Vote 2020: Election Night Coverage
Media associated with this campaign
Overview of this campaign
It was one of the most important elections in New Zealand's history. Our election night coverage was able to reach more New Zealanders than ever before through the combined reach of our two most trusted news brands in a first-ever live simulcast co-production. We were taking on the traditional television network news stations in a new multi-platform, digital space. No other media company could offer this portfolio of platforms: Digital, audio, print and social - with an uninterrupted 5-hour live video production front and centre.
Our intention, by streaming live from a special Election Night ‘hub’ set in the heart of the new NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB newsroom, was for our audience to feel like they were part of the action. Broadcaster Heather du Plessis-Allan hosted a rotating panel of NZ's best political journalists, experts and analysts. Metres away our ZB radio studio housed Newstalk ZB’s Political Editor Barry Soper, veteran broadcaster Mike Hosking and expert panellists. All counted, our Election Night Special spanned an impressive eight live locations. Among those, reporter Will Trafford, using our in-house interactive graphic on a large touch screen, provided insight into election results as they rolled in. Later, Will and camera moved through the newsroom providing an exclusive, behind the scenes look into the coverage of a major political event by a committed and professional news team.
Live crosses from the studio to our political journalists stationed at all the major parties' headquarters rounded out our coverage, providing the most up-to-date developments and interviews on location throughout the evening.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing however. Combining live radio (interspersed with advertising spots) and an uninterrupted live, multi-location, video stream presented a series of technical challenges to be overcome. Essentially, we were producing a network news television broadcast without the conventional live broadcast equipment afforded to the big networks. Our small and dedicated team, however, overcame each obstacle, working passionately, purposefully and precisely throughout.
Results for this campaign
The power of NZME and our 'one newsroom' approach was illustrated vividly on New Zealand's historic general election night in October.
This combined approach resonated with our audience, with almost 2 million people poring over the analysis on nzherald.co.nz, and hundreds of thousands tuning into Newstalk ZB and engaging themselves in the Herald on Sunday. In total, our election coverage on nzherald.co.nz drew a staggering 7.2 million views on Saturday and another 7.9 million on Sunday. (Source: Nielsen DCR & Google Analytics)
The video livestream had almost 500,000 views across nzherald.co.nz, newstalkzb.co.nz and our social channels, with another 90,000 eyes cast over the cut down Election Night Highlights VOD asset uploaded to social later. (Source: Brightcove)
Almost 45,000 of our views over social that evening came through YouTube, who, prior to Election Night had made contact with us directly with an opportunity to place our livestream on the YouTube NZ homepage within an ‘Election Coverage’ box, in a bid to promote authoritative news content for the NZ elections and break the transmission of fake news.
The live video component of our cross-platform election coverage over the eight weeks leading up to October 17 amassed over 1.8 million views. The 13 live video productions consisted of 2 referenda debates, 3 ‘leader’s breakfasts’, 5 panel discussions on different topics each week and 3 one-on-one interviews with leaders from the minor political parties, which was followed by an interactive ‘Ask Me Anything’ style session for our audience.