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Journalism grads face better job prospects

Mar 26th, 2010 | By | Category: Latest News, News

VIDEO – JOURNO GRADS:  Graduates of the Whitireia journalism diploma get their qualifications from Whitireia Community Polytechnic CEO Don Campbell at the graduation ceremonmy in Porirua.

A FRESHLY minted bunch of Whitireia journalism graduates hits the job trail next week – and there are unexpected signs they face improved prospects.

More than a dozen journalism positions are in the offing for 23 graduates of the National Diploma in Journalism (Multi-media), a much better job market than a year ago.

One of the top students who graduated yesterday has two job offers to choose from, while one has already been employed as a reporter at the Southland Times in Invercargill.

Ryan Keen, editor of Queenstown’s boundary-pushing community paper, Mountain Scene, attended last night’s journalism graduation dinner specially to interview several graduates who had applied for a vacant position.

Most jobs are at newspapers, although two are going at one of the Fairfax subediting hubs.

Nearly 200 students, family, friends and representatives from the media industry attended a special dinner at The Pines in Wellington to celebrate the success of those who completed the year-long diploma course on March 19. Guest speaker was TV3 political editor Duncan Garner.

Some 20 prizes were handed out, with Daniel Simmons Ritchie taking Best Journalism Award – his prize a new phone donated by First Mobile Newtown proprietor and long-time Whitireia Journalism School supporter Baha Mabruk.

Simmons Ritchie also won the Best News Writer and Best Local Government Reporter awards, the former sponsored by The Wellington Company (the J School’s landlord) and the latter by the Wellington City Council. In all, he took home about $1500-worth of awards.

One of the biggest prizes of the night, a Canon SLR digital camera donated by Canon NZ, went to Liz Proctor.

Tasha Black got special recognition for her diversity reporting, taking the Asia:NZ Foundation Award, as well as receiving a Highly Commended plaque from Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres for her entry in last year’s NZ Excellence in Reporting Diversity Awards. These are for journalists with less than five years’ experience.

Those attending the dinner were impressed by a composition video produced by student Carl Suurmond that showed video stories shot by students, including some entertaining out-takes.

One of them, produced by Fetu-O-Le-Moana Tamapeau, won her an internship in TV3’s Wellington bureau. Last year’s winner of the same award, Laura Frykberg, now works in the bureau as a reporter for TV3.

Awards made were:


Simmons Ritchie

Vodafone First Mobile Award for Best Journalist

Daniel Simmons Ritchie

Canon Award for Best Photographer

Liz Proctor

Tutors’ Award for Most Motivated Student

Lee Stace



Wellington Company Award for Best News Writer

Daniel Simmons Ritchie

Fairfax Reporting Award for Best Reporter

Kylie Klein-Nixon

TV3 Award for Best Video Reporter

Fetu-O-Le-Moana Tamapeau.



North & South Award for Best Feature Writer

Catherine McGregor.

Radio NZ Award for Best Radio Story

Ruby Armstrong-Kooy.

NZ Radio Training School Award for Best Radio Reporter

Kylie Klein-Nixon.



Wellington City Award for Best Local Government Reporter

Daniel Simmons Ritchie.

Tu Mai Award for Best Bicultural Reporter

Melissa McDonald.

Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs Pasifika Award for Best Pasifika Reporter

Tamapeau Fetu-O-Le-Moana


Fetu-O-Le-Moana Tamapeau.

NiuFM Award for Best Pasifika Story

Janice Ikiua.

NZ Excellence in Reporting Diversity – Highly Commended

Tasha Black.

Asia:NZ Foundation Award for Best Diversity Reporter



Tasha Black.

BusinessWire Award for Best Business Reporter

Jess Jones.

Scoop Award for Best Web Editor

Jess Jones.

Newsroom Award for Best New Media Journalist



Kylie Klein-Nixon.

Wellingtonian Award for Best Sports Reporter

Lee Stace.

Fairfax Award for Best Shorthand Writer

Tasha Black.







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is head of journalism at Whitireia Journalism School and publisher of NewsWire. He has been in journalism nearly 50 years, 22 as a working journalist (including five as deputy editor then editor of the Auckland Star), 27 as a journalism teacher. He was previously Executive Director of the NZ Journalists Training Organisation. His books on journalism, Kiwi Journalist (1988) and Intro (1991) were the standard teaching texts in NZ for two decades.
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