Back to the future to train the next generation of journalists

There was a back-to-the-future aura around a full page advertisement in the Otago Daily Times last week. “Want to be a journalist?” it asked. “We’ll help you get there!”

The advertisement stated the ODT’s owner, Allied Press, was looking for five cadets “who have what it takes to be journalists in their South Island home town in 2023”.

It signalled its return to the sort of in-house cadet scheme that was standard practice in New Zealand when I started my career in journalism in 1965. Continue reading “Back to the future to train the next generation of journalists”

An open letter to the incoming media minister

Dear Minister,

Congratulations on assuming the Broadcasting and Media role.

The announcement of your new portfolio put me in mind of Hercules as King Eurystheus told him there were a dozen small jobs he would like done.

Like Hercules, you will find that the tasks ahead are challenging. Some will seem insurmountable. Yet, the underlying message of that particular piece of Greek mythology is that nothing is impossible.

I would hesitate to suggest that success will lead to immortality, but you will certainly make an enduring name for yourself if you are able to ensure that New Zealand’s media ecosystem is fit for purpose.

In order for that to happen you must undertake, if I may be so bold, the Twelve Labours of Willie Jackson. Continue reading “An open letter to the incoming media minister”