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Wintec graduates sweep the finals of the Canon Media Awards

The finalists for the 2017 Canon Media Awards were announced this week and they include no fewer than 14 Wintec graduates. Their nominations are from a range of categories including sport, photography, feature writing, Māori affairs, headlines, health and videography.

For the sixth year running, Wintec graduates have been named as finalists for Student Journalist of the Year. This year, the line-up features two Wintec graduates. Wintec graduates have won Canon Media Awards three out of the last five years.

Head of Wintec’s School of Media Arts, Sam Cunnane says it’s proud faces all round from Wintec’s journalism and communications tutors.

“We’re really proud of the success of these former students. Really the credit’s all theirs but the connection with Wintec and the Waikato is strong and we’re very proud to have partnered with them on their journey.

“This won’t be the end of a winning streak – within a few weeks of starting this year, a number of our first year students had work published and I look forward to seeing many of their names on by-lines and the awards list in the near future.”

Congratulations go to the following Wintec graduates nominated as Canon Media Award finalists:

Student Journalist of the Year nominees:
Dileepa Fonseka  and Ruwade Bryant

Wintec graduates:
Donna-Lee Biddle
Don Rowe
Christopher Reive
Kyra Dawson
Rikihana Smallman
Rachel Thomas
Dave Nicoll
Jonathan Carson
Aaron Leaman
Phillipa Yalden
Ben Stanley
Christel Yardley

Meanwhile, more award successes and surprises are anticipated at New Zealand’s most glamorous media event, the invitation-only Wintec Press Club on Friday, 28 April to be held at the Ferrybank in Hamilton.

Past and present journalism students from Wintec including Jenna Lynch at Newshub, Don Rowe at The Spinoff and a raft of New Zealand media personalities are on the invite-list.

They will join newly appointed Labour deputy leader, Jacinda Ardern who will brave a challenging audience as the guest speaker.

Ardern has regularly attended the Wintec Press Club in New Zealand as a guest. The first-time guest speaker says she “greeted the opportunity to speak with equal measures of gratitude and fear.”

Press Club life president Steve Braunias said he was thrilled Ardern accepted his invitation. “She has always had a star quality as well as a first rate mind. I’m looking forward to her speech and hope that she sticks it to the press gallery.”

The Wintec Press Club is staged on behalf of journalism students at Wintec’s School of Media Arts. An invite-only audience of about 100 regularly includes the biggest names in New Zealand journalism as well as politicians, entrepreneurs, sports personalities, and entertainers.

Lorde attended last year, and speakers have included Patrick Gower, Dave Dobbyn, Robyn Malcolm, Heather du Plessis-Allan, and Sir Paul Holmes.

“The only politician to talk at Press Club was Winston Peters,” said Braunias. “He was quite rambling.”

Venetia Sherson, former editor of the Waikato Times, founded the Wintec Press Club in 2004.

  • Full details on the Canon Media Awards finalists can be viewed here.
  • Get more information about studying media arts at Wintec here.

Preview image: Canon journalism finalist Jonathan Carson interviews Richie McCaw.