Michael Fox
Michael Fox

Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism

Freelance Journalist, Cairo, Egypt

I’m currently a freelance journalist teacher based in Cairo, Egypt where I’ve been writing for local magazines and newspapers as well as covering events here for New Zealand media outlets.

Intrigued by its politics, religion and way of life I’ve always wanted to work in this part of the world so, after four years with Fairfax Media working as an online and general news reporter for Stuff.co.nz and the Dominion Post [my partner and I] moved over in the middle of last year.

In Egypt I’ve covered everything from the protests and general unrest to issues such human trafficking, foreign prisoners and Cairo’s traffic chaos.

I chose to study at Massey because I was told it was the best course. I spoke with people in the industry including former Massey students who spoke highly of the content, its tutors and of the opportunities available to graduates. I also wanted to be in the capital city.

The course set me up well for my journalism career. It gives students a solid grounding in journalism – everything from writing, ethics and interview techniques to finding stories and developing sources.

Class discussions were also a big and invaluable part of the course, forcing us to think about issues from different angles and you build a nice camaraderie with the other students in the course as you spend so much time together. You will likely find yourself working with many of them over the course of your career.

The tutors were all very approachable and as they are all former practicing journalists, their experience and insight were invaluable.

Though primarily print-focused, even when I was there in 2008 the tutors recognised the increasing importance of journalists being able to cover a story using several mediums including video and pictures.

It has a large practical component so you are operating as a journalist long before you step into a newsroom fulltime.

I was fortunate at the time to have been offered a Fairfax Media internship before the course started so I knew where I was heading after I graduated though Massey gave me the foundation I needed to build my career on top of.

By the time I left the course I was already familiar with being in a newsroom and, while recognising I had a lot still to learn, was confident in my abilities.

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