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Influential broadcaster Paul Norris dies

Journalist and academic Paul Norris has died, Fairfax NZ is reporting.

According to NZ OnScreen, Mr Norris cut his teeth working for the BBC for nearly two decades before moving to New Zealand to head TVNZ’s news and current affairs division in 1987.

Mr Norris is credited with pairing the ‘mother of the nation’ Judy Bailey with Richard Long for the evening news. The partnership lasted 15 years.

At TVNZ he changed the evening news broadcast by introducing American consultants to help package the content.

He also had a hand in selecting Paul Holmes for the top rating show Holmes, which he launched in 1989.

From 1996 Mr Norris headed the New Zealand Broadcasting School in Christchurch but retired last year due to ill health.

Originally from Timaru, Mr Norris completed an MA in History at the University of Canterbury before studying at Oxford University.

Comments and questions

I worked with Paul at TVNZ when we wanted to subtitle the news for the deaf - he was torn wanting to protect his baby - the news! But at all times he remained a true gentleman and one who gave a lifetime commitment to his craft. Well done Mr Norris rest peacefully your task is completed.

Paul was a thorough professional who cared deeply about the craft of journalism and broadcasting. He was always challenging and thought provoking to work with. RIP Paul.