"This is the best time to be a storyteller," was the message New Zealand Herald managing editor Shayne Currie brought back to journalists from the World News Media Congress in the United States.
The words came from legendary newspaper designer Mario Garca, speaking at the conference, and were quoted by Currie in an email to Herald staff in June as the business set out on its greatest period of change in its 152-year history. "With the right tools, resources and access to analytics, we have the ability to know more about our audience than ever before - and how and when they're devouring our content," said Currie. "This allows us to pinpoint innovative forms of journalism for specific platforms."
It's a change which is at the heart of the Herald's move at the weekend to a new, integrated newsroom, leaving behind the city block it has inhabited since launching in 1863. At the same time, NewstalkZB and Radio Sport vacated their Cook St studios - all three brands are now at the core of the new NZME newsroom.
And it's a change far greater than just simple geography.
The Herald has shifted a long way from a business built on newsprint. It's now one which tells stories by whatever means its audience and readers want. The morning newspaper is one of several "channels" for the storytelling coming out of the new integrated newsroom in Auckland's Graham St.
Similarly, the radio brands - which occupy world-class studios in the newsroom - are also branching into more visual content. A purpose-built video studio has been built next to the ZB studios - a powerful resource as video audience numbers soar.
"What we're bringing together now is a whole lot of different disciplines into one combined newsroom," says Currie. "We have so many different opportunities now to present different stories in different ways."
Traditional forms of newspaper storytelling have been affected by changes in technology, a discovery common among media organisations around the world.
The Herald is no different, with readership dipping from 880,000 in mid 2013 to 733,000 in early 2015. But the other side of the huge change in the media landscape can be seen with the growth in the Herald's online audience from 936,000 in 2013 to 1,452,000 in October this year.
Along the way, those wanting content have embraced technology in ways which has taken newsrooms far beyond their traditional roots.
"People are reading but they are also watching and listening," says Currie. A variety of initiatives around storytelling are under way.
The Herald's data journalism team have launched the Insights website as a platform for telling stories in a compelling, interactive and visual way. When the Herald got GPS data showing staff at NZ's road safety agency were speeding, Insights let site visitors track the cars on a map, find the worst offenders and the areas where they travelled fastest.
NZME's coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing saw print and digital reporters conducting live radio reports on NewstalkZB and presenting video interviews with soldiers' descendants attending the commemorations. It got personal, too, when reporter Anna Leask tracked the grave marker of her great-great-uncle Frank Woodhouse on video.
Currie: "We're not stepping away from print but we're certainly focusing on the new forms of storytelling and how we can enhance that experience.
"We have to be thinking all the time about the best way to present our stories to our readers and audience."
The past 12 months has seen huge growth in people accessing the Herald website on mobile devices, mainly phones.
NZME chief executive Jane Hastings talks of the digital, print and radio businesses as "channels".
"We've taken three very separate channel businesses and we've merged them into a content business under news, sport and entertainment.
"Rather than having a radio business or a print business, we're saying let's have a sport business and within that sport business we can cover every single channel with the best sport content."
It means creating content in distinct ways for how people want it. Someone coming into NewstalkZB for an interview on a business issue might then be interviewed for video, then be part of a long-form feature running on the Herald website and print edition. If there is an entertainment aspect to cover, radio stations including Hauraki and ZM are also in the building.
Each organisation will do it in the way that's best for its brand and leverage off the others in the newsroom, says Hastings. "We're taking the opportunity of engaging with a piece of content and really amplifying it across the channels."
Hastings points to German news organisation Die Welt as a model which NZME looked to for inspiration creating its integrated newsroom.
Die Welt integrated its digital and print newsrooms in 2006 and changed focus in 2013 with a "digital first emphasis". It now produces its daily paper with a dedicated staff of 12, relying on the best content from the online cycle, with its energies directed at its digital audience.
Die Welt used physical change to underscore its new rhythm, with a central hub directing "spokes" - as in on a wheel - on which editorial staff worked. Other newsrooms have adopted it - Currie saw it in USA Today in June - and the NZME newsroom has adopted a similar central point for managing flows from NewstalkZB, digital staff, Radio Sport and Herald reporters.
Die Welt's Jan-Eric Peters said: "It was the most important step to take to change the mentality of our team."
Change is constant, says Hastings.
"You can't dig your head in the sand and think that things aren't changing. We're talking about our mobile-first newsroom. Well, actually, we're social [media] first. The words digital first, well, that was yesterday. You have to keep moving, you have to keep evolving."
The integrated Herald and NewstalkZB news operation will run 24 hours a day, every day. Dubbed "the Bridge", a large table in the newsroom's centre will host meetings each day to direct coverage of news, sport and entertainment. Surrounded by screens showing news channels, news websites, social media feeds and planning tools, the Bridge brings together editors and staff from the data, digital, print, radio and video teams operating under the umbrella of news, sport and entertainment. Managing editor Shayne Currie talks of a "three-speed" newsroom - like that at German news entity Die Welt, a world leader in newsroom integration. The NZME newsroom will work on minute-long cycles for breaking news, hours-long for developing stories and over longer periods for in-depth investigative journalism. The idea is to have all parts of the business working together.
There's a video studio in the newsroom - not usual in either a radio or newspaper business. It will play a major part in the development of content in the integrated newsroom. Filming video at news events has become a normal extension of a photographer's role and in-house interviews and NZME's own online shows will become commonplace. Chief executive Jane Hastings says the business wants to expand across a channel called WatchMe. "NZME hadn't really been seen as a visual business yet this year alone ... over 12,000 pieces of video and close to 49 million views [were produced]." WatchMe has started with comedy, including Leigh Hart and Jeremy Wells. "We will be moving into news and sport," Hastings says. Her favourite WatchMe picks? Late Night Big Breakfast followed by The Critic and the Pig.
The faces behind some of NZ's most popular radio shows are coming out from behind the microphone. NewstalkZB (newstalkzb.co.nz) studios are next to the video studios and Radio Sport (radiosport.co.nz) is just across the new integrated newsroom. General manager Steve Kyte says there's no discussion about new shows without talking about what broadcast possibilities they have. "Just being a radio station these days doesn't work. You have to be a multi-platform. It's not just 'what can the audience listen to' but 'what else are we going to give them' and 'what are they going to watch'. It's not actually radio any more. It's a stream of really compelling content ... across all platforms. It's a great way of reaching much bigger audiences." Talkback is still at its heart - and the heart of the best talkback is people's stories told to station hosts. "You have to give people something they can't get anywhere else."
The increase in the collection of data across society has created the opportunity for new insights into the way we live and our relationship with the society in which we live. Data editor Harkanwal Singh has taken the Herald through its learner steps to the development of the Insights website which now hosts a range of "data visualisations". Singh and his growing team take large chunks of data - such as ethnic projections, Auckland's unitary plan and decades of rental changes - and transform them into often-interactive displays that break down complex information into forms which are easily understood. Singh says the interactivity behind the tools often allows people to effectively tell their own stories by selecting the way they want the data to be examined.
If you find a social media platform which features in the life of Kiwis, you'll find an NZME brand. General Manager Social Lauren Hopwood says more than three million people interact with NZME's content on networks including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. "By evolving with our audiences and their changing media consumption habits we [can] reach and connect with people whatever platform they are using and on any device." Posting stand-out content is critical, she says, because of the torrent of content out there. Herald content and social media efforts have seen a huge level of buy-in from its audience. It outperformed local rivals and international players, she says. The Washington Post, base audience 3.6 million, managed 1.8 million interactions through social media. Yet the smaller Herald monthly audience saw 3.3 million people interacting.