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Journalism graduates are being snapped up in brisk job market

Mar 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Featured Article, Front Page Layout, News

GRAD TIME VIDEO: A mashup of work – and out-takes – sums up the year for students of the Whitireia National Diploma in Journalism (Multimedia).

MANY of this year’s Whitireia journalism graduates are either already working in the media or waiting by the phone – and the media job market is in great shape. 

Two of the school’s journalism courses – the established National Diploma in Multimedia Journalism (which finishes this week)  and the maiden Diploma in Radio Journalism –  have just celebrated with a dinner, at which Radio New Zealand’s nine to noon host Kathryn Ryan (left – Stuff image) gave an inspiring address.

She focused on the exciting possibilities ahead of new graduates, rather than the less-encouraging pay rates or long hours.

Of the Multimedia Journalism class of 28, five already have jobs and more are off for internships or waiting to hear back after interviews.

Whitireia Journalism head Jim Tucker says this has been a bumper year for jobs.

“We have had over 30 jobs come in, which is the best result in the four years the diploma has been running.”

With the national diploma programme not yet quite finished (April 5 is the last day), graduates have secured jobs at the Otago Daily Times, Kapiti Observer, Greymouth Star, Blenheim Sun and CityLife Porirua already.

The Radio Journalism course has had impressive initial success, with six of the nine graduates in paid or voluntary work in radio, and two others back at Whitireia studying for the Radio Training School’s commercial production certificate.

While official graduation for the multimedia students is not until July, nearly 20 prizes sponsored by industry were handed out at the dinner.

Tessa Johnstone (right), (already working at the Wairarapa Times-Age) took home a Canon camera, the EOS 1100D with 18-55 lens for Best Journalist, as well as the Pagemasters Subediting Award for layout and design.

Tessa says her support network helped her get through the programme.

“I had a really supportive partner.

“He didn’t mind about paying the mortgage or all the time I spent ignoring him while I practised teeline.”

The first subject for the new camera (left) was Tessa’s dog, Polly.

While she took out the top honour, international student Mohammad Nazayer, wore out his path to the stage, winning awards for most motivated student, shorthand and diversity reporting.

Mohammad (right) came to the programme from Jordan on a Whitireia scholarship, and is aiming to take up a position with Al Jazeera TV broadcaster, where there is a demand for journalists fluent in English and Arabic.

Natalie Finnigan received the Fairfax Reporting Award for highest story count, setting a record for the programme with nearly 100 stories, the best of which she believes is her expose of maori cancer rates.

Tennessee Mansford (left) won the best feature prize of a year’s subscription to North & South magazine for her exploration of homelessness, which is also to be published in City Life newspaper.

Throughout the year, avid football nut Rodney Brown showed willingness to expose the darker side of sport, for which he was awarded the best sports journalist prize, sponsored by Wellingtonian editor and sports columnist Joseph Romanos.

Zam Zam Aden’s video on struggling artists won her the hotly contested video prize of a week’s internship at sponsor TV3. Zam Zam is pictured at right.

Besides Mohammad’s award for best diversity reporting, the diversity of both courses was acknowledged with two awards, best Pacific Island student – Jesse Fabricius (right) – and best bi-cultural reporter, which was awarded to Siena Yates (left).

Blind student David Piper was given a special award by radio tutor Ana Tapiata for his outstanding contribution to the programme.  More on David can be found here and here.

The Canon award for best photographer went to Angie Mills (left) whose frenetic photo of a comic-convention pillow fight (below) captured the Canon judge, Rochelle Mora, and won her a Canon LBP7018C single function colour laser printer.

The Newsroom award for best New Media Journalist went to Callum Valentine (left).

Callum was also recently named runner up best new travel writer of the year at the Cathy Pacific Travel Media Awards.

Brendan Manning (right) received best local government reporter, a generous prize awarded by Wellington City Council.

Entries in the Canon Best Photographer Award can be seen in this slide show:
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

National Diploma in Journalism (Multi-media) and Diploma in Radio Journalism – 2012 prize list:                    



FOR SPONSOR PRIZE Finalists – winners
1 Fairfax Shorthand Award Best Shorthand Writer Fairfax Communities $100 Tessa Johnstone, Mohammad Nazayer, Siena Yates. WINNER: Mohammad Nazayer
2 Wellingtonian Award Best Sports Reporter Joseph Romanos $100 Robbie Parkes, Josh Hyde, Nick Gray, Rodney Brown. WINNER: Rodney Brown
3 Newsroom Award Best New Media Journalist Newsroom $100 Callum Valentine, Nick Gray, Katie McAlister, Siena Yates, Sarah Dunn, Chris Linnell, Gareth Wallace, Natalie Finnigan. WINNER: Callum Valentine
4 Diversity Award Best Diversity Reporter Asia:NZ Foundation Book Siena Yates, Tessa Johnstone, Mohammad Nazayer, Zamzam Aden, Katie McAlister. WINNER: Mohammad Nazayer
5 Mana Award Best Bicultural Reporter Mana Magazine Year’s subscription  WINNER: Siena Yates
6 Wellington City Council Award Best Local Govt Reporter Wellington City Council $500 Christina McDonald, Brendan Manning, Abby Brown, Tessa Johnstone, Christina McDonald, Katie McAlister, Robbie Parkes. WINNER: Brendan Manning
7 Pagemasters Best Subeditor Award Best Subeditor Pagemasters $100 Siena Yates, Tessa Johnstone, Russell Palmer, Katie McAlister, Gareth Wallace, Mohammad Nazayer. WINNER: Tessa Johnstone
8 North & South Award Best Feature Writer North & South magazine Year’s sub for N & S Sarah Dunn, Tennessee Mansford, Siena Yates, Tessa Johnstone, Grant Ellen, Callum Valentine, Chris Linnell, Katie McAlister, Christina McDonald, Russell Palmer, Natalie Finnigan, Abby Brown.  Anna Williams. WINNER: Tennessee Mansford
9 TV3 Award Best Video Reporter TV3 Week’s Internship Sara Greig, Gareth Wallace, Nick Gray, Russell Palmer, ZamZam Aden. WINNER: ZamZam Aden
10 Fairfax Reporting Award Best Reporter Fairfax Communities $150 Tessa Johnstone, Tennessee Mansford, Christina McDonald,  Natalie Finnigan, Chris Linnell, Russell Palmer, Abby Brown, Brendan Manning, Talia Carlisle. WINNER: Natalie Finnigan
11 Wellington Company Award Best News Writer The Wellington Company $250 Tessa Johnstone, Christina McDonald, Natalie Finnigan, Chris Linnell, Anna Williams. WINNER: Christina McDonald
12 NiuFM Radio Award Best story submitted to Pacific Media Network Pacific Media Network $100 and trophy  WINNER: Jesse Fabricius
13 Radio Live Award Best use of Social Media as a News Reporting Tool Melanie Jones $250  WINNER: Courtnay Fafeita
14 Newstalk ZB prize Most productive student The Radio Network $100 book voucher WINNER: Greg Ford
15 Radio Journalism Merit Award Outstanding contribution to the programme Ana Tapiata $100  WINNER: David Piper
16 Pacific Island Whakapapa award Top PI Student Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs Book WINNER: Jesse Fabricius
17 Whitireia Award Most Motivated Student Tutors/School $100 Tessa Johnstone, Talia Carlisle, Jen Gilbert, Kimberley McCombie, Mohammad Nazayer, Abby Brown, Natalie Finnigan, Chris Linnell, Christina McDonald. WINNER: Mohammad Nazayer
18 Canon Award Best Photographer Canon NZ Canon laser printer Angie Mills, Mohammad Nazayer, Siena Yates. WINNER: Angie Mills
19 Canon Award Best Journalist (open to both courses) Canon NZ SLR Camera

Natalie Finnigan, Tessa Johnstone, Nita Blake-Persen, Tennessee Mansford, David Piper, Greg Ford, Brendan Manning, Christina McDonald, Chris Linnell, Russell Palmer, Siena Yates, Zac Kerr.

WINNER: Tessa Johnstone







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is A Journalism Student at Whitireia in Wellington, New Zealand. His specialty areas are digital culture, politics and cyber-crime.
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