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Panpa Bulletin : July 2007
22 PANPA Bulletin July 2007 news NZ -- Industry's perceived low priority for workplace training among reasons for resignation of training boss. By Warren Page What is seen as the media's low priority for workplace training is among the reasons for resignation of the Journalists Training Organisation executive director Jim Tucker. Other reasons for resigning include going back to what he best enjoys, that is, teaching, and taking opportunity to have a role in tack- ling what he sees as new challenges in equip- ping journalists to use multimedia skills. Starting in September, Tucker is to head the Journalism School at Whitireia Community Polytechnic's main cam- pus at Porirua, on the Northern fringe of Wellington. He will see the current Journalism Diploma students through to the end of their course but next year hopes to revamp training with a new type of program. Tucker told the PANPA Bulletin that he thought his work at the JTO was done. He said that he was the sort of person who liked to initiate solutions to deal with problems, get those solutions up and running and then to look for new challenges. One big challenge that motivated Tucker to work for the JTO was to initiate and develop a work-place training scheme offer- ing an advanced diploma for selected new journalism graduates. Monitors identify each trainee's strengths and weaknesses in news and feature copy with a view to help- ing their development. In-office mentors provide further help. That scheme is only in the pilot stage in a scattering of newsrooms this year with a hoped for full-scale launch next year. The scheme does not have funds at this stage and relies upon good will. All going well the work-place training should eventually at- tract government funding worth more than NZ$500,000. Tucker said, "Trainees are very keen because they have somebody in the work place monitoring their work but it seems to be difficult in getting industry to commit their time. I think their interest is there but the industry is pretty tight at the moment." Tucker also said, "There is uncertainty in the industry whether it really wants work place training or not." Workplace Training is not currently given high priority, in Tucker's opinion, because most of the news industry is undergoing fundamental changes with its embracing of multimedia opportunities and challenges. Among the holes in modern-day jour- nalism here is the lack of ethnic diversity in newsrooms, according to Tucker. For instance, while the latest Census shows Asians make up 9 per cent of New Zealand's population, a JTO survey shows that only 0.6 per cent of journalism students are of Asian background. Tucker sees a need to train journal- ists to be competent in using multimedia so that they can tell stories with words, audio, still and moving images via the printed page, websites and podcasting. The need for such multiskilling was made clear to Tucker on a recent visit to a work- shop and conference in the UK. Improvements recommended for NZ print readership surveys. By Warren Page A fair, open tendering process should be used to find a suitable provider of readership research, a New Zealand Print Readership Review has found. The review also found advertising agen- cies, advertisers and publishers want richer insights and qualitative data into the way consumers use print media. Interested groups want the new model print readership surveys to be conducted online as soon as there is a suitable level of broadband penetration throughout New Zealand. APN New Zealand and Fairfax Media jointly commissioned Professor Peter Danaher and Barry Williamson to con- duct the readership survey. Danaher and Williamson conducted in-depth face-to- face interviews with 81 people among advertisers, research suppliers, advertis- ing agencies and the publishing industry. The two funding companies, plus another major publishing group, ACP Media, have announced broad support for the review findings. Among other Danaher/Williamson key recommendations are: • undertaking of a review of best in- ternational practice in readership survey methodology, sampling techniques, online research delivery, reporting frequency, measurement of hard copy and online read- ership and funding models. • consultation with key stakeholders to decide whether to retain a single print read- ership survey covering both newspapers and magazines or to adopt separate surveys for newspapers and for magazines. • establishing a working group repre- senting all stakeholders to develop a com- prehensive tendering briefing document to guide potential research providers. • fnding and appoint an independent print research expert to guide and advise on the research provider tendering process. Professor Danaher told the PANPA Bulletin that the recommendation to put the survey- ing of print readership to tender was not a reflection on the two current suppliers, Nielsen Media Research (largely serving the print industry) and Roy Morgan International (largely serving advertising agencies). Some advertising agencies are now receiving survey results from both Nielsen and Morgan and the two sets of figures do not necessarily match. The Danaher/Williamson survey found a need for readership surveys to be put to open tender and for all stakeholders to settle upon what was wanted from survey suppliers. This, said Danaher, would allow the drawing up of detailed briefs for issue to potential suppliers. Readership survey tak- ing should also be future-proofed to allow for surveys to be conducted online, given the increasing difficulty of securing face to face interviews. "Some magazine publishers," said Danaher, "would prefer their publications to have print readership surveys done separate- ly from those for newspapers. The current combined survey has a sample of 12,000 people to accommodate the needs smaller regional newspapers. Such a large sample is not needed for all magazines, which are directed to a national-level audience."
August September 2007