UC re-launching its journalism course in 2013

4 September 2012

The University of Canterbury is re-launching its journalism course, which was not offered in 2012 in the wake of the Canterbury earthquakes.

The course, which began in the 1920s, has trained some of the country’s foremost journalists.

The University has appointed Tara Ross, a former journalist for The Press and the Sunday Star-Times, as the senior lecturer in journalism. Ms Ross is a Qantas Award-winning reporter with a reputation for insight and depth of analysis in her reporting.

Acting Head of the Department of Social and Political Sciences, Dr Donald Matheson, said Ms Ross impressed the University with her vision for journalism education in a rapidly changing media environment.

"The key skills of the journalist, such as asking questions, getting the facts right and quality writing, are as important as ever,” he said.

"But Tara Ross will be preparing journalists to work across media and in new ways.

"They may be live blogging one day, talking with their audience on social media the next and working with a non-profit organisation the day after that. In addition, Ms Ross brings the analytical skills to carry on the course’s tradition of turning out reflective journalists."

Ms Ross said the biggest challenge for journalism currently was re-engaging with its community.

"That’s not about letting go of professional practices but about learning how to speak with communities to be more relevant to them," she said.

Ms Ross has won numerous awards and scholarships for her academic work and is herself a graduate of the Canterbury journalism programme. She won the Bain Prize as the top journalism student of her year.

The University put the course on hold in 2012 due to uncertainties over enrolments and an unsuccessful search for a lecturer. Dr Matheson said the course’s restarting was a sign of the university rebuilding its strengths post-quake. Enrolments for 2013 close on 15 November.

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Communications and External Relations
University of Canterbury 
Ph: + 64 3 364 3325
Mobile: 027 503 0168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz