Massey journalism wins big at Canon Media Awards

The Massey journalism team, from left: Fran Tyler, Shirley Morrison, Associate Professor Jim Tully, Associate Professor Grant Hannis, Dr Catherine Strong, Dr James Hollings and Alan Samson.

Tommy Livingston, winner of the student
journalist of the year award.

Chloe Winter, winner of the junior reporter of
the year award.


New Zealand’s oldest journalism school has three more gongs to add to its collection following the 2016 Canon Media Awards, held last week. Massey University’s journalism programme received a special award for outstanding achievement and recent Massey students dominating the two major awards they are eligible for.

The Canon Media Awards are the industry’s own awards for journalistic excellence, with winners announced at a gala dinner in Wellington on May 20.

Canon presented Massey with an award for outstanding achievement, in recognition of the course’s 50th anniversary this year, making it the oldest continuously operating journalism school in the country.

Journalism head Associate Professor Grant Hannis said the course was a partnership between the University and the industry, so it was humbling to see the industry recognise the course in this way.

“Many of the country’s leading journalists are graduates of the programme. We were honoured to accept the award on behalf of all the great students and staff who have worked at the school during the past 50 years.”

The full-time course began in 1966 at the Wellington Polytechnic and Massey inherited it in 1999.

The school is hosting an-anniversary reunion dinner in November to celebrate its 50 years.

Alongside the award for outstanding achievement, many Massey students did well at the Canon awards. Tommy Livingston (class of 2015) won best student journalist of the year. Three of the four finalists for this award were from Massey.

Mr Livingston’s winning portfolio of stories were all on crime. Three broke dramatic revelations on cold-case crimes, and the fourth reported on a bizarre – and unsuccessful – defence in a rape trial in which the accused claimed he was fast asleep when he attacked his wife. All four stories were published in The Dominion Post newspaper, where Mr Livingston now works.   

Mr Livingston praised the Massey course for its part in his success. “I learnt how to pitch, write and structure stories at Massey,” he said. “I would not have won without Massey.”

Chloe Winter (class of 2013) won best junior reporter of the year. Two of the three finalists for the award were from Massey. Ms Winter's portfolio included two pieces on irresponsible alcohol promotion online, plus an article on a serious loophole in car-registration fines and another on major online privacy breaches.  She currently works as a reporter at The Dominion Post and all her winning stories were published in the paper.

She thanked the Massey course for its role in her success. “Massey helped me get my very first reporting job and then getting the Dominion to hire me,” she said.

Numerous older Massey graduates also picked up awards or were finalists at Canon. Michelle Duff won for best general feature writer, Ben Heather won for best health reporter, Ashleigh Stewart was a finalist for that award and for the health journalism scholarship award, Hamish McNicol was a finalist in business reporting and Liam Napier a finalist in sports reporting. Shane Cowlishaw was a finalist in both the crime and justice category and best coverage of a major news event.

Related articles

Industry representatives on hand to present journalism prizes
New study finds female journalists paid 26 per cent less
Student wins prize for telling soldiers' stories
Overdue recognition for trailblazing Kiwi reporter

More related articles

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey