By David Farrar, Keith Ng, Rob Salmond, and Tim Watkin.
Many people are concerned about the quality of public affairs journalism in New Zealand. Being concerned is a good start, but how can you take the next step? How can you help make it better? Yes, you.
Here is one way. Follow this link and vote for Nicola Kean in the AMP “Do Your Thing” Scholarship competition.
It is an online popularity contest, and the winner gets $10,000 to help them pursue their dreams. Voting is quick, easy, free, and for a good cause. Of course, there are many, many fantastic applicants for this award, and we are not opposed to any one of them winning the money. We’re just especially in favour of Nicola winning, because of the value that her dream holds for all of us.
Nicola’s dream is to go to the US for postgraduate study in journalism. She’s already done the hard part and got accepted to Columbia University, one of the best and most selective programs in the world. Now she just needs a lot of cash.
Nicola, 24, is already a prize-winning journalist, winning an ASPA award in her second year as a Salient staffer and being selected for a global student journalism award handed out by the UN. She is also a prize-winning student, winning a Fulbright scholarship this year and earlier winning three of the big prizes offered in Victoria’s political science department (best first year student, best BA, best Honours student).
She is going to go far (when you start in Upper Hutt that is sometimes a good idea), and could well become one of New Zealand’s very best public affairs journalists. That is what motivates her:
In one of my research papers…, I described the impacts of political journalism becoming increasingly leader-focussed at the expense of policy. In the paper, I found that the increasing focus on leaders and leadership, and the reporting of the ''game'' of politics, in the media was one of many contributing factors in the ''trivialisation'' of New Zealand politics. My medium-term goal is to help counteract this trend in my own reporting…”
How good could she be? That depends partly on whether she gets to learn the state of the art from the world’s best in New York. And that is where you can help by voting for her.
And if you want to help even more, go to her website and give her some money.
This post is going up simultaneously on Kiwiblog, Public Address, Pundit, and The Standard. It is a non-partisan effort. We’re all backing Nicola’s campaign because we, left and right, partisans and non-partisans, all want what you want. We want top quality journalists in New Zealand holding the people in charge, whoever they are, to account for their actions and the consequences.
So let’s all club together and help Nicola get to Columbia.