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Site updated April 2013

CMITO/JTO explores merging with another ITO
On the agenda at the CMITO/JTO meeting on April 16 was the possibility of further rationalisaton in the industry training sector. The meeting heard that in line with a Government plan to see fewer ITOs, the Communication and Media Industry Training Organisation (CMITO) has been looking at merging with another ITO. The JTO is part of the CMITO. Discussions have apparently been held with several ITOs, but nothing definite has come together yet.

Meanwhile, John Cudby (pictured) has been appointed as the CMITO's new manager. Last year CMITO chief executive Joan Grace left to move to Australia. She was replaced by Tim Pankhurst, but he left to take up a job with the Seafood Industry Council. John Cudby has a background in the industry training system, with almost 10 years experience at Learning State (public sector ITO). He initially worked as a Training Advisor before moving into the roles of learning and development consultant and manager of agency services. Prior to that he worked in vocational education at UCOL (polytechnic) for 15 years.

Minutes of the April 16 JTO meeting

Journalism textbook on track
A new introductory journalism textbook for use in NZ journalism schools should be ready by the end of the year. The book is being edited by Massey Journalism head Grant Hannis, assisted by an editorial committee comprising Cathy Strong (Massey), Charles Riddle (Wintec), Greg Treadwell (AUT) and Allan Lee (AUT).

The editorial team made a call for contributors earlier in the year, which had a “great response”, Grant said. “We have a team of leading journalism educators writing chapters. Their brief is to produce a solid, practical book for the aspiring journalist. The contributors will consult with working journalists and write accessible, usable guides.”

The chapters will cover all the standard material for an introductory text, including news gathering, news writing, media law, writing for broadcast and specialist rounds. The book will have a strong focus on new media. “This is a book for the contemporary journalism scene,” Grant said.

New media centre in AUT's Sir Paul Reeves Building
AUT’s journalism programmes are now based in the new Sir Paul Reeves Building, a 12-storey tower on the university’s Wellesley St campus. Named after the former Governor General and former AUT chancellor, the $100m-plus building houses a new media centre, television studio, performance studio, radio station, sound and edit suites and digital media computer labs. The building was opened last month by PM John Key.

Providing around 20,000 sq m of labs, classrooms, offices and social spaces, the building has three new lecture theatres. A glass-roofed atrium connects the new tower to the library and other campus buildings. A video wall made of 16 55-inch full-high-definition monitors can display four separate video streams.

Design principles behind Sir Paul Reeves building (Te Waha Nui)

Image: Audio-visual consultant David Rees and the new video wall at AUT. (Photo: Nikolai Smith)

New curriculum leader at AUT

The AUT journalism department has a new curriculum leader, Verica Rupar, who joined the university in January from the journalism school at Cardiff University. Verica has also taught journalism at the University of Belgrade, Victoria University of Wellington,  and University of Tasmania. She has published academic journal articles, book chapters and edited collections about the sociology of journalism, journalism history and journalism practice in different countries and in comparative contexts.

Before moving to academia, Verica worked as a journalist - reporter, political correspondent, political editor, commentator, foreign correspondent and deputy editor-in-chief of Politika, one of the oldest daily newspapers in Central Europe. Her professional career includes a short stint as a fundraiser and campaigner for Greenpeace and as a press officer for the Green Party parliamentary team in New Zealand.

Tully takes up role at Massey

Jim Tully is combining guest lecturing and research in his new role at Massey University. After 25 years teaching journalism at Canterbury University, Jim has in his retirement been appointed Researcher in Residence at Massey’s School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing.

“I am working on the biography of a friend who is thought to be New Zealand's longest survivor of a spinal break from rugby, a chapter on media ethics for a journalism textbook, and plan to study aspects of news selection at TVNZ and TV3.”

On his retirement in 2012, he was Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Arts, and Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences, and continues to supervise postgraduate students. He also continues as Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences.

World Press Freedom Day
Professor Mark Pearson from Griffith University in Australia will speak at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day at AUT University on Friday May 3. The theme this year is “Safe to speak: Securing freedom of expression in all media”.

UNESCO says May 3 is a day to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

Dr Mark Pearson (pictured), Professor of Journalism and Social Media at Griffith University, has long been an advocate of press freedom. He is the Australian correspondent of the Paris-based global media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders). Professor Pearson has combined careers in teaching and journalism. He was special reports editor of The Australian newspaper and his work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Far Eastern Economic Review, The Fiji Times, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association Bulletin and

Details: Friday, May 3, 5.30-7.30pm, Communications Precinct Lecture Theatre WG126, Sir Paul Reeves Building, 2 Governor Fitzroy Place, Auckland City

Live streaming links (AUT On Demand):

Journalism survey part of international research
Massey Journalism School (in conjunction with the University of Waikato) is conducting a major survey of journalists in New Zealand, to be part of an international survey of journalists. The survey is the first worldwide survey of journalists, allowing a picture to be built of journalists' beliefs and practices globally.

Massey staff are asking journalism educators to forward the survey link below to the graduates of their journalism programmes and other journalism contacts, inviting them to take part. The survey is anonymous, takes about 15 minutes to complete, and is available online here:

For more details contact:
- Dr James Hollings,
- Dr Grant Hannis,

Gaps in journalism training indentified at JTO planning workshop
An industry strategy workshop held by the JTO recently sought industry and provider feedback on training requirements for the next three years for newspapers and associated web sites. The topics included: core journalism needs and values; exceeding newspaper readers and online readers' expectations; the role of J-schools; and JTO workplace training. Tertiary sector representatives were Bernie Whelan, James Hollings, Robin Martin and Jim Tucker.

Participants indentified the following the gaps in journalism training:
1 –Web skills required: Editing, subbing and writing for the web; basic “technical skills” including the use of templates; publishing stories to the web; especially how the stories look on mobile devices; live coverage to the web; headlines and tags to achieve readership online; selecting the news; developing content over time; attribution of sources; image management, handling stills, video and audio; links; comment moderation; Knowledge of analytics

2 – Training to close the gaps: Students should come to class with five story ideas;  to give them confidence; to understand what “story ideas” are; to prepare them for work experience; to show them “ideas” can include ordinary events and big events.

3 – Understanding the industry and the world (with a good general knowledge): Use of guest speakers; work experience, so they learn about the industry; talking about readers; basic business skills.

4 – Need seen for ongoing professional development of journalists: Revival of gatekeepers (Chief reporters, news  editors etc) training conferences  discussed; NZJTO support on a cross-industry basis offered; thesis being done on training of newsroom leaders.

Full report on the workshop from Bernie Whelan.

New programme, Newswire update at Whitireia
Whitireia NZ Media Training Centre will launch a diploma in multimedia broadcasting in June, to be delivered by the journalism and NZ Radio Training schools at the Wellington and Auckland campuses. The year-long Level 5 diploma builds on Whitireia’s existing Diploma in Radio Journalism and will include two streams, one in radio and video journalism, the other in commercial radio.

The main change to the journalism specialism is the addition of video reporting, still photography, web reporting and social media.

The diploma will enable graduates from the radio training school’s existing, introductory Level 3 Certificate in Commercial Radio to go on to higher level training better suited to employment in the radio industry.

For journalism students, the diploma will build in the new Level 4 New Zealand Certificate in Journalism, which has significant radio content. CMITO expects that to be available soon. The multimedia broadcasting programme will be delivered at new radio training facilities in the Whitireia campus at Upper Queen St, Auckland, and the Wellington campus in Dixon St.

Distance learning with a twist is being offered by Whitireia Journalism this year – by a tutor in the UK.

When recent addition to the Whitireia staff, Julie Salt-Cowell, announced in August she was returning to Britain in September, it was decided to keep her on staff once she left and have her manage her writing group from the other side of the world. Julie has successfully used Skype and email to stay in touch with her students. An advantage is they have afternoons to get on with their stories and she subs them overnight.

The students say it took a while to get used to having an off-campus tutor, but now they are comfortable with it. Julie will soon deliver webinar teaching sessions on reporting diversity.

Whitireia’s student news website, NewsWire, has just undergone its first major overhaul since launching in July, 2008. It has a new-look home page and now includes podcasts from the radio students. One big improvement is a larger picture space at the top of the home page that can display the best news pictures, which were previously tied to the lead story.

The site attracts more than 400,000 page uploads a year and continues to grow in reach. A school version will be launched soon to attract recruits to journalism. Students will be providing 15 hours of live coverage on NewsWire of the US presidential election on November 7 (our time).

When Whitireia hosts this year’s Jeanz conference at its temporary Dixon St campus, the first of the Hobbit movies will be having a premiere just down the street. To demonstrate how the school teaches video journalism, a team of students will cover the premiere and conference delegates will be invited to grab a camera and try their hands at video reporting. Results will be shown to the conference the following day.

Jim Tucker – head of journalism at Whitireia since September, 2007 – has a new expanded role to manage the radio training school (Wellington and Auckland) and a contract providing training to the 22 iwi radio stations. He will take on those responsibilities in addition to his role as journalism programmes manager.

Professor warns about media blind spots and e-martial law
Despite bans on foreign journalists in West Papua, there is "no excuse" for journalists to turn their backs on the Melanesian people who were at risk of genocide, says the first professor in journalism studies in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Restoring public trust, engaging in critical journalism, and opening the media’s eyes to common “blind spots” were all on the agenda for the inaugural professorial address of Dr David Robie at AUT University.

Speaking on 'Coups, crises and human rights', Pacific Media Centre director Professor Robie spoke to a crowded conference room representing many cultural communities, giving his insights into contemporary Asia-Pacific media issues.

Beginning with the Hackgate affair in Britain and other media credibility issues, and visiting many other "hot spots" throughout the presentation, Professor Robie charted the course of his life’s journey through New Zealand, Africa, Europe and back to Oceania.

He spoke of media issues confronting the Pacific such as covering climate change in the region, the legacy of military-backed censorship in Fiji and the currently “biggest threat” in the region being the new so-called “e-martial law” in the Philippines – “a digital throwback to the days of dictator Marcos” that “effectively gags cyberspace” with truth being no defence.

“It would be disastrous if any Pacific country, such as Fiji, wants to do a copycat law,” he said. - AP
Full story on Pacific Scoop.

Watch video on AUT on demand.