Why study Journalism?
Journalism is exciting work, as some of our alumni explain.
Former RNZ head of news and digital
UC graduate Glen Scanlon was probably destined to be a journalist - his mother has been writing great yarns for nearly 40 years, his twin brother is an award-winning journalist, and he is married to a journalist. He started as a crime reporter at The Dominion before working at The Press, The Dominion Post and as chief reporter on the Waikato Times. Glen then disappeared overseas for five years with stints at The Guardian and CNN, among others. He returned to be the Waikato Times' assistant editor before becoming Stuff.co.nz's news editor then editor and, now, RNZ’s head of digital. He is a previous winner of UC's Robert Bell Travelling Scholarship and last year won Fairfax NZ's Mike Robson Scholarship, allowing him to spend a month studying investigative journalism in Europe.
"When I was quite young mum worked from home for Radio New Zealand. I can still remember her packing us in the car, with her portable radio pack the size of a fridge, and roaring out to stories. I'm not quite sure how she did it but it left us with a taste for the job. Journalism has been my passport around the world. I have met some incredibly talented (and crazy, bless them) people and tried to learn a little bit off all of them. The change in 16 years has been immense - when I started there was only one computer on our floor that could access the internet (and very slowly). Now it travels around in my pocket. It might be a roller coaster but there is still nothing that beats the thrill of a great news story."
1News reporter and presenter Christchurch breakfast show, The Hits
You can hear more from former graduate Ali Pugh, who landed a job at TVNZ fresh out of graduating from UC’s journalism programme in 2008. From her first role monitoring the new assignments desk, she progressed to a reporter/producer position on Breakfast then a job on One News back in her hometown of Christchurch. In 2014, she became co-host of TV One’s Breakfast, and is currently presenter of Christchurch radio breakfast show, The Hits.
You can view a video from Alison in our video gallery.
Senior journalist and columnist, Fairfax Media
Former UC graduate Martin van Beynen is now an award-winning senior writer and columnist for The Press. In the 2010 Canon Media Awards he won the Story of the Year award for a feature on the trial and acquittal of David Bain, and was later named Fairfax Media Journalist of the Year 2010–11. At the 2012 Canon Media awards, he won Senior Reporter of the Year, Senior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year, and the prestigious Wolfson Fellow to Cambridge University. His book, Trapped: Remarkable Stories of Survival from the 2011 Canterbury Earthquake, was published in 2012, and, in 2017, he produced Fairfax Media’s first ever podcast series, Black Hands, which shot to the top of Apple’s iTunes charts on its release.
"I still think, even after 25 years in journalism, it is a noble job. You may not change the world but in many ways you are the eyes, ears, conscience, advocate and analyst for the public. Journalism has plenty of mundane moments but generally every day is interesting, different and challenging. You have a lot of control over your work and you can shine as an individual or as part of a team.
Rapidly changing technologies and media vehicles or platforms provide many more opportunities for career development and variety. Journalism has given me the opportunity to work in other countries, to indulge my interests, to try different things including management and play a role in the community. Most of all I like the people who are attracted to the job."
Graduates have gone on to work at top newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations in New Zealand and overseas. UC alumni include:
- Michael Morrah, Pacific correspondent, Newshub
- Emily Cooper, 1 News reporter
- Ollie Ritchie, Sports Reporter, Newshub, Mediaworks NZ
- Katie Kenny, Stuff reporter and multiple award-winner, including Best Investigation 2016 Canon Media Awards
- Glen Scanlon, former RNZ head of news and digital and editor Stuff
- Tess McClure, former deputy editor VICE NZ and multiple award-winner, including Junior Feature Writer of the Year 2016 Canon Media Awards
- Kim Hill, host of Saturday Morning, RNZ
- Max Towle, reporter, RNZ
- Kathryn Ryan, presenter, Nine to Noon, RNZ
- Daniela Maoate-Cox, producer, RNZ
- Martin van Beynen, award-winning investigative journalist and senior writer, The Press
- Rebecca Macfie, multiple award-winner and former senior staff writer, The Listener
- Liam Dann, business editor, New Zealand Herald
- Colin Peacock, producer and presenter of Mediawatch, RNZ
- Katy Gosset, RNZ senior journalist and podcast maker, and host of Parenting podcast, Are We There Yet?
- Veronika Meduna, founding NZ editor of The Conversation
- Kamala Hayman, editor, The Press
- Oskar Alley, senior newsroom editor, NZME
- Kim Gillespie, head of regional operations and rural content, NZME
- Jonathan Milne, editor The Cook Islands News, former editor Sunday Star-Times
- Toni Street, Seven Sharp presenter
- Jo McCarroll, editor, NZ Gardener
- Anna Fifield, Beijing bureau chief for the Washington Post and 2014 Nieman Fellow
- Tim Hume, former CNN International journalist, now VICE News’s senior reporter for international news
- Ben Irwin, reporter, Al Jazeera
- Matthew Brockett, Wellington Bureau Chief, Bloomberg News
- Sam Sachdeva, Foreign affairs and trade editor for Newsroom Pro and Newsroom.co.nz
- Naomi Mahon, former senior producer CNN International and programme editor/executive producer Al Jazeera English