Journalism staff

The journalism programme is taught on our Wellington campus by dedicated staff with extensive industry experience and contacts.

Journalism Head

  • Dr James Hollings

    Dr James Hollings

    Senior Lecturer & Programme Leader - Journalism - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing


    James Hollings’ main responsibilities lie with the Masters in Journalism, and the Editing and Publishing and Investigative Reporting papers of the Bachelor of Communication. He has worked in senior roles in newspapers and radio. His doctoral dissertation was on the decision-making processes of reluctant witnesses, and he has published on the characteristics and attitudes of New Zealand journalists, media reporting of suicide, disaster reporting, and the practice of investigative journalism. He is also interested in journalism psychology, photojournalism, and contemporary journalism practice. He is co-founder of the New Zealand Centre for Investigative Journalism:

Journalism staff

  • Dr Steven Elers

    Dr Steven Elers

    Senior Lecturer - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

    Dr Steve Elers has taught public relations, journalism, intercultural communication, and communication and tecnological change.  His research interests include the analysis of representations of Māori and indigenous peoples and culture in news media, public relations and advertising using critical theoretical approaches.  He has published in a range of communication journals, including Media International Australia, Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics, China Media Research, and Intercultural Communication Studies.  His research and commentary pieces have been covered by, NZ Herald, TVNZ, TV3 and Māori Television.

  • Dr Heather Kavan

    Dr Heather Kavan

    Senior Lecturer - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

    I teach Speech Writing. Students explore footage of great speeches from real-life and film, and learn how to incorporate powerful techniques into their own speeches. The Speech Writing courses take two forms: university degree courses and customised courses for organisations.

    On the research front, I'm fascinated by existential questions, and spend every spare moment researching religion, spirituality, and transcendent states of consciousness. I'm the 'go to' person for information on religious groups and unconventional manifestations of spirituality, and I've helped film makers, lawyers, scholars, and ordinary people who need specialist information in these areas.

  • Destina Munro

    Destina Munro

    Tutor - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

  • Associate Professor Sean Phelan

    Associate Professor Sean Phelan

    Associate Professor - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

    Sean has been working at Massey Wellington since 2003 and has a PhD in Communications from Dublin City University. He teaches and researches in the field of critical communication and media studies. He is the co-editor of Discourse Theory and Critical Media Politics (2011) and Scooped: The Politics and Power of Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand (2012), and his monograph, Neoliberalism, Media and the Political, was published in 2014. From July 2019 to July 2020 he is working as a Senior Research Fellow ar the Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp. 


  • Dr Catherine Strong

    Dr Catherine Strong

    Senior Lecturer - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

    Dr. Strong’s wealth of journalism and public relations practical experience influences her academic teaching and research.   Prior to joining academia, she was senior journalist in such newsrooms as Radio New Zealand, TVNZ, Akron Beacon Journal, and Solomon Island Broadcasting.  Later she was managing director of the successful Wellington corporate media relations company Cabix.  Her research focuses on current journalism practices,  She introduced drone journalism and podcast production to core courses.   Her teaching awards include both on-campus and distance modes.  She recently taught 3 years in the Middle East city of Dubai.  

  • Associate Professor Jim Tully

    Associate Professor Jim Tully

    Senior Tutor - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

  • Fran Tyler

    Fran Tyler

    Tutor - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

  • Dr Akhteruz Zaman

    Dr Akhteruz Zaman

    Lecturer in Journalism - School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing

    I am a journalism academic and interested in the exploration of theoretical and practical issues in journalism to advance our understanding of the occupation from a truly global perspective. Specific areas of my interest include space and journalism, war news, migration news, environmental news, and sources of news. I explore issues pertaining to journalism from a broad social context with a particular focus on the dynamic of social power. I worked as a journalist for long in televisin, news magazine and news agency sectors, and served in a public information service.

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