NewZzit: The Expat Eye on Aotearoa
A fortnightly digital newspaper from Christchurch, New Zealand, published on 1st and 15th of every month, based on an integrated newsroom approach or what we call Print Audio Video Digital (PAVeD) journalismKia ora New Zealand! We, at NewZzit – The Expat Eye on Aotearoa, a news media organisation based in Christchurch, are embarking on a paradigm-shifting business model of journalism. It's a conceptualisation of an integrated newsroom aided by what we call Print Audio Video Digital or PAVeD journalism. Let's see this in detail. News media business is essentially the business of story-telling. But how to tell a story? Especially the ones that matter. Then again, who will decide what matters? Once you have settled this, question arises on what is the best medium to tell a story? Audio - as in podcast or radio; text - as in newspapers or the internet; or video – as in television or, again, the internet? After you decide this, the question on commercial viability pops up. Will consumers – as in listeners, readers or viewers, pay for it? Will advertisers come on board? Will investors bet on it? And then finally, comes the most basic question for any media organisation. The big picture? The macro-view? Or in a nutshell, how to generate a sustainable business model for pursuing human-oriented people-centred journalism? After all, journalism is a public service. It's the fourth pillar of any vibrant democracy, which keeps the other three pillars – legislature, executive and the judiciary – in check. We have also grappled with this ongoing discourse in the journalism business for the last two years. Our revamped digital newspaper from Christchurch NewZzit – The Expat Eye on Aotearoa, is an attempt in that direction. To better understand this, let's rewind the clock and look at how it all started. Ages ago, we only had print journalism, which was newspapers and magazines. Then came radio, followed by television or broadcast media. Finally, two decades back, we got this wonderful tool called internet, and thus began the era of digital journalism. Now, if you meet journalists, they are either print, radio, video or digital journalists. You will find that many media organisations have multiple newsrooms for different mediums, and send different reporters to cover the same story. So essentially the organisation pays two people to get the same story, which is then distributed through two different mediums. Overlapping and sheer wastage of resources! Instead if we integrate our newsrooms and train our reporters in what we call – Print Audio Video Digital or PAVeD journalism, we can achieve the similar quality of news reporting in much less costs across all mediums. Let's take the example of upcoming Super Rugby Hurricanes vs Highlanders final on Saturday. A PAVeD journalist, with may be a camera-person/photographer and few voice recorders, reports on the event. Details of what happened in the match, as well as quotes from supporters, players and officials, are all woven in the story (for print), or as script (for Television and radio). Videos, audios and pictures are also taken. Now, all this material – the news story, script, videos, audios and pictures, are sent to the integrated newsroom. Using this, the newsroom produces a print, radio, broadcast and a digital story, and distributes it across all mediums. We believe that this is the future of journalism and the only way ethical and courageous news media business can survive and thrive in the landscape of ever-increasing consumer choices and ever-decreasing advertisement revenues. Thus, Newzzit will dedicate itself to PAVeD journalism and all our stories would be an attempt to achieve that. Let's see where it takes us. And we invite all of you to join us in this very exciting and enriching journey!
To understand the concept a bit more, below we have produced a same story in the four different versions - print, audio, video and digital (PAVeD). It's a work in progress and we intend to keep improving with every story as we go along.As a side note -though a very important one - NewZzit as a policy is against monopolizing knowledge. Thus, it holds no copyright on any material published in our newspaper. Any article or part of it can be copied, shared or distributed free of charge, and without any permission whatsoever.
Newzzit - the first fortnightly e-newspaper from Singapore
Thomas Jefferson once said, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." And never before in history, have newspapers faced such a crisis as they are facing now. With the advent of internet and gross commercialisation of journalism, someone somewhere has missed the point. While critics are calling the mainstream media "simply stenographers to power", journalists themselves are facing something more than a moral dilemma. The thin line that once existed between perception and reality, editorial and advertisement, truth and half-truths, and news and views, is sadly diminishing. That's why 'Newzzit - news as it is' was launched in Singapore.
The story started few years back when I was about to give up my quest of pursuing human-oriented people-centred journalism. Then as a ray of hope, P Sainath – the last few remaining stalwarts of socially-driven old-school journalism in India, advised me not to give up and use the voices of ordinary people to tell their stories. His words of not getting discouraged by the corporatist mainstream media and pursue issues worth pursuing have stayed with me always. This fortnightly e-newspaper from Singapore was a culmination of that journey and start of another.
Newzzit's goal was to take journalism back to where it belongs – to the people. Thus, even the decision to pay for the newspaper was left to the people. Every issue was priced at one Singapore dollar but the content was not locked. It was for our readers to decide whether they wanted to read Newzzit for free or pay S$1 for it. Our business model was advertisement-free and was solely based on revenue generated by the readership.
editor - Gaurav Sharma
A mechanical engineer who found his calling in journalism
Born and brought up in India. After a stint as an engineer at Sterlite industries in Korba (India), quit his job and lived in Delhi for four years nurturing a dream of becoming a civil servant and working with several social organisations across India for community-level interventions. A chance encounter with a top civil servant changed the dream - to be on the other side of the fence and question power that be. Was posted as a reporter at the Indian Express bureau in Ahmedabad (India) for a year-and-a-half before moving to Singapore in November, 2009. Founded Newzzit - the company, as a sole-proprietor in April, 2010, and started working as an independent journalist in the city-state. Some past works are listed here. Launched Newzzit - the e-newspaper, on August 9, 2013, marking the 48th National Day of Singapore, and published 14 issues till February 2014, touching upon all the so-called "out of bound or OB markers", as well as everyday issues concerning Singapore and Singaporeans. Shifted base to Christchurch in New Zealand late last year to embark on another exciting journey from the youngest country on Earth.
Under the sole-proprietorship of Newzzit, I catered to several clients within and outside Singapore providing news features, news stories, and editorial content. Please click here to browse through some of those works.