Quality journalism has long sat at the heart of the democratic process – with a commitment to uncover the facts, and hold the powerful to account. Yet in a society increasingly plagued by misinformation and conspiracy theories, public trust in news organisations is under threat like never before. In the wake of the US and NZ elections, this lecture will explore the importance of public trust in journalism. What can news organisations be doing to rebuild public trust? Is it possible in a world where social media platforms continue to grow, unchecked, fuelling greater division and social unrest? And, as the media landscape continues to undergo rapid and significant change, what learnings can the Stuff experience offer for those seeking to build a sustainable future for journalism, and find innovative ways to fund it?
This year’s annual Bruce Jesson lecture hosted by the faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland was given by CEO of Stuff, Sinead Boucher.
Sinead Boucher was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Stuff in August 2017 and in 2020 completed a management buyout from Nine Entertainment Ltd, famously for a dollar. Prior to becoming CEO, Sinead was NZ Group Executive Editor for four years, responsible for NZ’s largest newsroom, a stable of newspapers and magazines, and the Stuff website. She started her career as a reporter for The Press in Christchurch and was a journalist at the Financial Times and Reuters in London before returning to New Zealand, where she became Stuff’s first digital editor. Under her watch, Stuff has grown to record audience numbers driven by the organisation’s reputation for award-winning journalism.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this lecture reflect the opinions of the lecturer and not necessarily the views of The Big Q.