Massey Journalism students maintain winning streak at media awards

Tommy Livingston, winner of the student journalist of the year award. It seemed like a Massey benefit at the 2016 Canon Media Awards, with recent Massey students dominating both major awards they are eligible for, and the Massey Journalism School receiving a special award for outstanding achievement.

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

Tommy Livingston (class of 2015) won best student journalist of the year. Three of the four finalists for this award were from Massey.

Tommy’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 Tommy now works.   

Tommy 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 this award were from Massey.

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

Chloe 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.

The Newspaper Publishers' Association, which runs the Canon Awards, presented Massey with an award for outstanding achievement. This was 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 over the past 50 years.”

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

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. 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.

These wins build on Massey students’ unparalleled success at Canon and the Bruce Jesson investigative journalism awards since 2007.

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