The Local Democracy Reporting pilot scheme began operating in October 2019 with funding for one year.

A second year of funding has been approved and NZ On Air commissioned this review to establish a baseline for that second year in which an expanded number of LDR reporters are to be funded.

The review has been undertaken by Dr Gavin Ellis ONZM MA PhD, a media consultant and researcher with an extensive background in journalism. In 2017 he conducted a review of regional video news funding on behalf of NZ On Air.

The current review was carried out during July and August 2020 and was assisted by cooperation from the News Publishers Association (NPA), news executives representing host newsrooms, the eight LDR reporters, local authority representatives and executives, and a number of other interviewees including executives involved in the British and Canadian counterparts of the scheme.