2014 Bruce Jesson Awards

The Bruce Jesson Foundation has announced its 2014 Journalism Awards:

  • The Senior Journalism Award of $4000 for a proposed work of “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing that will contribute to public debate in NZ on an important issue or issues” was awarded to Max Rashbrooke for an e-book on wealth inequality in NZ;
  • The Emerging Journalism Award of $1000 for “outstanding published work of critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing by NZ print journalism students which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues” was awarded to Chloe Winter of Massey University, Wellington, for her article “War against killers we face at work“, published in the Herald on Sunday on 3 November 2013.
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2014 Bruce Jesson Lecture Available

On 15 October, Mike Joy delivered the 2014 Bruce Jesson Lecture at Auckland University. His topic, Paradise Squandered; New Zealand’s Environmental Asset Stripping. Mike’s capacity to blend an engaging narrative with the detail in his many informative slides meant an attentive audience, with many thirsty for more information and access to to resources referenced. Mike undertook to write the lecture up for distribution and it is now available in PDF form here.

Of particular note was that this lecture was not just an account of the damage that has been wrought on New Zealand’s environmental assets, but a call to action:

Crucially we must immediately stop the procrastination; we must get the science back and get rid of the politics. We must accept the reality that we can’t collaborate away environmental reality. Community agreement won’t stop the reality of impacts once the conditions for declines and biodiversity losses exist.

He went on to outline key actions required to arrest and then reverse this degradation:

At the many talks I have given to farming groups the usual response is “that’s all very grim, so now give me some solutions”, which translated means give me some (preferably technical) solution so that we can keep doing what we are doing because I’m not prepared to stop doing what I am doing. Of course this is not possible to really achieve improvements, so we must make these simple changes. We must:

  • put a cost on pollution (or premium on not polluting)
  • farm for profitability not for capital gain
  • Immediately move away from fossil fertiliser
  • Immediately move away from imported fertiliser and feed.

Please take the time to download Mike’s lecture, read it, and distribute it as widely as possible.

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The 2014 Bruce Jesson Lecture Mike Joy – Paradise Squandered; New Zealand’s Environmental Asset Stripping

New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and most of our groundwater are in a critical state. Decades of misguided regulation and a free-for-all on diffuse pollution have encouraged agricultural intensification and driven our increasing reliance on imported feed and fertiliser.

The inevitable consequences have been devastating environmental impacts as well as increasing economic and biosecurity risks.

The solutions are many but require a paradigm shift; a move away from dependence on imported feed and fertiliser to keeping nutrients on farm and adding value to products, and strong leadership to move away from short-term thinking that accepts the massive ecological debt we are running up. 

Mike Joy MSc(Hons), PhD in Ecology is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science at the Ecology Group-Institute of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, Palmerston North. He has received a number of awards, including the Ecology in Action award from the New Zealand Ecological Society; an Old Blue award from the Royal Forest and Bird protection Society; Environmental New Zealander of the Year from North and South magazine and the Manawatu Evening Standard Person of the Year.

Presented by Politics and International Relations and the Bruce Jesson Foundation

Wednesday 15 October, 6.30pm
Maidment Theatre
Alfred Street
The University of Auckland
The Maidment Bar will open from 5.30pm

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HOT AIR – climate change politics in New Zealand

HOT AIR is the story of twenty years of political struggle between politicians, scientists and activists wanting to reduce New Zealand’s emissions, and corporate leaders and their lobbyists working to protect profits and commercial advantage.

HOT AIR, a new documentary by Alister Barry & Abi King-Jones, will be screening in the upcoming New Zealand International Film Festival in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch, Hamilton & Palmerston North.

In 2013 Alister Barry won the Bruce Jesson Foundation’s Senior Journalism Award to assist in completion of the film.

See http://www.hotairfilm.co.nz for session dates & times.

Auckland Screening Times
Friday 1 August 1:00 p.m. SKY CITY CINEMA
Saturday 2 August 3:30 p.m. SKY CITY CINEMA
Location : Sky City Cinema

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Entries open for 2014 Jesson journalism awards

Have you got a journalistic project that you want to complete, but can’t get enough money or time to do it?

If so, a Bruce Jesson journalism award may be able to help. Applications for the 2014 awards are now open, and close on Friday 26 September.

There are two awards, a senior one to fund a planned journalistic project and a journalism student award for work that has already been published. The senior award is unique in New Zealand because it funds time and research costs of up to $4000 in advance for projects that could be newspaper or magazine articles, reports on the internet, books, films, radio or TV documentaries or “any other publication which is aimed at, and accessible by, the general public of New Zealand or any part of New Zealand”.

Projects must be “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”. Past winners have included Nicky Hager, Max Rashbrooke and Rebecca Macfie for books; Jon Stephenson, Amy Richardson and Peter Malcouronne for magazine articles; Tina McIvor for a research report; and last year’s winner, Alister Barry, for a film on New Zealand’s climate change policies.

The Emerging Journalism Prize for student journalists offers has $1000 for “outstanding recent work by New Zealand print journalism students.” It is nominated by the heads of New Zealand journalism schools or journalism programme leaders for published work by student journalists.

Entries for the 2013 Bruce Jesson Journalism Prizes are now invited both from self-nominating senior journalists and the Heads of New Zealand journalism schools. Entries will be assessed by members of the Foundation’s Journalism Sub-committee: Geoff Kemp (convenor), Camille Guy, Joe Atkinson, Simon Collins, and Jon Stephenson.

Details are available on the website. Applications and nominations (including copies of nominated work) can be submitted online, or mailed to Dr Geoff Kemp, c/- Political Studies Department, University of Auckland, PB 92019, Auckland (g.kemp@auckland.ac.nz). The deadline is 5pm, Friday 26 September 2014.

Contacts:

Dr Geoff Kemp, 021 445 721

Camille Guy, 09 378 7553

Dr Joe Atkinson, 021 320 069

Simon Collins, 021 612 423

Jon Stephenson, 021 149 5299

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2013 Bruce Jesson Lecture: Sir Edmund Thomas – Reducing Inequality: A Strategy for a Cause

Below is the abridged version of the 2013 lecture. It may also be downloaded as a PDF here.

Introduction

I did not know Bruce Jesson personally. But I am familiar with his writings.  All his books have a place on my bookshelf.  He undoubtedly influenced my thinking.  Much of what I have to say tonight echoes views he expressed over two decades ago.  As I share his distaste for neo-liberalism, his work, and the spirit of his work, infuse and inform my lecture.  It is, therefore, a profound privilege to have been invited to give the Bruce Jesson Lecture this year.

This country, as with many other countries, has undergone a traumatic neo-liberal transformation.  A theory that insists human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within a framework of strong property rights, free markets and free trade has been pursued in New Zealand to a radical extent.  The outcome, as in other countries that have pursued the neo-liberal creed, has been extreme and even obscene inequality.  Continue reading

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Jesson Awards for 2013

On the occasion of the 2013 Bruce Jesson lecture we announced this year’s Senior and Emerging Journalism Awards.

The Senior Journalism award of $4000 went to Alister Barry, for his feature-length film documentary, Hot Air, which tells the history of the politics of climate change in New Zealand from 1988 to 2008. Alister’s film will contribute to public debate on the politics of climate change in New Zealand from 1988 to 2008, and documenting ‘a political struggle over the burning of oil and coal which is causing the extinction of thousands of species’.

He has a track record of completing work that has generated public awareness and debate. His films as writer-director include Someone Else’s Country (1996), In a Land of Plenty (2002) and The Hollow Men (2008), the latter adapted from the book of the same name by last year’s Bruce Jesson lecturer Nicky Hager.

The Emerging Journalist award of $1000 was shared between Ruth Keber, a journalism student at Massey University, for ‘The New Maori Muslims’, North & South (March 2013) and Deena Coster, a journalism student at the Western Institute of Technology Taranaki (WITT), for a portfolio of articles in the Taranaki Daily News (June-Sept 2013).

Ruth Keber’s ‘The New Maori Muslims’, published in North & South, told the story of a young woman’s personal testimony of a flight from abuse to the embrace of Islam, then broadening into an exploration of linkages between Maori and Muslim culture and consideration of Islam and religious diversity in New Zealand.

Deena Coster’s portfolio of articles published in the Taranaki Daily News showcased a student journalist following in the tradition of the best kind of local newspaper journalism, displaying community commitment, social concern over issues like pay and housing and the initiative to dig around.

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Coming up, the 2013 Bruce Jesson Lecture

The speaker, a Distinguished Fellow at the Law School at The University of Auckland, argues that the gross inequality in income and wealth which besets New Zealand is the outcome of the neo-liberal economic measures of the mid-1980s and early 1990s and the culture of liberal individualism and unfettered free market ideology which it spawned.

A breakdown in social cohesion and a sense of community is the result. Reforms to counter this inequality are widely mooted. But increasing focus and discussion on the topic is confronted by a plethora of mantras and myths purveyed by the rich and powerful. The stimulus for change is deadened.

The speaker advances a strategy designed to provide a coherent impetus to reduce the rank inequality that now prevails.

The Rt Hon Sir Edmund Thomas will deliver the 2013 lecture on Wednesday 30 October, 6.30pm, at the Maidment Theatre (bar opens at 5.30pm).

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Call for 2013 Jesson Prize Nominations

The deadline is approaching for the Bruce Jesson Foundation journalism prize competition, offering funding for high-quality critical journalism. The 2013 competition opened as recent winner Max Rashbrooke unveiled a new book supported by his Jesson award: Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis – and what we can do about it (Bridget Williams Books, 2013).

The Bruce Jesson Foundation was established in 1999 to commemorate one of New Zealand’s greatest political journalists, the late Bruce Jesson, by promoting “vigorous political, social and economic investigation, debate, analysis and reporting in New Zealand”. The Foundation holds an Annual Lecture and awards two journalism prizes, presented at the lecture in October:

  • The Senior Journalism Prize is self-nominated and invites applications for an award of up to NZ$4,000 to assist a project aiming to produce the kind of critical and analytical journalism exemplified by Jesson’s work.
  • The Emerging Journalism Prize has a fixed emolument of $1,000 and recognises “outstanding recent work by New Zealand print journalism students.” It is nominated by the heads of New Zealand journalism schools or journalism programme leaders for published work by student journalists.

Entries for the 2013 Bruce Jesson Journalism Prizes are now invited both from self-nominating senior journalists and the Heads of New Zealand journalism schools. Entries will be assessed by members of the Foundation’s Journalism Sub-committee: Geoff Kemp (convenor), Camille Guy, Joe Atkinson, Simon Collins, and Jon Stephenson.

Details are available by clicking the ‘Awards’ tab at the top of this page. Applications and nominations (including copies of nominated work) can be submitted online, or mailed to Dr Geoff Kemp, C/- Political Studies Department, University of Auckland, PB 92019, Auckland (g.kemp@auckland.ac.nz).

The DEADLINE for receipt of nominations is 5pm, Monday, September 30, 2013.

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Nicky Hager Delivers the 2012 Bruce Jesson Lecture

Nicky Hager - Photo John Miller

Hager delivers 2012 Jesson Lecture (Photo: John Miller)

Nicky Hager

Taking questions (Photo: John Miller)

Jane Kelsey & Nicky Hager

Jane Kelsey & Nicky Hager (Photo: John Miller)

On Wednesday 31 October, Nicky Hager delivered the 2012 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture to a packed and attentive Maidment Theatre audience. Entitled ‘Investigative journalism in the age of media meltdown: from National Party Headquarters to Afghanistan‘, the lecture described the key political, commercial and economic influences Nicky identifies as degrading public and democratic discourse. He particularly noted the impact of PR machines, but drew on material from his books to illustrate the impact of other interests.  Continue reading

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