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NZ's tech news sails in the slipstream of healthy tech sector

22 May 2020

New Zealand’s broad media industry could be likened to a minefield at the moment – one step in the wrong direction and it’s flirting with death. A recent opinion piece by esteemed blogger Bill Bennett insinuated that New Zealand’s technology media landscape is in a similar state: not quite dead, but sparsely populated and treading water. 

Bennett believes that local technology news is being ignored in favour of news about global tech giants. He declares that there is no native tech press left in New Zealand, besides a couple of outlets. 

It’s a shame that local tech news amongst our major media titles is spotty at best, but the news does exist beyond what is published in broadsheets and their digital equivalents. 

Techday is a 100% homegrown media firm with a global reach across New Zealand and Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America. Our reach requires us to watch the global tech scene, but that’s not at the expense of what’s happening in our own backyard. It's a self-serving statement to some degree, but it is the truth.

Smaller media firms like us fill some of the gaps, and yes, international media fills the global news space. But the tech stories we tell here in New Zealand shouldn’t be ignored.

Tech news can be about what people use at home or at work. It can be about the advanced systems an enterprise uses, or the giant data centres that keep networks ticking along.  Tech will grow to be more pervasive as the world brings more innovations into the digital world. 

New Zealand is not sitting idle. Our tech sector is doing amazing things. The sector was worth $11 billion in 2018 and hailed as the third-largest export sector in the country.

Bill Bennett highlights one local technology press release from Catalyst Cloud. Its release was overshadowed by one of the big guns in tech: Microsoft. Both operate in the data centre space, but the content of their press releases was vastly different. One was framed as a brief product announcement complete with costings; while the other outlined Microsoft’s intentions to expand in New Zealand - an expansion that will be a couple of years away at least. These releases came from slightly different angles, as Bennett rightly explains.  

Without going into too much detail about how our own editorial team selects stories, I believe Bennett’s chosen examples aren't the most fitting illustrations of how tech media is apparently ignoring the locals. 

There is a broader point to be made about New Zealand’s tech businesses. Media relations can be far down the list of essential business functions for many; particularly when those businesses are tightly focused on reaching their goals and crafting their masterpieces.

The handful of New Zealand’s dedicated tech journalists and editors wear multiple hats. We must do more than ever if we’re to survive similar battles that other media firms face.

Some companies wonder why tech media doesn’t cover their stories. It’s a valid question, and my response is that we do care. However, the simple reality is that it's not an easy task filtering through thousands of story ideas we receive every day. Try as we might, we cannot possibly cover them all.

Techday respects the important place that local and international technology news has in New Zealand and we are committed to covering these stories long into the future. 

If a tree falls (or grows) in New Zealand's tech forest, we want to hear about it.

Here are 10 of our top Kiwi tech stories on our network from the last two weeks.

  1. 'Is that a robot herding sheep?' Kiwi startup teaches old dog new tricks
     
  2. Kiwi businesses scramble to adopt automated tracking technology
     
  3. NZTech: Govt Budget 2020 important for NZ’s tech ecosystem
     
  4. Vodafone, Spark, 2degrees condemn cell site attacks
     
  5. Vocus buys out 'strong' Stuff Fibre business
     
  6. Support for InternetNZ's digital inclusion plan gathers momentum
     
  7. NZ-made virtual vet nurse launches to help struggling vets
     
  8. How SnapComms, a Kiwi startup, turned an enterprise comms tool into a global powerhouse
     
  9. EXCLUSIVE: Get the scoop on what eSIM tech means for NZ
     
  10. Kiwi firm ignites Aotearoa's mental health & wellbeing support