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Official site of the Journalism Education Association of New Zealand Incorporated (Jeanz)

Site updated July 07


Massey Journalism School to host 2007 Jeanz conference
Massey is hosting the country’s premier journalism conference at the University’s Wellington campus on December 10-12 this year. The conference will focus on recent trends in journalism, and the consequent challenges journalism educators face training the journalists of tomorrow.

The conference theme is: “The future for the mainstream: The changing demands on journalists and the challenge for journalism educators.” Topics could include society’s changing expectations of the media, political reporting, Maori media; Asian, Pacific, and other cultures’ media; and women in the media.

While papers on other topics will be considered, preference will be given to papers that address the theme. Presenters will have the opportunity to have their papers peer-reviewed. Those peer-reviewed papers accepted for the conference will be considered for a special issue of the academic journal Pacific Journalism Review.

The conference will feature speakers from the journalism industry, journalism education, and others with an interest in the area. There will also be a conference dinner on the Wellington waterfront.

Massey Journalism head and Jeanz president Grant Hannis said all those with an interest in the theme are encouraged to submit papers and register for the conference. He also said delegates from out of town should make the most of their stay.

“The conference is being held on a Monday and Tuesday, with a special research seminar on the Wednesday morning. We encourage delegates to stay for a few extra days to enjoy our fair city. After all, Wellington is the political and cultural capital of the nation.” GH/AL

For more details, please visit the conference website.

Enron journalist guest speaker at conference
Bethany McLean, the New York financial journalist who helped expose Enron, one of the great financial scandals of our time, is the international guest speaker at the Jeanz conference in December.

Ms McLean is generally regarded as being the first journalist to raise doubts about Enron in a national publication. Covering the Enron story for Fortune magazine, she challenged Enron over its financial accounting practices. Unimpressed with the answers she received, she questioned in a 2001 Fortune article whether Enron was the powerhouse everyone assumed it to be.

In fact, although Enron’s accounts gave the impression the company was making handsome profits, it was heading for collapse. The scandal erupted several months later when Enron went bankrupt, its share price falling from $US90 to 30c. Thousands of people lost their jobs and pension savings. Implicated in the scandal, Enron’s accountants, Arthur Andersen, one of the world’s top accounting firms, also collapsed.

In the ensuing raft of court trials, Enron’s chairman, Ken Lay, and former chief executive, Jeff Skilling, faced charges of fraud, insider trading, money laundering and conspiracy. Both were convicted. Mr Lay died soon afterwards of a heart attack and Mr Skilling is serving a sentence of 24 years in prison. Major new US securities law was passed in the wake of the scandal. Ms McLean continued to cover the Enron story and co-wrote the book The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, later made into an Academy-Award-nominated documentary, in which she appears. The Listener recently rated the documentary 10 out of 10.

“We are delighted to have Bethany at our conference,” Jeanz president and Massey Journalism head Dr Grant Hannis said. “Bethany will be giving three presentations – a keynote address, an after-dinner speech, and a research seminar – so delegates will have ample opportunity to hear her. In the context of business journalism, the Enron scandal is one of the all-time great stories. With commentators frequently questioning the quality of business journalism in New Zealand, this is a golden opportunity to learn from one of the best.

“I’d like to thank our sponsors, including both Fairfax and APN, whose generous support for the conference makes Bethany’s appearance possible.”

The conference will also feature several exciting local speakers, including Dominion Post editor Tim Pankhurst, looking at the past and future of print journalism, Mediawatch host Colin Peacock and TV3 political reporter Duncan Garner.

Those interested in presenting at the conference can submit papers in either the peer-reviewed or non-peer-reviewed streams. Peer-reviewed papers will be considered for publication in a special conference edition of Pacific Journalism Review, a peer-reviewed academic journal listed on three databases.

Former NYT staffer teaching Massey global journalism course
Alison McCulloch, a member of The Denver Post team that won a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for its coverage of the Columbine killings, is to teach Massey’s global journalism paper in the second half of 2007.

The paper goes beyond journalism produced in the United States, Britain and locally. It looks at how journalists in places like Russia and the Middle East perceive and report the news.

Dr McCulloch will be teaching the course on Massey’s Wellington campus. She has spent the past five years at The New York Times where she was a staff editor on the foreign desk and Sunday Book Review. She also spent time at the International Herald Tribune in Paris.

She says globalisation makes it more important than ever for people to understand international events and how they are reported. “The world is shrinking, and how you see the world is not necessarily how others see it.”

She hopes students on the global journalism course will gain a better understanding of the media, and how diverse the international media is. “I want the students to understand why there are different media approaches – political and philosophical – and the media’s social underpinnings.”

A graduate of the Massey journalism programme in 1982, when it was part of the Wellington Polytechnic, Dr McCulloch initially worked at Radio New Zealand and The Dominion. In 1990 she was on the new Rainbow Warrior when it investigated and protested French nuclear testing at Mururoa. Moving to the United States in 1993, Dr McCulloch completed a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Colorado. Her dissertation was on the morality of Kant.

She was working as a copy editor at The Denver Post in 1999 when two students murdered 13 people, wounded more than 20, and killed themselves at Columbine High School. For its powerful coverage, the team of reporters and editors who prepared the Post’s coverage of the tragedy won the Pulitzer, one of journalism’s highest accolades. GH

Guardian adds video to its multimedia newsroom
The decision to incorporate print, radio, still images and web reporting into a single generic core in the revised National Diploma in Journalism seems vindicated, if what the JTO’s Jim Tucker saw on a recent visit to the Guardian in London is any indication.

Journalists of the future will need to know how to write for print, radio and the web and understand how to gather audio for podcasting, says Tucker, who saw how these approaches are being used at the world’s leading news website.

One uncertainty is apparent, however: what to do about the use of video cameras by reporters.

The Guardian has just appointed a video editor and will be setting up a video unit in its newsroom to join the recently established audio operation. Guardian managers believe short video clips will become an essential ingredient of its news website, but they are undecided about who shoots them – reporters or camera people.

Tucker believes the JTO in the next couple of years may need to review the decision to leave video news story telling out of the core for the diploma (at present it’s an option). He says it’s not hard to see future reporters wielding a video camera as their prime gathering tool – to capture moving images, still images, audio, and information from which to write print stories.

He was surprised to see that the Guardian has only just begun to merge its newspaper and website newsrooms, unlike some newsrooms in New Zealand (eg, the NZ Herald) where integration is advanced. (Cartoon: Malcolm Evans). JT

Massey graduate wins Qantas award
A Massey journalism graduate won the student print journalist prize at this year’s Qantas Media Awards.

Jenny Macintyre collected her award at a gala dinner in Wellington in May. The prize included $500 from the Journalists Training Organisation.

“It was such a thrill to win,” Jenny said. “Journalists are curious and I think I won because my curiosity found me stories.”

Jenny submitted a portfolio of four stories in the Qantas competition, all published while she was a Graduate Diploma in Journalism student at Massey in 2006.

Her winning stories included one on the effects of Agent Orange on New Zealand Vietnam veterans and another on Maori concerns over an exhibit at a local museum. “I’m particularly proud that all four of my stories were picked up by other media,” Jenny said.

She paid tribute to Massey lecturer Alan Samson. “What I learnt from him is that for a story to be good you must rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!”

A mature student, Jenny said taking a year out of her life to study was a big decision, but one she is glad she made. Her determination to do well meant she soldiered on even after breaking her wrist just before the second semester started. She is now a reporter at the Sunday Star-Times.

Other recent Massey graduates also did well at the Qantas Awards. Yvonne Tahana (class of 2003) won the Maori issues newspaper feature writer category and Kimberley Rothwell (2004) was a finalist in the junior newspaper feature writer category. GH/AL

JTO unit standards update
The Journalists Training Orgainsation’s third draft of the level 5 journalism unit standards has been returned by NZQA with a request for reconsideration of the unit standards on bicultural and diversity reporting, which means further work will need to be done before these are approved.

A third standard – one that extends word processing to include use of computer systems, copy transmission and archiving – has also been rejected because NZQA doesn’t think it is level 5 and it overlaps existing unit standards.

Most of the others need only minor tweaking. The JTO is still on target to get the standards up on the national framework in 2007. The old ones will officially expire in 2009, but the JTO hopes programmes will begin using the new ones as soon as possible.

PJR publishes special Jeanz editions
The special JEA/JEANZ edition of Pacific Journalism Review featuring the “Journalism Downunder” conference in Auckland last December was recently published and has been mailed out to Jeanz members.

Jointly edited by Australian Journalism Review editor associate professor Ian Richards and PJR editor associate professor David Robie, the edition has published nine blind peer-reviewed research papers and commentaries from the conference, including two papers marking the 20th anniversary of the Rabuka coups in Fiji.

Besides the conference papers, PJR also included research articles about freelance journalism, coverage of the Coral-Ellen Burrows murder inquiry and a research report by Massey University’s James Hollings on the 2006 Census and profiling New Zealand journalists.

Two controversial books, Nicky Hager’s The Hollow Men and the media, and Maire Leadbeater’s Negligent Neighbour about New Zealand political duplicity over East Timor, have also been given the most analytical reviews by any publication.

PJR also plans to publish a special edition linked to the theme of this year’s Jeanz conference in April next year.

Fiji coups research: http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/niusbeat/070514_FijiResearcher.shtml

Journalism Downunder conference website: http://artsweb.aut.ac.nz/journalism_conference/

More details on the PJR website: www.pjreview.info

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