Dr Grant Hannis and Dr Cathy Strong
  Dr Grant Hannis and Dr Cathy Strong with their winning plaque. 

Massey journalism academics win top US teaching prize

20 August 2013

Two Massey journalism lecturers have won a top US prize for journalism education at a major conference in Washington, DC.

Head of Journalism Dr Grant Hannis and Senior Lecturer Dr Cathy Strong were awarded first prize in the Great Ideas For Teachers competition for their paper, “Teaching web-based reporting fast and efficiently”.

The nine-person judging panel said the paper was the number-one teaching idea for 2013 “by far”. There were 54 entries, mostly from US universities.

Dr Hannis and Dr Strong teach on Massey’s Master of Journalism programme. Their paper described the programme’s intensive four-week module on how to report for the web - incorporating text, photographs, audio and video.

The prize was awarded at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) at its August conference.

AEJMC is the United States’ professional association of journalism educators and academics. Its annual conference attracts thousands of delegates.

Dr Strong travelled to Washington to deliver the paper.

“Papers on very interesting and leading-edge journalism education applied for this prestigious award, so it was humbling that we were selected as the top paper,” she said.

Dr Hannis agreed.

“It is very flattering to have the professional association of US journalism educators honour us in this way.

“The win reflects genuine progress in two of our main strategic objectives at Massey Journalism.

“The first is to have an internationally recognised, world-class postgraduate journalism programme at Massey and the second is for Massey to excel in teaching web-based reporting, the future of journalism.”

Dr Kay Colley of Texas Wesleyan University oversaw the awards ceremony.

“The Great Ideas For Teachers award looks at novel, unique ideas for teaching particular aspects of journalism or mass communication courses. It is a respected award,” she said.

The focus on teaching was vital, she added.

“Research is important, but we are nothing if we can’t teach the students about journalism or mass communications.”

AEJMC has offered the award for almost 20 years.

Video of the award announcement at the AEJMC conference in Washington, DC.

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