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Summary

I am a writer,  journalist, editor, publisher and entrepreneur. For the past 17 years I have led a team at Scoop.co.nz, a market leading political and business news publication with 500,000 monthly users which operates at the heart of NZ's democracy. In 2015 I led a transformation programme to turn Scoop into NZ's first charitable news publisher -  the Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism. 

Specialist Areas of Expertise:

  • Journalism, Research, Investigation, Writing, Editing 
  • Digital News Innovation inlcuding monetisation strategy and implementation
  • Entrepreneurship, People Management, Product Development, Sales,  Business Strategy
  • Politics, Political Strategy, Political Communication, Campaign Design & Delivery  
  • Technology, Project Design, Strategy & Systems Management
  • Management, Distributed/Cooperative Leadership, Community Building

Age: 47.   Health: Good.   Nationality: Kiwi, with Dual British/NZ citizenship.   Family: Married to Wendy Cooper, 3 grown up sons.  Interests : Writing, Reading, History, Philosophy, Politics, Business, Futurism, Startups, Journalism, Weather, Foreign Affairs, Humanism, Yoga, Photography, Skiing, Environment, Reinventing Organisations, Feminism, Decentralisation.

Work History

March 2016Present

Earthworm, PACE, Scoop, Radio New Zealand

Freelancing & Volunteering

Contract communications adviser for Earthworm.net, an initiative of TFT. Freelance journalism for Scoop.co.nz & Radio New Zealand.

Jun 1999Dec 2015

Scoop Independent News

Publisher, Editor, Director, Co-Founder

Founded, edited and managed Scoop Independent News, NZ's leading independent online news publisher. [Read more in the biographical sketch below.]

Apr 1999Jun 1999

New Zealand Government

Speech Writer To Minister of Trade & Agriculture

Specialist speech writer to then NZ Minister of Agriculture and Trade John Luxton.

Dec 1996Jun 1999

NewsRoom

Political Editor and Co-Founder

A co-founders in an online news startup which digitised the inbox of NZ media.

Jul 1996Apr 1999

Straight Furrow Newspaper

Political Editor/Editor Straight Furrow Newspaper (circ. 90,000).

Political editor and then the editor of a fortnightly national rural newspaper.

Jan 1995Jul 1995

North & South Magazine

Feature Writer

Writing longform in-depth feature articles (5000-10000 words) as a senior feature writer.

Dec 1993Jan 1995

National Business Review (NBR)

Investigative/Political Reporter

After winning several awards for investigative journalism I joined NBR and the Press Gallery.

Aug 1989Dec 1993

Dominion Newspaper

General Reporter

A general news reporter for NZ's capital city morning newspaper.

References

Gordon Campbell - Veteran NZ Journalist, Scoop Editor"Alastair has been a pleasure and inspiration to work with. He brings an extraordinary level of energy to the tasks before him, and his strong work ethic and sense of social commitment are remarkable... [Alastair] would bring creativity, integrity, and an exceptionally high work output under pressure to any tasks required of him. "

Various Colleagues - Tributes To Scoop's Alastair Thompson - "Friday, 27 November 2015,  The Scoop Team: 
A collection of Scoop staff, supporters, friends and colleagues reflect on Alastair's achievements and their shared experiences."  [LINK]  

Education

Mar 1987May 1999

Canterbury and Victoria Universities (NZ)

Partial LLB & BA (History)

Began university at Canterbury University in 1987 (Maths, Physics, Philosopy & History). From 1988 till 1999 continued to study part time initially English and History, and later Law. I have a partially completed BA (History) & LLB (Law) degree . 

Skills

Writing & Editing

With 25 years experience as a writer and editor I am proficient in news reporting, features, speeches, editorials, travel, arts, interviews, reports, strategy, pitches, briefs, copywriting and board presentations.

Communications Strategy

Have consulted on several large scale communications campaigns both for clients and for Scoop and the Scoop Foundation.

Sales and Marketing

Managed and led Scoop's business development team 16 years (sales supervision, marketing and product design), 8 years of direct sales. 

Content Strategy

Content and ideas flow, mingle and influence society in an often slightly magical manner. Understanding how to direct these flows  is something  I have spent most of my professional life working on.

Entrepreneurship

With 20 years of self-employment I have a great deal of experience in entrepreneurship, in particular online digital entrepreneurship.

Public Speaking

I have represented Scoop in the media, in radio and on TV,  and in public functions for two decades. I have also  addressed numerous public meetings and university classes.

Management & Leadership

I have been In positions of editorial leadership for 19 years and business and personnel management for 17 years. The communications team at Scoop peaked at 13 in 2007 and including regular contractors was 10 in 2015. I have also taken a role in professional/thought leadership within the wider sphere of independent online media in NZ.  I am experienced in motivating, mentoring and managing staff. 

Public Relations

Extensive experience advising clients on delivery of multi-threaded PR campaigns for event promoters, corporates, research sellers, book publishers and telecomms companies.

Measuring Message Effectiveness, Analytics, Reporting

Familiar with multiple analytics methodologies for monitoring and measuring the propagation of communications messaging.

Media Relations

I have  a very well developed understanding of how journalists work,  the pressures they are under, how they think and how best to ensure they are able to cover issues credibly, accurately and efficiently. 

Web Dev Project Management

Having managed numerous website re-designs and launches for Scoop I have experience building and maintaining web installations from the hardware level right up the technology stack. I am comfortable working within small budgets and within tight time constraints.

General Political Experience & Knowledge

21 years of experience in the NZ Parliamentary Press Gallery rubbing shoulders with politicians, Ministers, Prime Ministers, business leaders, mandarins, lobbyists and political stakeholders has left me with an instinctive understanding of enagaging in politcal processes.

Social Media : Community/Network  Building

Building healthy online communities and establishing networks with like- minded online communicators is at the heart of the heart of my social media practice.  

Social Media : Strategy & Management

I was an early adopter of Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin and am an expert user of most social network platforms. Scoop's active and successful social media strategy on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube began in 2010. 

Web Skills : Driving Traffic and Visibility (SEO)

 I am an experienced user of the major tools for optimising the machine reading of websites including: Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and SEO measurement subscription tool MOZ Pro.

Web Skills :  Content Delivery, Design & Execution

I have experience and in the practice and understanding of user interface (UX) design, visual design, readability and information architecture.

Digital Campaigning : Experience & Integration

As an advertising and communications services provider I have worked extensively with outside organisations (Greenpeace, Unions, Political Parties, Lobby Groups, Activist Coalitions) assisting them with their campaigns and advising them on, and assisting with their digital execution. 

Content  : Photography & Video

I am a skilled digital news reporter/photographer/videographer and have been using digital cameras since they were invented in the late 1990s.