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Site updated November 2011

John Burrows guest of honour at Wintec Jeanz conference
Law Commissioner John Burrows QC will be the guest of honour at the Wintec Jeanz conference in December. He is well-known to journalism educators as the author of A Journalist’s Guide to the Law – a set text in all journalism schools.

Professor Burrows was in the news this month when the Law Commission presented its recommendations on publishing offensive material online following a four-year review into privacy laws. The Law Commission report makes more than 140 recommendations on changes to privacy laws, including closing the legal loophole that allows disgruntled ex-partners to post compromising photos of former lovers online without consent.

The Law Commission website provides the following CV (abridged): “Professor John Burrows was appointed as a Law Commissioner for a term of five years from February 2007.  Before this he was a Professor of Law at the University of Canterbury from 1974.  He has a PhD (London) 1966 and an LLM (Canterbury) 1964.  He is a Life Member of Clare Hall Cambridge and Herbert Smith Visitor to The Faculty of Law, Cambridge in 2006. 

“Prof Burrows is author or co-author of books on Statute Law, Media Law and Contract Law in New Zealand and has contributed to books on Tort Law and Commercial Law.  He has written various journal articles.  From 1980-1986 Prof Burrows was Head of Department and Dean of The Faculty of Law, University of Canterbury.  From 1992-1998 he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor University of Canterbury and from 1999-2000 he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Canterbury.  He has chaired many central university committees and been a member of various national committees on tertiary education.  He has been a Barrister of the High Court of New Zealand specialising in opinion work, and was appointed a Queens Counsel in 2005. He is also appointed Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

“He has been involved in continuing education for the legal and journalism professions.”

This year's Jeanz conference is scheduled for Thursday 1 and Friday 2 December at Wintec's City Campus in Hamilton. The AGM will be held on the Friday. A JTO/Jeanz workshop day will be held on Wednesday 30 November.

The conference theme is: Education for the fragile craft: Teaching journalism during a time of rapid change. However the convenor, Charles Riddle, says papers are welcome on other topics. Abstracts should be sent to Jim Tully at Canterbury.

Convenor: Charles Riddle (
Secretary: Jeremy Smith (
Abstracts: Jim Tully (

Registration Form: Download as Word document or PDF.

Conference Dinner: Buffet menu selection PDF

: Some motels, lodges and inns courtesy the Wintec team:
Ventura Inn
Ashwood Manor
Hamilton City Motel
Colonial City Motel

Workplace training update
The JTO meeting in October was given an update on the status of workplace training programmes. Bernie Whelan, the Jeanz rep on the JTO sector committee, provides a summary:

Radio/TV/Web - The JTO is working on signing up trainees now that the radio modules have been approved for the National Diploma in Applied Journalism. Units for TV journalists are close to being signed off. The JTO is waiting to hear back from industry experts on the web journalism modules.

Print – 17 trainees have met all requirements for the applied diploma. It is anticipated 78% of the first intake will be complete by the end of the year. Since it started, 49 trainees have undertaken study. For the second intake 25 have been signed on and there is a target of 30 by the end of this year.

In response to questions from Grant Hannis: Mike Fletcher and Clive Lind reported it was left to individual workplaces to present the diplomas; some trainees who had passed had been rewarded with higher pay or promotion, but not all; trainees were taking an average of 20 months to complete the course, which compares to the 12 months originally expected by industry, although one student did make it in less than 12 months; a new learning mentor staff resource has been put in place to support supervisors.

Jeanz representative's minutes from the JTO meeting

Scholarship for Taranaki journalism students
Hannah Fleming’s training as a reporter has taken off quite literally since receiving a James (Snr) and Mary Garcia Scholarship earlier this year. The Western Institute of Technology (Witt) journalism student took to the skies following the August snowstorm while on a placement at the Taranaki Daily News.

“One moment we were covering the snow at Fitzroy Primary and the next we were up in the air flying over the whole province,” the 25-year-old New Plymouth woman said. The former New Plymouth Girls’ High School student, who already has a Bachelor of Physical Education, said the scholarship had helped her make the decision to return to study.

"I'd already done one degree and have a fairly hefty student loan under my belt, so receiving the scholarship was a huge help in me being able to do the course. It’s given me the opportunity to do heaps of things I never thought I'd do. I've flown in a plane around the mountain, interviewed one of my favourite bands, the John Butler Trio, and rubbed shoulders with top-class athletes during the Rugby World Cup and ASP Dream Tour."

The Garcia scholarship, which is open to young people from Taranaki studying journalism anywhere in New Zealand, celebrates the family’s more than 100 year relationship with the Taranaki Daily News. Applications forms for the 2012 scholarship - worth up to $5000 - are available through Witt and the New Plymouth office of the Public Trust. Applications close on November 30.

Applications for the scholarship are available at the Public Trust, 24 Currie St, New Plymouth and the Witt reception on Bell St or contact Robin Martin on 06 757 3100 ext 8721 / 021 484 364 /

Eye opener: Working as media volunteers, Witt journalism students (from left) Ale Feaunati , Hannah Fleming,  Zaryd Wilson and Steve Dixon rubbed shoulders with international media at the Rugby World Cup matches in New Plymouth. Students worked either as “flash-quote reporters”, taking down material for the RWC’s official website, or as media assistants.  Observing how the event ran media-wise was a real eye opener, says Ale.  “We were there for the captain’s run, in the ‘mixed-zone’ and privy to the out-of-bounds questions at the press conferences,” he says. “Having inside access to the players was my highlight, in particular the Irish lock Paul O’Connell,” says the former NZ Universities rep.

The Witt journalism school prides itself on the real-life media opportunities it offers students, says programme coordinator Robin Martin. Based at the Taranaki Daily News building in New Plymouth, Robin says, there is a regular exchange between the newsroom and the classroom. Applications for the 2012 National Diploma in Journalism are now open but places are limited. Contact course coordinator Robin Martin at for details. RM

Unit standards project almost complete
The project to review and update journalism unit standards from Level 2 to Level 6 is drawing to a close.
The JTO says this has been a massive undertaking involving 43 unit standards and consultations with tertiary providers, industry, secondary school teachers, NZQA and the Ministry of Education. This work followed decisions taken in 2008 to create a properly stepped pathway of learning from secondary school to the workplace.

The first part of the project, the creation of the workplace training scheme – the L6 National Diploma in Applied Journalism – was completed in 2009. The following unit standards have been created or reviewed:
Level 6: 12 units created
Level 5: 17 units reviewed/updated
Level 4:   7 units created
Level 2-3: 7 units reviewed/created

Unit standards overview document

Professorship for David Robie

Dr David Robie, the founding director of the Pacific Media Centre, has been appointed a professor at AUT University and is believed to be the first journalism professor at a New Zealand or Pacific university-based journalism school.

An associate professor for six years in AUT's School of Communication Studies, Dr Robie had previously been head of journalism at both the University of Papua New Guinea and University of the South Pacific for 10 years following a career as an independent Pacific affairs and international journalist.

Dr Robie gained his doctorate in history/politics and journalism at the University of the South Pacific in 2004 and is the author or editor of nine books, including Mekim Nius: South Pacific media, politics and education. He is also founding editor of Pacific Journalism Review, New Zealand's only peer-reviewed journalism research journal.

"I am delighted by the appointment and humbled by all the support I have been given," he said. "It is also an achievement for the journalism profession in the current academic environment."

Professor of journalism Mark Pearson of Bond University in Australia described him as a "mentor to countless Pacific Island journalists, fearless defender of media freedom and tireless editor of Pacific Journalism Review." Tongan publisher and broadcaster Kalafi Moala described the appointment as a "great achievement" ... Dr Robie had had a "tremendous input in my life and work as a PI journalist".

AUT relaunches multimedia Te Waha Nui website

AUT University's student journalism website, Te Waha Nui, was rebuilt and relaunched by senior students this semester. The revamp, part of a postgraduate project in online editing, included an upgrade of the Wordpress-based content management system and significant improvements to the site's multimedia capabilities.

Senior lecturer Greg Treadwell said the rebuild by a small group of students, led by editor Alexander Winkler, had produced a site much better suited to displaying the stories, pictures, audio and video produced by more than 100 students studying journalism in one capacity or another.

Below: AUT journalism students working on a story in Auckland's Albert Park. Te Waha Nui




Call for papers: literary journalism conference in Toronto

The International Association for Literary Journalism Studies invites submissions of original research papers, abstracts for research in progress and proposals for panels on Literary Journalism for the IALJS annual convention on 17-19 May 2012. The conference will be held at the School of Journalism and Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

The conference will be a forum for scholarly work of both breadth and depth in the field of literary journalism, and all research methodologies are welcome, as are research on all aspects of literary journalism and/or literary reportage. For the purpose of scholarly delineation, our definition of literary journalism is "journalism as literature" rather than "journalism about literature." The association especially hopes to receive papers related to the general conference theme, “Literary Journalism: The Power and Promise of Story." All submissions must be in English.

The International Association for Literary Journalism Studies is a multidisciplinary learned society whose essential purpose is the encouragement and improvement of scholarly research and education in literary journalism. As an association in a relatively recently defined field of academic study, it is our agreed intent to be both explicitly inclusive and warmly supportive of a variety of scholarly approaches.
IALJS conference webiste

West Papua 'biggest threat' to Pacific media freedom, says PJR report

Two leading investigative journalists who are also media educators have called on university journalism schools to pool their top student resources to undertake investigative journalism projects. They have also appealed to journalism schools to work collaboratively across institutions and borders to target major investigations.

The killing and abduction of journalists in Indonesian-occupied West Papua has been highlighted in a special new report on Pacific media freedom over the past year by Pacific Journalism Review.

“By far the most serious case of media freedom violations in the Pacific is in West Papua—far from international scrutiny,” says the journal in an editorial.

The 39-page report on the state of media freedom in the Pacific in 2011 notes that in August, in particular, “sustained repression has also hit the news media and journalists”.
At least two journalists have been killed in West Papua, five abducted and 18 assaulted in the past year. West Papua has replaced Fiji as the most urgent media freedom issue in the region, says the journal. The report has been published just as regional protests have been voiced over the brutal suppression of a strike at the giant Freeport copper mine and while Indonesian forces crushed a peaceful pro-independence rally in which six people were killed.

More than 300 West Papuans were arrested by Indonesian authorities in Jayapura for taking part in the rally and six leaders were charged with treason.

Poengky Indarti, executive director of the Indonesian human rights monitor Imparsial, said recently: “Freedoms of expression, association and assembly are routinely violated in Papua, which seriously fuels tensions. Besides, gross human rights abuses, such as acts of torture, remain unaccounted for.”

This free media research report, compiled by Pacific Media Watch contributing editor Alex Perrottet and Pacific Media Centre director Dr David Robie with a team of contributors, including West Papua Media editor Nick Chesterfield, is the most comprehensive and robust media freedom dossier on the region published in recent years.

“The state of Pacific media freedom is fragile in the wake of serious setbacks, notably in Fiji, with sustained pressure from a military backed regime, and in Vanuatu, where blatant intimidation has continued with near impunity,” says the report. “Apart from Fiji, which has a systemic and targeted regime of censorship, most other countries are attempting to free themselves from stifling restrictions on the press.

The media freedom report records several Pacific case studies and also includes Australia and New Zealand in the wake of the Murdoch news phone-hacking furore in Britain. In New Zealand, another major threat to media freedom has been the consolidation of contemporary transnational corporate ownership patterns.
Researchers Merja Myllylahti and Dr Wayne Hope demonstrate in another special report on global capital and media communication ownership that NZ media corporations treat news as a commodity and news organisations as revenue generators. This is the third in a series of media ownership papers published in PJR and initiated by Bill Rosenberg’s mapping of media ownership (2007, 2009). This ongoing project has now been adopted by AUT University

The report authors point to the closure of the 20-year-old influential business and politics newspaper The Independent and the phasing out of the 130-year-old cooperative news agency New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) as key symptoms of the malaise: ‘Consequently, public media space is shrinking as the practice of journalism declines.’

This edition of PJR is themed on “Media, cultural diversity and community”, and includes articles on Australia’s Reporting Diversity Project, the Yumi Piksa community television project in Papua New Guinea, a study of the use of te reo Maori by Fairfax-owned Suburban Newspapers in New Zealand by the Te Ropu Whariki research team, reporting of Islam in Australia, the Australian country press, and the development of a cross-cultural communications degree in Oman by a New Zealand university. Book reviews include investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s Other People’s Wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror.

This edition is published in partnership with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism in Sydney.

Edition editors:
Professor Wendy Bacon, Dr Catriona Bonfiglioli and Associate Professor David Robie.

The latest edition of PJR is available as full text on the Informit database

More information on the Pacific Media Centre website: