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Vote! Kean for Columbia

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 13th, 2010 - 9 comments
Categories: blogs, education - Tags:

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..Vote on the left of the screen where is says “Vote for me” on an orange button.

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.

9 comments on “Vote! Kean for Columbia”

  1. Pete 1

    Link is broken!

    Last time I looked the competition was being led by a hockey player. Let’s all help someone with real smarts get some quality journalism book-learnin’! And she’s already done the hard-yeards (and is a lovely person to boot).

    Go Nicola!

  2. Thanks for the votes everyone!

  3. pointer 3

    one more vote here. good luck nicola!

  4. clandestino 4

    Had someone on the street ask me to vote her up for one of these things (don’t think it was journalism though). She had to get 10,000 too.
    The above wasn’t meant to cheapen the thing, but perhaps this will: Salient has been rubbish while I’ve been at uni. It went so out of whack we had whole issues in Maori no one could read (and that’s thousands of copies printed for ‘free’), repetitive columns that said nothing whilst betraying poor writing skills generally, and political tracts that were either biased or ignorant, particularly when it came to economics and foreign issues.
    As for Vic, the Profs, particularly in Pols, don’t allow honesty in academia. The best students didn’t do that well, preferring to go it alone with real ideas, not regurgitate reams of outdated library book pages and slavishly trawl the infinite number of articles on ProQuest. Vic is quite the little brown-noser’s paradise.
    I’m sorry Nicola I can’t quite get over my contempt for Salient but there you go.

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