Media Snapshot: NBR


NBR promotes itself as having NZ's largest dedicated team of business journalists and a significant investment in its news team has seen some of New Zealand’s best business reporters join NBR in recent times, including Tim Hunter and Jenny Ruth.

While it has increased the size of its inhouse news team, NBR also takes a lot of stories from BusinessDesk, leaving its staff to concentrate on high-value stories that can be paywalled.

NBR is looking to make most of its money from reader’s subscriptions, rather than advertising, with only one ad on the NBR ONLINE home page, and none on mobile. That means they need to provide stories that readers can't find anywhere else and are willing to pay for. Reporters are looking for stories that are unique, exclusive and provide information that readers can use in their work.

The weekly print edition remains an important publication for NBR, but a growing emphasis is being placed on its website NBR ONLINE (

Unlike most media outlets, NBR's print and online editions have largely different editorial. Print is pitched as a "lean back" read; online as a "lean forward" read. Most regular sections of NBR's print edition (published on Friday) are put together on Monday or Tuesday.

As media increasingly focus on being the first to break a story, particularly online, errors are becoming more common. The good news for companies is that online stories can easily be fixed and NBR have demonstrated that they are open to discussions about amends to published articles on the website.

NBR runs a paywall and has introduced a number of different pay models, from full access to print and desktop through to cheaper mobile only subscriptions.

Everyone claims a high demographic but NBR's audience is qualified through the blunt measure that they're willing to pay $245 a year for online access. A print subscription does not include online access, reflecting that online has unique stories. NBR also has an IP or organisation-wide subscription programme. Roughly two thirds of NZ's 500 largest organisations are signed up.

NBR recently launched the free NBR Radio and the subscriber-only MyNBR Radio, which offers on-demand audio attached to articles, plus extras like the ability to build your own playlist. MyNBR Radio special feature audio gives readers background, gossip and the story behind the story with panel discussions, and interviews with journalists and experts. This is still in its early stages and seems to be evolving and improving.

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