Donna-Lee BiddleJournalist, Waikato Times
Bachelor of Media Arts (Communication), Journalism pathway & National Diploma in Journalism (Multi-Media)
Awards: Wintec Adult Learner Award 2014 and Bruce Jesson Merit Award 2014 (investigative journalism)“You can attend any journalism course in the country but you will not find tutors quite like the ones at Wintec.”
Biddle simultaneously completed both the Bachelor of Media Arts (Journalism pathway) and the National Diploma in Journalism (Multi-Media). She was drawn to the structure of the programme and the options available. In her second year she decided to focus on journalism and hasn’t looked back. During the final year, she edited student-run magazine Te Kete Kōrero on top of course work.
“I never felt like 'just' another student,” says Biddle. “My tutors were amazing and because they had all worked as journalists and broadcasters they were able to guide me through my third year while I interned. They offered valuable advice which I still take on board while working. They could also identify my strengths and helped me hone those skills.”
She believes the staff are one of a kind. “You can attend any journalism course in the country but you will not find tutors quite like the ones at Wintec,” says Biddle. “They worked tirelessly to help us with internships, assignments, managing the workload and any queries we had with the course. You could tell they went out of their way because they genuinely wanted to help.”
One of her early career highlights was being offered the health round at the Waikato Times, she says. “Health is a big round and previous health reporters have had more journalism experience than me so although it felt like a challenge, I was excited to tackle it.”
Biddle hopes to continue building her skills as reporter. “In the future I want to do more in-depth investigative reporting and eventually be a broadcast journalist.”