Why study Journalism?
Journalism is exciting work, as some of our alumni explain.
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 and, this year, editor. 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."
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 took on her biggest role yet as co-host of TV One’s Breakfast.
You can view a video from Alison in our video gallery.
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.
"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, reporter, 3rd Degree, TV3
- Glen Scanlon, editor Stuff
- Kim Hill, host of Saturday Morning, RNZ
- Kathryn Ryan, presenter, Nine to Noon, RNZ
- Martin van Beynen, award-winning investigative journalist and senior writer, The Press
- Liam Dann, business editor, New Zealand Herald
- Colin Peacock, producer and presenter of Mediawatch, RNZ
- Katy Gosset, producer and presenter of One in Five and Southern Stories, RNZ
- Veronika Meduna, producer and presenter of Our Changing World, RNZ
- Kamala Hayman, digital editor, The Press
- Oskar Alley, weekend and special projects editor, Dominion Post
- Kim Gillespie, editor Rotorua Daily Post
- Jonathan Milne, deputy editor, Herald on Sunday
- Adrien Taylor, TV3 environment reporter
- Toni Street, Seven Sharp presenter
- Jo McCarroll, editor, NZ Gardener
- Anna Fifield, Financial Times Washington correspondent and 2014 Nieman fellow
- Tim Hume, former award-winning feature writer for the Sunday Star-Times, now CNN International journalist, Hong Kong
- Colin Espiner, Stuff blogger and former Press political editor
- Emily Cooper, reporter, Firstline, TV3
- Ben Irwin, reporter, Firstline, TV3
- Cecile Meier, business reporter and columnist for The Press
- Katie Kenny, Stuff reporter and finalist in the Student of the Year award, 2014 Canon Media Awards
Radio New Zealand reporter Daniela Moata-Cox speaks about her career after graduating with our diploma.
Media relations advisor Nicola Shepheard graduated in 2002 and has forged a successful media career.
Want to know more about where
Journalism can take you?