New research shows that news is a fundamental part of daily life in New Zealand, the work of local journalists is trusted by 80% of the population and it adds value to search and social media.

The research, commissioned by the News Publishers’ Association and conducted by TRA, shows that 93% of New Zealanders access the news at least once a day, and 57% check in on the news more often. A remarkable 57% read, watch or listen to news for more than 20 minutes daily.

The research also shows that more than 80% of New Zealanders trust the news provided by their local media outlets, and that this trust extends to search and social media if the local news source is shown. The Director of Public Affairs for the NPA, Andrew Holden, said the research underlined the media industry’s argument that local news, created by New Zealand journalists, was of significant value to international tech companies who utilise this content.

“In this debate, it can be hard to pin down the actual value of journalism. A study done in Switzerland 18 months ago, by FehrAdvice, provided insights into that community, but the NPA wanted to understand how Kiwis access news, how often, and how important was it to them that the source of the information was a local newsroom.

“This research clearly shows that New Zealanders want to stay informed, and that local journalism is a vital component of that. The researchers explained that the high trust level is not surprising, given people respond more positively when they are asked about local newsrooms rather than a generic ‘media’.

“Much is made of declining trust in media as measured in other studies, but this shows that New Zealanders have a connection to their local newsrooms, they understand how important it is to have journalists on the ground reporting about their community – in good times and bad – and they want to see that work reflected in search and social media.”
Mr Holden said it was clear that the high level of trust in local journalism added value to search and social media.

“Search results are 10% better when local news sources are available, and a social media platform is 11% better off if its users can see that local journalism sits behind the information.

“This research should give the Government confidence that New Zealand’s media industry is correct in saying that their news content is of value, and that those tech companies who benefit from it should be required to pay a fair price for that content.

“It’s a further reason for the Government to proceed with the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill, which is intended to bring tech companies to the negotiating table.”

For further information or comment, contact Andrew Holden