Portfolio samples & special interests

Journalism interests and Newsroom_Plus

I have had a long involvement in ‘Future of Journalism’ initiatives and events, dating back to Internet workshops I ran for journalists with the NZ Journalism Training Organisation (NZJTO) in the late 1990s when research I conducted in 1997 on journalism trends for the NZJTO was featured in Amanda Cropp’s book ‘Digging Deeper – A NZ Guide to Investigative Reporting’. Analysis I undertook of news broadcast bulletins for the McGuiness Institute’s Civics and Media Project in 2015 was cited in Gavin Ellis’ book Complacent Nation (Bridget Williams Books, 2016).

Between 2005-15 I was a regular presenter and participant in journalism focused events including:

  • Presenting at three Journalism Education Association of NZ’s conferences between 2005-2007 – in Hamilton, Auckland and Wellington – on topics as diverse as a content review of Listener magazine covers, my MA thesis on NZ journalist Pat Lawlor’s editorship of the NZ edition of ‘Aussie’ magazine in the 1920s and reflections on iconic NZ writer Robin Hyde’s 1934 book ‘Journalese’.
  • Presenting at the Professional Historians of New Zealand (PHANZA) conference in Wellington in 2007 on the topic of trading of historical artefacts on TradeMe.
  • Delivering a guest lecture in 2008 to students at Victoria University enrolled in a paper titled ‘Journalism and literature’ (ENGL 439).
  • Presenting at the inaugural AUT Media, Investigative Journalism and Technology conference in 2010 on the topic of NGOs and journalism.

I also attended three Walkley Foundation Storyology conferences in Sydney between 2013-2016 and took part in the Online News Association conference in Los Angeles in 2015.

During my two years as General Manager of Newsroom Ltd in 2014-15 I developed a public-facing ‘news curation’ site at Newsroomplus.com as part of diversifying its offerings.

The previous owner of Newsroom Ltd was the NZ Stock Exchange where Newsroom had been following its 17 year model, originally sustained by media entrepreneur Peter Fowler, as a paywalled clearinghouse of media releases (essentially the same model used for and offered by its rival originator Scoop.co.nz). The public Newsroom.co.nz site was then transformed into an award-winning news site after it was sold to a group of leading NZ journalists. I was closely involved in brokering the sale and the old subscription business still exists as NewsroomPro.

Palaver Media, freelance writing, urban design and voluntary work

I have regularly aligned use of the branding of Palaver Media/Palaver PR with my freeelance work since 2007.

In parallel to my professional writing I have been a very active freelance writer, focused especially on urban design and have had articles appear in a number of publications such as Urban, Architecture NZ, Idealog, Landscape and Pro/Design. Many of those articles coincided with freelance reporting of a wide range of conference events. See samples at Elementarycity.blog

My interest in urban design was sparked when I was engaged by Common Ground Studio to prepare an address titled Beyond the Burbs for the 2nd International Urban Design Conference in Queensland in 2009. I followed that with a lengthy period of technical writing assistance and publicity work for Common Ground as well as another Auckland urban design firm, UrbanLogic.

This period also gelled with my work for Community Housing Aotearoa and work I did under the banner of Palaver Media to guest edit two editions of the Australasian Housing Institute’s flagship magazine HousingWorks (2011-2012), including the special edition for the World Indigenous Housing Conference held in Canada in 2012.

Some of my other (ongoing) Palaver Media projects have included:

  • frequently pursuing media opportunities and providing advisory services for a variety of small businesses, startup companies and social enterprises
  • media support for a WW1 commemoration project (2011) and an allied voluntary project for WW100.govt.nz (2013)
  • event reportage for Semi-Permanent design speaker events held in Wellington (2013 / 2014) for publishers such as Architecture Now
  • website copywriting for the Auckland-based Streamline Business Group and regular publication work on Shareholder Reports and Staff newsletters since 2022
  • volunteering as a Moderator for three webinars held as part of the online Te Tiriti-based futures + Anti-racism 2020 event in March 2022
  • voluntary work in 2022 under the umbrella of the Community Comms Collective in support of BenchSpace, a community initiative that has created a workshop hub for woodworking based in a public housing location, Central Park Apartments
  • being appointed to the role of guest blog editor, social media minder and media wrangler for the Urban Design Forum in October 2022.