Reflections by award-winning maritime historian Joan Druett, author of many books about the sea
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Sunday, April 10, 2011
Fairfax kills NZPA
The New Zealand Press Association looks doomed
Everyone in New Zealand who reads a newspaper sees the letters "NZPA" at the end of so many news items that it is almost unnoticeable. Now it looks as if those letters are going to disappear, and the invisibility will become real.
The NZPA, which has supplied a tailored news service to newspapers for 130+ years, faces closure after one of its owners withdrew support.
The Wellington-based news agency's 40 staff were told on the evening of 6 April that Fairfax Media had given notice of pulling out of a cooperative ownership agreement with APN, publisher of The New Zealand Herald and a number of independents.
Meetings are being held, and a final decision is expected within a month.
The result, however, is almost inevitable -- the NZPA will close after 132 years of service, and New Zealand will be one of the very few countries in the world to have no national news agency.
For commentary by blogger and journalist Karl du Fresne, go here.