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Tuesday, 19 March 2019 05:44 am

Sam Duff wins top Whitireia Journalism award


TOP AWARD: Sam Duff with Candice Campbell-Tawhara from Canon. Images: Destina Munro

SAM Duff is the top Whitireia Journalism student from its 2013-14 National Diploma class.

The politics and history graduate from Victoria University beat 28 students for the Canon Award for Best Journalist at the end of the one-year course in which he had more than 70 stories published.


NEWS GATHERER: Fairfax Best Reporter award winner with guest speaker, TV3 political editor Patrick Gower.

Sam, who is from Plimmerton, spent much of the course providing stories directly to his local Kapi-Mana News community newspaper, as well as completing internships at the Wanganui Chronicle and the Dominion Post.

The awards were presented at a graduation dinner at which TV3 political editor Patrick Gower was guest speaker.

Sam beat Canon Award finalists John MacDonald, Oren Oaariki, Bethany Pearson, Janelle Cheesman and Anneka Paul, whose work is showcased on the school’s news website,

John MacDonald claimed the Fairfax Best Reporter Award for his prolific and high quality output on the Whitireia Diploma in Radio Journalism. The performance of the former accountant, who has made a career change to journalism, earned him a job at Newstalk ZB.

The Wellington Company Best News Writer Award went to Oren Oaariki for his work on a range of hard news stories, including one on the issue of liquor licensing. That council-related story and others on his internship at the Taranaki Daily News also earned him the Wellington City Council Award for Local Government Reporting.

Oren, whose heritage is Cook Islands, was also acknowledged with the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs Whakapapa Award. He has his own business as a photographer and videographer and enrolled at Whitireia Media Training Centre to add journalism skills.

It was another cameraman, however, who won The Canon Best Photographer Award – Diploma in Radio Journalism student Kawe Kawe-Roes. Canon professional staff judged his set of images relating to rail stories as the best entries.


WELL TAUGHT: Kawe Kawe-Roes with his tutor, Ana Tapiata.

Kawe, who is a Maori speaker and completed internships on Te Upoko iwi radio station, and Maori TV, also claimed the Best Bicultural Reporter prize.

Bethany Pearson, who was in the running for several of the awards, won the North and South Magazine Best Feature Writer. Her features included a profile on Stephanie McIntyre of Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry, and another on her personal battle with a brain tumor.

Bethany, undertook the programme after returning from completing a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology at the University of Idaho, for which she had earned a New Zealand scholarship.

Jesse Clark earned a week’s internship at TV3 for as the Best Video Reporter for his story on a French portrait artist.

The Wellingtonian Award for Best Sports Writer went to Lauren Mann, who produced a range of sports stories including a profile on Ili Tugaga on his battle to reclaim a place in the Wellington cricket team, plus stories and a photo essay on one of her personal passions, surf lifesaving.

The Pagemasters New Zealand Best Sub-editing and Layout Award went to Julie Taylor, and the Newsroom Award for Best New Media Journalist was won by Johanna Cleland.


FOUNDATION AWARD: Anneka Paul is congratulated by Lawrence Arps, Whitireia Polytechnic’s deputy chief executive academic.

Khalid Ahmed earned the Asia New Zealand Foundation Diversity Reporting Award for a range of stories on diverse communities in Wellington. Khalid, who was a migrant as a young teenager and whose first language is Arabic, has a goal of becoming a football journalist.

Asia New Zealand is this year sending two former Whitireia students – Sarah Dunn and Vomle Springford – on internships to South Korea and India respectively.

The Fairfax Shorthand Award was won by the first student to pass shorthand, Lauren Hertzberg, and Aaron Metcalfe received the Whitireia Most Motivated Student Award.

A presentation was also made to Anneka Paul for her all-round performance and contribution to others in the programme. Anneka received a Dell laptop computer, donated by Dell Computers through the Whitireia Foundation.

The foundation is a charitable trust which makes scholarships available to students for study at Whitireia Polytechnic. The Dell donation was a one-off donation which the foundation chose to award to a journalism student.

Enrolments are being accepted for the next intake at Whitireia Journalism School, where the 2014-15 National Diploma in Journalism, and Diploma in Radio Journalism, begin on June 16. For further information contact

NEWS WRITER: Oren Oaariki, left, with Whitireia Journalism programme manager Bernie Whelan.

NEWS WRITER: Oren Oaariki, left, with Whitireia Journalism programme manager Bernie Whelan.




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