ANZ lead Uma Patel said; I hope to see the newsrooms make bold choices, to test the frontiers of what might be possible and whether they produce quick wins or lessons for future success, the teams have nothing to lose. 

“If we don’t fail at some points along the way, we’re not taking enough risks.”

“Journalists iterate every single day, there’s no one way to break a story and the best journalists adapt and try different strategies to get what they need to publish the news readers need to know – so I have no doubt they’ve got the skills they need to think of and test new ideas to boost their journalism.

“We want to create a framework for how to prioritise, design, run and review experiments and hopefully nudge newsrooms to go beyond their comfort zones. If we’re only exploring areas we already know will succeed, we’re not being ambitious. If we don’t fail at some points along the way, we’re not taking enough risks,” she said.

BusinessDesk GM Matt Martel said: “In New Zealand, BusinessDesk is already a fast-growing, quick-scaling digital native with a start-up culture and an editorial reputation for breaking great stories.”

Patel: “The news media is now an industry defined by winners and losers, with the winners being the companies that innovate in tune with emerging audience demands.

“Newsrooms that embrace change are moving ahead and finding profit and success while those clinging to the past, or failing to be brave are falling behind. It is a great time to be a journalist as long as you’re supported to take risks, think laterally and be ahead of the others.

“We want to see this resonate across the journalism industry. There’s never been more information on what engages audiences – excellent journalism matched with courageous exploration is the way to capture their minds.”

About Bastion
Freemans Bay-based, AU-owned Bastion is a large AUNZ independent marketing and communications agency, offering a breadth of specialist capabilities in an integrated model. It has 300+ staff across Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Los Angeles, New York City, Wellington and Auckland, plus agency partnerships in 10 Asian markets.

Its client list includes Air New Zealand, Microsoft, Tower Insurance, Alinta Energy, ABC, Unilever, Cancer Institute NSW, L’Oréal, and Kia.

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