New Zealand News Service to Shut its Doors

Posted August 30th, 2011 at 7:05 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

New Zealand's national news agency is preparing to end operations Wednesday after 131 years of service, falling victim to changing technology and media consolidation.

Founded in 1880, the New Zealand Press Association grew into a news gathering powerhouse by its centennial. During its peak years — the 1980s and 90s — it employed dozens of journalists at home and abroad, with bureaus in London, Washington and Sydney providing news to more than 70 newspapers.

But NZPA editor Kevin Norquay says rapid growth of the Internet and newspaper consolidation steadily eroded the agency's influence, as newspaper chains expanded their own newsgathering teams.

Analysts say the agency's demise became imminent earlier this year, when the Australian-owned Fairfax media grouping announced it was ending its ties with the agency.

Observers say the NZPA's demise also symbolizes Australian companies growing dominance over the New Zealand business sector.