Blog #9 – strengths, weaknesses & improvements

Over the semester, I have gotten a strong idea about my stories and learn about what went well, what did not go as well and how my future stories can be improved. I also noticed main themes that were in my weekly stories. A main theme is that many of my stories were human interest based. These stories were some of the main influences on my work. Early in the semester during our class tutorials, we discussed what good news stories are, how newsworthy they are and what is considered good news. These topics influenced my perspective in finding certain stories. Over the course of the semester, news stories became easier to write and providing multimedia became easier too, as common journalism news values and practices became more familiar. I learned significantly about the importance of social media for journalism. I realised that there have been some challenges and pressures in completing the weekly stories, since some stories were more difficult than others to obtain the multimedia requirements, and some stories were generally harder to write.
In the second week of class, we discussed the role of news reporters in today’s media and the value in their stories that they publish. This really made me think about the stories that I wanted to write about and what would be suitable journalism stories. At the beginning, it was daunting for me to think about finding a journalism story every week. I was nervous at the thought of it, and I found it difficult to think of story ideas. According to Comrie (2014), possible news stories are everywhere, especially in your local community there are many events happening. It is the journalist’s job to be able to be a good observer of what is happening around them and be able to recognise stories that are newsworthy and be strategic to write about them (Comrie, 2014). This relates to my experience, since I found the majority of my earlier stories from within my community. Even though it was daunting trying to find stories at the beginning of the semester, it gradually became easier as I became more familiar with finding stories in the community and interviewing people. According to Comrie (2014), one of the most important news values is good news. The idea of what good news is made me think before I searched for my stories. Since I wanted to write stories that reflected positive aspects of society and what was happening that the majority of the public did not know about.


Journalists need to write stories that are informative, and are of public interest (Comrie, 2014). I struggled with finding stories that were of public interest. Since I noticed that the majority of my stories have been human interest stories. According to Comrie (2014), human interest stories are some of the most popular for journalists to write, because they are relatable and the public enjoys reading them. I managed to find many human interest stories within my community which I wrote about. For example, one of my stories was about a woman’s experience with a disorder called aphantasia. Since it was such a personal story and affects her life in a significant way, this made the interview more interesting and engaging. It also made it easier for me to find other sources who also had aphantasia, because I noticed that people really wanted to talk about it and share their experiences, since it is a topic that is not widely known about.


Michelle Andrews (who has aphantasia) pictured by me for my story 

During the semester, I found it easy to produce multi-media, such as photographs, videos and audio recordings. According to Hannis, Lee, Riddle, Strong and Treadwell (2014), journalists have to be able to develop all their skills to be multi-platform, since we are in a digital age, this means that we have to provide a range of multi-media to accompany our stories. I found it easy from the beginning of the semester to be able to request video or audio recordings from the people I was interviewing. After completing a few stories, it became like second nature to be able to take photographs, audio recordings and videos of my subjects in my stories. However, there were some instances when my subjects did not want to be videoed, for example in my Ben and Jerrys story. Therefore, I took an audio recording instead. This was a disadvantage for my story, since I thought that the story would have been more effective with a video recording.

On the day of Ben and Jerry’s ‘Free Cone Day’ pictured by me

A tool that really helped me find stories was social media. According to Nielson and Schroder (2014), social media is a helpful tool for journalists to find their news, since information is constantly posted on there about what is happening in the environment. I really used social media to my advantage because I was able to find the majority of my stories on Facebook. Facebook really helped me to find stories that were in my local community, as well as interact with different people had different experiences and were worth writing a story about. For example, one of my stories was about the Bayview community market in Glenfield and how children were working there. I would not have been able to find this story if I wasn’t active on Facebook and search for stories on it.


Photo sourced from

During the course of writing news stories, there were challenges and difficulties. I personally struggled finding certain angles for my stories that hadn’t already been discussed previously in the media before. For example, one of the stories I did was about midwives in New Zealand. Since there has already been a lot of discussion about the treatment of midwives in New Zealand, I had to think of another angle for my story. However, I managed to find another angle, in relation to a certain source’s experience with midwifery. Therefore, it was more of a follow-up story on a topic that has been widely discussed in the media. Follow up stories are generally good news stories because they inform the public on new angles to issues that have already been addressed (Comrie, 2014).


In the future, I will definitely try to expand where I get obtain my story ideas from. I do believe social media is a good way of finding story ideas, but I also want to be able to find a wide variety of stories from all over Auckland. This means I would have to get out of my comfort zone more. However, in my ‘Humans of South Auckland’ story I did interview South Aucklanders, which was very interesting to talk to people with different lifestyles.

In conclusion, over the course of the semester, there have been many challenges, difficulties and advantages in regards to my journalism stories. Some of the key challenges and difficulties was finding stories at the beginning and trying to find stories with strongest possible news values. However, some of the advantages were that social media helped me find stories and collecting multimedia was easier than I thought. For my future news stories, I have learned that I need to get out of my comfort zone more. For most of my stories I found them within my local community, however, it may have been more valuable for me to venture out to different locations around Auckland because I would have been more likely to find a wider variety of stories.



Comrie, M. (2014). News gathering. In Hannis, G. (Ed.), Intro: A beginner’s guide to journalism in 21st century (pp.17-30). Wellington, New Zealand: NZJTO


Hannis, G., Lee, A., Riddle, C., Strong, C., & Treadwell, G. (2014). Understanding Journalism. In Hannis, G. (ed.), Intro: A beginner’s guide to journalism in 21st century A-NZ; Wellington, NZ. NZJTO.


Nielsen, R. & Schrøder, K. (2014). The relative importance of social media for accessing, finding, and engaging with news. Digital Journalism, 2(4), 472-489.


Community market teaches children about money

The Bayview Community market was held on the 21st April, brought together many parents and children.

The market was filled with handmade deserts, toys, books, sweets and more.

The market was organised by mother Anne-Maree Heckler. We started the event back in 2016, because her daughter was interested in starting up a lemonade stand.

childrens market (2)

Towards the end of the market

Mrs Heckler says that she went ahead to contact the community centre about starting a market day for all children and parents to be involved.

“We’ve got 45 kids approximately involved this year,” says Mrs Heckler.

The children organise everything themselves, they’re allowed to have parents as shop assistants,” says Mrs Heckler.

Mrs Heckler says that the children keep the money that they make, and it is a nice way of them being able to learn about money.

Mrs Heckler’s six-year-old daughter Chloe Heckler, says that she has been able to learn a lot about money and thinks it is a really good experience.

Dianne James, who was a parent involved in the event, says that the event allows children to be involved in the community.

“It allows them to socially interact with other people in their neighbourhood rather than just going to school and coming back,” says Mrs James.

Kellyn Fate, another parent who was involved in the event, says that it allows children to learn about handling money in early stages of their lives.

A young group of netballers were at the event fundraising for their team to be able to buy new apparel for their team.

South Aucklanders confront negative stereotypes

 Humans of South Auckland website and Facebook page started up to break negative stereotypes of South Aucklanders

 Humans of South Auckland was inspired by the international photo blog called Humans of New York that American Brandon Stanton created.

Based in New York City, this internationally recognised blog has 18 million likes on Facebook.

Humans of South Auckland is a replica of the internationally well-known photo blog.

Every week, new stories about South Aucklanders are posted on Humans of South Auckland’s Facebook page.

Maree Steunebrink, who is the leader of the project, says that the purpose of the website is to challenge people’s negative stereotypes of South Auckland.


Maree Steunebrink, leader of Humans of South Auckland

Lee Taniwha, who is one of the graphic designers for the website, says that he struggled to find his purpose before he started working with the project.

Taniwha says that he was in a dark place before he started working for the project.

He further says that Humans of South Auckland has allowed him to be proactive and give back to the community.

Torra Nice, a South Aucklander who was featured on the page, says that she was bullied in school by boys for being transgender.

Mrs Nice says that this almost lead her to suicide when she was 15-years-old.

Mrs Nice says that she has learned to forgive and forget. She says that she works as a probation officer, and some of the bullies that used to bully her 11 years ago have come into her work to seek help within their personal lives.

“I think people all heal in a different way. I can look at my journey and where I am in my life, and I can say that I’m probably in a better space than many of these people who treated me wrong in the past,” says Mrs Nice.

“That’s what made me a stronger person, to work with children that are experiencing similar situations that I experienced when I was in school. But I’m able to look at it from a strengths based approach,” says Mrs Nice.




Blog #8 – Reporting on the environment

Photo sourced from

This week it was made clear that the environment is an overwhelming and important topic that isn’t reported on as much as it should be. Sometimes it seems like we cannot do much to help the environment, but that isn’t true. As an intelligent race, humans are able to do so much more for the world that we live in.

The lecture was interesting because it sparked some valid questions that are not reported on as much by journalists as they should be. These topics revolved around how we can make a difference to lower climate change, and how we can help the world by our own efforts. The idea that we need to consume less is incredibly valid, since our rate of consumption is doing harm for the planet.

The mass production of meat and dairy is overwhelming. After doing some research online, I realised that we are able to reduce these numbers significantly. According to Cowspiracy (n.d.), animal agriculture is responsible for an overwhelming 18 percent of greenhouse gases which is more than all transportation combined. It is clear that the great scale of animal agriculture is responsible for a substantial amount of problems for our Earth’s environment. To make these practises more sustainable it is vital that we change these industries change the way that we operate and we consume less.

Source: Cowspiracy


Cowspiracy. (n.d). Retrieved from


Topic: Stormy Daniels been given $130,000 to keep quiet over past Donald Trump sexual relationship

What is the ethical issue surrounding these stories?

The story involves an adult film actress named Stormy Daniels, who was given $130,000 from Michael Cohen (who is Donald Trump’s attorney) to keep quiet about her sexual history with Donald Trump. This topic has been heavily discussed by CNN as well as other news media organisations. The ethical issue of suspected campaign finance violations is a theme in this story and explains why it has been so heavily covered by CNN. This interference with the law is the reason why this case has been seen as an ethical issue, and is the reason why CNN continues to publish stories about it. This story is still very current, since it is still being frequently covered by CNN.

CNN is spending a significant amount of time to cover this story because it is the public interest to know about it. Because the story may involve campaign finance violations and illegal actions. The fact that Donald Trump may have had sexual intercourse with a porn actress named Stormy Daniels is interesting to the public, however the fundamental public interest issue in this story relates to the finance aspect of it. It is in the public’s interest to know if the President of United States of America has participated in illegal actions, because he is representing the country as their President, and therefore is a very influential person.

In regards to all stages of newsgathering such as gathering, interpreting, researching, writing, editing, reporting and presenting, CNN have consciously made an effort to illustrate all aspects of the story. They have tried to elaborate on every single detail from the very start when the story unfolded. They have used different and highly relevant sources in all these stages as new information has unfolded. For example, details that were released by Stormy Daniels at the beginning of the unfolding case, have been followed up by CNN and tried to find answers to.


CNN is a multimedia news organisation which means that they distribute their information across many channels, such as television, social media, their news website and other platforms. According to Deuze (2005), the actions of succeeding at newsgathering, conveying the stories on multimedia channels and considering the relationship between consumers and news producers is regarded as one of the most significant challenges in journalism and education in the present day and age.

CNN is one of the largest and most significant media companies in the world. According to CNN Worldwide Factsheet (n.d.), their channel reaches 91 million homes in the United States of America. Globally, CNN reaches 354 million households, which is more than any other news organisation (CNN Worldwide Factsheet, n.d.). This clearly shows that CNN has a good reputation as a credible news organisation. One of the most significant outlets that CNN has is its YouTube channel that gets hundreds and thousands of visible views on each video. Coverage of this story has been frequently posted on their YouTube channel.

CNN acts as a watchdog

According to Deuze (2005), journalists need to be a ‘watchdog’ for the public. They provide a public service since they monitor what is happening in society and report on it. CNN is a news media organisation that performs as a watchdog. This is clearly seen through their coverage of this scandal, and through their interviews on their YouTube channel. CNN has included interviews with other relevant sources who can add sophisticated input into the case. For example, Laura Coates, who is a former federal prosecutor was featured as a source on their channel, and she spoke about how the case not only is about the sex scandal with Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels, but it involves a much bigger issue, which relates to a breach of campaign finances.

Fundamental ethical principles of journalism in these stories

According to Deuze (2005), good journalism requires journalists to follow a set of ethics, in which they must morally follow when they are assessing their stories. CNN’s news stories relating to Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels that have been posted, have been presented in a way that is adhering to the ethical principles of journalism. According to Tully (2014), The fundamental ethical principles of journalism are accuracy, fairness, impartiality, independence, honesty, diversity, independence, compassion and cultural sensitivity.

How has CNN shown these ethical principles?

According to Deuze (2005), journalists have to be fair when they are in their professional roles. Principles such as truth, accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality have been noticeably seen through CNN’s stories. According to Ethical Journalism Network (n.d.), these principles are highly important in journalism and should be followed at all times as a professional journalist. CNN have been notably sharing perspectives to both sides of the story which is evident through their videos and articles. They have been including perspectives from Stormy Daniels side, as well as President Trump’s side. According to Tully (2014), the code of ethics has made the news environment more competitive since it has become more challenging to successfully adhere to all of the codes of ethics. The code of ethics refers to the journalist needing to follow high standards and being answerable to the public (Tully, 2014).

CNN has been following the ethical standards of journalism since they have been fair and balanced in reporting all sides to the story. According to Tully (2014), journalists need to report stories that are fair and balanced. It is seen as important to present all sides to a story, and include balanced interviews with people from all these different perspectives in order to present the strengths of each argument (Tully, 2014). For example, in a YouTube video that was posted by CNN, Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniel’s attorneys have a debate with each other and state all their supporting facts.

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 10.45.45 amScreenshot of debate between the attorneys

Therefore, CNN took the initiative to include both sides to the story in this heated debate. Since there has been a significant amount of coverage on these stories, CNN has included a vast variety of sources. Sources that CNN have included are specific analysts, civilians, Michael Cohen’s attorney, Stormy Daniel’s attorney, Stormy Daniels, many CNN correspondents and Donald Trump just to name a very few of the sources that have been featured in CNN’s video coverage. According to E tu (n.d.), journalists must be fair and honest when they obtain news information such as recordings, documents, pictures and other pieces of evidence. It is clear that CNN are trying to report all sides of the case by including all sorts of individuals and sources of material into their interviews. For a long period of time, they tried to capture both Trump’s and Cohen’s perspectives. When they were finally able to get this material, they added in the videos and quoted evidence of their points of views into their news stories.

CNN has presented their stories with an objective approach. According to Tully (2014), objectivity is another important ethical standard that journalists need to adhere to. Journalists need to be independent and be able to detach facts and opinions. CNN is noticeably following the two ethical standards of being truthful and accurate in reporting this story. According to Edwards (2016), good journalism relies heavily on trust, since traditional news sources have had a negative reputation of not being trusting, which has made people have mixed feelings about journalists. In the stories that CNN has shared, they have made a very conscious effort to gather as many facts as they can from the direct sources to put into their stories. Therefore, when people watch CNN videos, they are able to see the people involved at firsthand. This is easier for CNN to do, since they are the most significant news organisation in the United States. Whereas it would be remarkably harder for other organisations to be able to do.

In conclusion, CNN has been widely covering information circulating the alleged affair between Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels. They have been concentrating mostly on the legal aspect of the case, since it is relevant and deals with matters of public interest. CNN has been adhering to the journalist code of ethics. It is apparent that in all stages of gathering, interpreting, researching, writing, editing, reporting and presenting the information that CNN has continuously followed the code of ethics, since their information is largely very fair, balanced, and well rounded.




CNN Press Room. (n.d.). Worldwide Fact Sheet. Retrieved from

Edwards, B. (2016). Journalism and Democracy. In E. Johnson., G. Tiso., S.Illingworth & B.W. Bennett (Eds.), Don’t dream it’s over; reimagining journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand (pp. 55-65). Christchurch, New Zealand: Freerange Press.

Ethical Journalism Network. (2013). Five Principles of Journalism. Retrieved from

E tu. (n.d). Journalist Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

Deuze, M. (2005). What is Journalism?. Journal of Journalism, 6(4), 442-459

Tully, J. (2014). Journalism ethics. In G. Hannis (Ed.), Intro: A Beginner’s Guide to Journalism in 21st century Aotearoa/New Zealand (320-332). Lower Hutt, New Zealand. New Zealand Journalists Training Organisation.


Blog #7 – online editing

Photo sourced from
This week in class we discussed the importance of good online news editing. It seems like a simple task, when in reality there is much more that goes on behind the scenes.

According to Marren (2003), online news editing is significantly important because readers most commonly find their information online, because there is a large quantity of information being posted everyday. It is the editor’s job to make sure that the story is told in the best way possible for the readers to successfully grasp the story (Marren, 2003). Since online readers are mostly scanners rather than readers, editors need to make sure that they edit stories in a simple but effective way,  by incorporating bolded words and big titles (Marren, 2003).

Online news editors seem to have a relatively difficult job since they have many factors that they need to be aware of. For example, they need to be aware of time, and ultimately try the best when making sure that their information is accurate, otherwise readers won’t be interested in reading the story (Marren, 2003).

In this week’s news-days, my role will be an online editor, therefore I am excited to learn more about editing and further improve my skills.


Marren, J. (2003). The craft of online editing. Retrieved from


People wait in torrential rain for free icecream

Ben and Jerrys ‘free cone day’ brought about many people waiting in lines at Auckland stores.

Ben and Jerry ice-cream locations all stopped selling their ice-cream, and gave out free scoops instead on Tuesday.

April 10 marks ‘free cone day,’ which is the day that all Ben and Jerrys stores worldwide give out free ice-cream for the day.

The Takapuna store was one of the many that gave out free ice-cream.

Auckland’s heavy rain on Tuesday did not stop queues of people to wait in line to get a free scoop.


People waiting for free ice-cream at Takapuna store on Tuesday

Claire West, who waited in line on Tuesday, said that she never buys Ben and Jerrys ice-cream because she thinks it is too expensive, but has only been to free cone days.

“Even though it is freezing cold and raining, it is good ice-cream so I guess it is worth it,” says West.

Alex Woodall and Eloise Blewden, who both work at the Takapuna store, said that in terms of stock, the store was ordering a lot in order to have enough for the day.


Eloise Blewden and Alex Woodall pictured at Takapuna’s Ben and Jerrys store on Sunday.

“Last year there was a lot of stock, and we even had left overs for four months,” says Ms Blewden.

Ms Blewden says that after the first year of Ben and Jerry’s, the owners realised that it was doing really well, so they started free cone day as an iconic day to commemorate their success.

“The owners of Ben and Jerrys just really like giving back to the community, which is why free cone day happens,” says Mr Woodall.


Word count: 287


Week 6 – rewarding story writing


Photo sourced by Tilly Porter for my weekly story

This week my story was about midwives in New Zealand and how they are treated in terms of their pay rate and the way that they are perceived by the public. I found this story very interesting and rewarding to write about because I got to speak to a midwife that has had many positive and negative experiences during her career which was interesting to hear about. Since there have already been stories about midwives in the news, I had to find an angle that was different. The information that I got was unique and interesting which I think made a good story. According to Comrie (2014), good news stories are those that have a good follow-up. I believe my story this week was a good follow up since it had a different angle to other stories about midwives on the news.

This week all journalism students are having their first news-day. It will be interesting to experience and I’m excited to do some practical work with all the other students. Since we will be using Te Waha Nui to post stories onto, it is important for us to be able to edit on news websites correctly. According to Sissons (2014), a significant number of journalists have said that their jobs revolve more around technology.  There is more emphasise on the need of having skills for digital journalism, since it is becoming more popular (Sissons, 2014). Therefore news-days on Fridays will be very beneficial for us all.


Comrie, M. (2014). News gathering. In Hannis, G. (Ed.), Intro: A beginner’s guide to journalism in 21st century (pp.17-30). Wellington, New Zealand: NZJTO

Sissons, H. & Mulrennan, D. (2014). Writing for news websites: the continuous deadline world of online news. In Hannis, G. (Ed.), Intro: A beginner’s guide to journalism in 21st-century Aotearoa/New Zealand. Wellington, New Zealand: NZJTO

Midwives upset over lengthy unrecognition of work

A number of midwives have spoken out about their unfair pay in regards to the hard work they endure as primary caregivers

Midwives in Auckland are urging the government to make changes to the May 2018 budget.

Charlie Ferris started a Facebook group called “Dear David, Aotearoa needs Midwives” and gained over 8000 likes in the first week.

The purpose of the page is to try to encourage the Health minister, David Clark to make a change to the May 2018 budget.

Midwives who are tired of their poor working conditions and being underpaid have participated on the Facebook page.

Tilly Porter, who is also a midwife and has delivered over 1000 babies, says that being a midwife is not an easy job since it requires an extensive amount of work and long hours.

She has delivered 750 independent births and 300 hospital births.

Mrs Porter says that there is a lack of education about what a midwife is and the amount of work that they endure and little money they receive from it.


In October, when Tilly had to deliver a baby in the car

She says that it is a rewarding job, but the pay is so little that she is forced to leave midwifery, and will be finishing in October.

“I can’t have my life after 14 years, dictated to anymore, by irregular hours, irregular eating, and sleeping, from being on call 24/7,” says Mrs Porter.


Mrs Porter says that even though she has a fully qualified, four-year clinical degree, and has sat complex exams, her job is not adequately recognised for its worth.


One of Tilly’s water births 

Ms Ferris says that she only gets paid $7.40 an hour and works 40 to 70 hour weeks and that she drove 45,000km in a year in a brand new car.

She says that she was urged to try to do something about it and decided to create the Facebook page and send David Clark screenshots of her bank account.

Kirsty Prescott, a mother of two, says that her experiences with two midwives were exceptional, and that she was shocked when she discovered how much money they earn, considering the amount of work they do, and how many women they have under their care at a time.

“If I was to have a third baby, I don’t know how I would cope if that amazing service wasn’t available,” says Mrs Prescott.


Word count: 396 words

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