New Zealand’s newspaper industry is facing a shortage of staff and a steep drop in subscriptions.
That has forced newsrooms across the country to rely on freelance writers to keep the lights on, as well as on social media to keep people informed.
New Zealand Herald reporter, Tom Chivers, told HuffPost that he’s noticed a significant drop in the number of newsrooms he has hired since the start of the year.
“It’s been pretty much on a constant downward spiral,” Chivers said.
“The people who have worked here for a number of years have gone and are leaving.
That means that our staff has been very, very thin.
And that means there’s a significant amount of people who haven’t had the chance to spend time in the newsroom because they’ve moved on.”
We’ve been struggling with that for a while now.
We’ve had to hire people to fill the void.
“Chivers said that while he’s happy to have people who’ve worked here before, he’s not happy with the number they’ve been bringing in.”
There are a number that we’ve seen in the last couple of months who have been brought in for short stints, so we’re not happy,” he said.
He said that’s a sign of a newsroom’s inability to retain its staff.”
They are very, pretty much going nowhere, and that’s the way that newsrooms work,” Chiver said.
You could argue that we are in a bit of a bind right now.””
It’s actually quite disappointing to see a drop like that.
You could argue that we are in a bit of a bind right now.”
He said while the lack of staff is frustrating, it’s not as bad as it might seem.
“What we’ve had in New Zealand has been the same kind of problem for the last 10 to 15 years, where the people who were there were doing a lot of work, and the people left the newsrooms and started freelancing, so it’s hard to find people who are willing to do that anymore.”
Newspaper Box’ chief executive, Mike Buehler, said the number one concern for the paper is its ability to deliver quality journalism.
“We’re looking at all aspects of how we’re delivering quality journalism, including the way we use social media, the way the content is being promoted, the people that we employ,” he told HuffPost.
Buehler said New Zealand Herald is currently focusing on building a digital strategy that will help it better manage the newsprint that it receives.
“Our digital strategy is still very much a work in progress, but we’re looking forward to moving forward with it,” he added.
Chiver said while it’s unfortunate that the newspaper industry in New York City has seen such a drop in hiring, he said it’s important that the New York Times, The New York Post and The Washington Post are not left behind.
“New York is a very important part of the global news industry,” Chiggins said.
“I think that New York is really the epicenter of news.
And so I think the Times, the Post and the Post are going to need to be part of that story as well.”
For more from the HuffPost, visit:huffingtonpost.com/blog/newsroom