Massey’s first Master of Journalism graduate

Jess Roden Jess Roden has become the first student in New Zealand to complete a Master of Journalism.

Although the Master of Journalism is a common qualification overseas, Massey is the only university offering the qualification in New Zealand.

After completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism, Jess completed the Master of Journalism by researching and writing a piece of long-form journalism and an academic research report critically reflecting on the experience.

Jess’s long-form journalism was on Pharmac’s funding of expensive drugs for people with rare diseases.

“I liked the idea of doing the Master of Journalism as I could do a topic I’m passionate about,” she said. “It gave me the chance to research and develop the topic in a meaningful way.”  

She also saw the qualification as an important step in her plan to work overseas as a journalist.

“I’ve travelled overseas and studied in the United States. Diploma qualifications aren’t well understood overseas, but a Master’s is. As I want to work overseas eventually, this was a good opportunity to get a qualification they understand. A Master’s carries a lot of weight.”

She found the academic element of the Master of Journalism challenging, but interesting. “I looked at the pressures health reporters are under and how influential journalism can be. In daily newspaper reporting it is easy to forget the effect of your stories, studying the literature around health reporting reminded me about journalism’s influence on people.”

Her advice to others planning to do the Master of Journalism is to find a topic you are passionate about and to enjoy the experience.

Jess has secured a job as a reporter at the Northern Advocate newspaper. She plans to spend the next couple of years working as a general reporter and then develop her career from there.

There are two main pathways for the Master of Journalism, one for those wishing to enter the journalism industry and one for experienced journalists. For more details, click here.

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