NZ Herald Local Focus: Uncovering the country's best regional stories

The NZ Herald Local Focus team from left: Sieska Verdonk, Ingrid Jellick, Alistair Wilkinson, Myles Thomas, Kaysha Brownlie and Hunter Calder. Photo / Supplied
The NZ Herald Local Focus team from left: Sieska Verdonk, Ingrid Jellick, Alistair Wilkinson, Myles Thomas, Kaysha Brownlie and Hunter Calder. Photo / Supplied

NZ Herald Local Focus is here.

The programme of video-led journalism from the regions is an extension of NZ Herald Focus, which launched in April and is fronted by Laura McGoldrick and Tristram Clayton.

Local Focus will dive deep into our regions, unearthing stories which have national significance.

It is an innovative partnership between New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME), Very Nice Productions and NZ On Air, which has provided $400,000 in funding.

On average, the NZH Focus team will produce eight regional news videos each week, housed on nzherald.co.nz and across the wider NZME network.

Belinda Henley, executive producer of NZ Herald Focus, says it's a "win for journalism in the regions.

"Herald Focus has shown that this video model is engaging and relevant and we're excited to bring it to the regions in association with Very Nice Productions and NZ on Air.

"Working in partnership with their newsroom colleagues from NZME, the strong, experienced NZ Herald Local Focus team is looking forward to uncovering stories that deserve to be told in regional New Zealand."

NZ Herald Local Focus brings together two of New Zealand's most experienced television and broadcast news professionals as well as a team of video-journalists based in regional New Zealand.

Alistair Wilkinson is the executive producer of NZ Herald Local Focus. A broadcast journalist and newsroom leader with more than 20 years in the industry, Wilkinson is one of the most experienced managers of the video-journalism model in the country.

Myles Thomas, managing director of Very Nice Productions, has 25 years of experience in the television business.

Wilkinson says Thomas brings "technical, craft, creative and organisational expertise to this project at the highest professional level".

"He is a huge asset to this team."

Hunter Calder, Ingrid Jellick, Kaysha Brownlie and Sieska Verdonk, from the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and Whanganui respectively are the NZ Herald Local Focus team.

The journalists will be embedded in these communities, bringing the stories that matter in their regions to the mainstream media.

Watch the first NZ Herald Local Focus video here.

The team can be contacted via the NZ Herald Focus email address, focusidea@nzme.co.nz.

- NZ Herald

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