Redesign for Fairfax local papers (now with Dr Libby & Nadia Lim)

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Fairfax Media is rolling out a nationwide redesign of its local papers. All 66 of Fairfax’s community newspapers will undergo a facelift of content, layout and design over the next four weeks – with the new-look Manawatu Tribune first off the press today.

Thirteen Auckland community papers, including the Central Leader, Rodney Times and Papakura Courier will follow from Monday 6 July.

Sinead Boucher, Fairfax media’s executive editor, says community papers are an important part of the Fairfax portfolio. “We reach over 1.8 million New Zealanders on a typical day,” she says. “They’re a really powerful platform, helping readers feel connected with their local community, and offering a forum for local discussion and debate.”

The changes being made are a result of market research and reader feedback.

“Readers wanted a modern look and feel – and some great new content,” Boucher said. “We’ve delivered on that with a weekly dose of lifestyle, health and food tips from our two new columnists, Dr Libby Weaver and celebrity chef Nadia Lim.

“Our new-look community papers are still overwhelmingly local. The new content recipe emphasises our local connection with the reader, with more local stories, faces and places, content from our partner Neighbourly, and the introduction of a bright and bold What’s On page to keep readers up to speed with what’s going on in their neighbourhood.”

Local advertisers will also see benefits, she said. “We’ve found the more local our content is, the more valued it is, and trusted content has a positive influence on how readers respond to advertising.

“The local angle offered by community newspapers makes advertising feel more personal and relevant – it’s a valued part of the reading experience.

“These changes are about giving readers more of what they want, and most of all, keeping things local.”

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