A hat trick of success for Massey journalism students

Mava Moayyed For the third year running, Massey postgraduate journalism students have taken out top honours in the national award for student investigative journalism. 

The Bruce Jesson Emerging Journalism prize recognises outstanding investigative journalism produced by students.

The standard was so high this year the judges took the unprecedented step of upping the total prize money and awarding it to three students, all of whom wrote and published their articles while studying journalism at Massey.

Mava Moayyed, Norman Zafra and Elizabeth Beattie will each receive $500 for their achievement.

Both Mava and Norman were Master of Journalism students and their investigative pieces were part of their final journalism project for the degree.

Mava’s story was on the Roast Busters scandal and the role played by social media in the fallout.

The judges said her article was “a model of how to craft a comprehensive and readable story about an important issue”.

Mava said it was an “absolute honour” to have her work recognised in this way. “I’m humbled to have an investigative article alongside the outstanding work of past winners.” 

Norman Zafra Norman’s article was on the difficulties the Philippines has encountered recovering from Typhoon Haiyan. The judges said his piece “mixes complex issues and human interest testimony at a level worthy of a senior journalist”.

Norman said his win was “first and foremost dedicated to the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, who willingly shared their stories with me”.

Elizabeth was a student on Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism programme. Elizabeth’s article was on mental health issues in New Zealand, focussing on her grandmother’s experiences as a mental health patient. The judges said Elizabeth’s article gave “a rare insight into mental illness, written with love, empathy and respect…[We] would love to see more journalism of this kind.”

Elizabeth was honoured to join the company of past winners. “The work produced by Massey journalism students and recent graduates has been consistently impressive,” she said.

Norman and Mava were supervised for their Master’s by Massey senior lecturer in journalism Cathy Strong. Both paid tribute to her. Norman said he learnt a great deal from Dr Strong and Mava said Dr Strong helped her “immensely”.

Mava also acknowledged the support of Marcus Stickley, her editor at The Wireless, Radio New Zealand’s online news service for young people, where she now works.

Originally from the Philippines, Norman has returned to that country, where he intends to work as a journalist and journalism lecturer.

Elizabeth Beattie Elizabeth intends studying for the Master of Journalism next year.

Massey students have won the Bruce Jesson Emerging Journalism prize five times since its inception in 2009, including in the last three years straight.

For details on past Massey winners see here.

The Bruce Jesson Emerging Journalism prize honours the late journalist Bruce Jesson. The judges include journalists and academics.


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