Unique journalism award open for applications

A unique award fostering critical journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand is now open for applications.
 
The Bruce Jesson Journalism Award, unlike any other journalism award in this country, provides up to $4000 up-front to fund the time and resources required to produce journalistic work.
 
The work can be in any format but 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”.
 
The Bruce Jesson Foundation, founded in memory of Auckland journalist and writer Bruce Jesson who died in 1999, also offers an award of up to $1500 for published work by a New Zealand journalism student nominated by a journalism programme leader. This work must also be “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”. The increased value of this prize is possible thanks to the support of a gift from the Grace Memorial Trust in memory of Diana Unwin.
 
Applications for both of this year’s awards are now open and close on Friday 17 September.
 
Full criteria and details on how to apply are available here.

Sinead Boucher to deliver 2020 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture

Sinead Boucher, the journalist who bought Stuff, New Zealand’s biggest media company1, for $1 will deliver this year’s Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture.

Quality journalism has long sat at the heart of the democratic process – with a commitment to uncover the facts, and hold the powerful to account. Yet in a society increasingly plagued by misinformation and conspiracy theories, public trust in news organisations is under threat like never before.

In the wake of the US and NZ elections, this lecture will explore the importance of public trust in journalism. What can news organisations be doing to rebuild public trust? Is it possible in a world where social media platforms continue to grow, unchecked, fuelling greater division and social unrest? And, as the media landscape continues to undergo rapid and significant change, what learnings can the Stuff experience offer for those seeking to build a sustainable future for journalism, and find innovative ways to fund it?

Sinead Boucher was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Stuff in August 2017 and in 2020 completed a management buyout from Nine Entertainment Ltd, famously for a dollar. Prior to becoming CEO, Sinead was NZ Group Executive Editor for four years, responsible for NZ’s largest newsroom, a stable of newspapers and magazines, and the Stuff website. She started her career as a reporter for The Press in Christchurch and was a journalist at the Financial Times and Reuters in London before returning to New Zealand, where she became Stuff’s first digital editor. Under her watch, Stuff has grown to record audience numbers driven by the organisation’s reputation for award-winning journalism.

She will deliver the 2020 Bruce Jesson Lecture in Lecture Theatre B10, General Library Basement (Building 109), 5 Alfred Street, Auckland, at 6pm on Tuesday 1st December.

You can register here

The lecture is free and open to all, but registration is encouraged. A collection will be taken to sustain the Bruce Jesson Foundation.

1 2019 AUT NZ Media Ownership Report, p25

Entries Open for 2020 Jesson Journalism Awards

The Bruce Jesson Foundation is offering up to $4000 this year to fund a piece of critical journalism that will contribute to serious public debate in an era of “fake news” and up to $1500 for its Emerging Journalism Prize to recognise outstanding recent work. The increased value of this prize is possible thanks to the support of a gift from the Grace Memorial Trust in memory of Diana Unwin.

The Foundation’s annual grants aim to fund “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”.

Acting chair Simon Collins said applications for this year’s grant are now open, and close on Monday 14th September.

“Unlike other journalism awards, ours aim to pay upfront for journalism that would not be done otherwise,” he said.

“We are willing to pay for travel and other research costs, and for the time someone will need to produce a piece of serious journalism which is not ‘fake news’.

“Social media and the internet have made it possible for anyone in the world to produce journalism that contributes to public debate, but most people need to earn a living and don’t have the time to produce journalism that will uncover new facts or to do the research necessary to present a new, in-depth perspective on an important issue.

“We are not looking just for paid, professional journalists, because they are already paid to produce well-researched journalism.

“Rather, we are looking especially for people like Bruce Jesson, who produced critical books and articles analysing NZ society from the margins, driven by his passion to understand the world and to change it.”

Previous grants have part-funded books on inequality, on New Zealand’s role in the US “war on terror”, and on the abdication of corporate and political responsibility that led to the deaths of 29 miners at Pike River.

They have helped to finance Jon Stephenson’s award-winning reporting from Iraq, a documentary on New Zealand’s climate change policies, investigative articles on rest homes, and a report on how the welfare system treats beneficiaries in domestic relationships.

The foundation is also calling for nominations from tutors in NZ journalism courses for the $1500 Emerging Journalism Prize for “outstanding recent work by New Zealand print journalism students”. 

This work must have been published, in any form, between the closing date for last year’s awards, 31 October 2019, and this year’s closing date, 14 September 2020.

Applications and nominations can be submitted online through the Foundation website or to the Secretary, Bruce Jesson Foundation, c/- Politics & International Relations, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142

‘What institutional reform befits the era of the long climate crisis’ – Russel Norman’s 2019 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture

University of Auckland, October 22, 2019

Introduction

It is a real privilege to present this years Bruce Jesson memorial lecture.
I was lucky enough to meet Bruce and Joce Jesson when I was studying the Alliance as a postgraduate student. Bruce and Joce literally opened their home to me and provided me with a vast treasure trove of information about the Alliance and the history of progressive politics in New Zealand. And coming as I was from Australia it was an invaluable insiders’ perspective. In addition Bruce’s books and many articles over the years provided not only an important historical record but a theoretical conversation which is often lacking.

Continue reading ‘What institutional reform befits the era of the long climate crisis’ – Russel Norman’s 2019 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture

Entries close soon for Jesson journalism awards

Entries for this year’s Bruce Jesson Journalism Awards will close on 31 October 2019.

The awards include a senior award paying up-front costs of up to $4000 for a planned work of “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”.

There is also an award of up to $1000 for published work by a New Zealand journalism student nominated by a journalism progrannme leader. This work must also be “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”.

Full criteria and details on how to apply are available on the Bruce Jesson Foundation website www.brucejesson.com.

Contacts:

Simon Collins, acting chair: 021 901 036, ehlarandsimon@gmail.com

Dr Geoff Kemp, trustee: 021 445 721, g.kemp@auckland.ac.nz

Greenpeace leader: What we really need to cut emissions

The former Green Party co-leader, who labelled his successor James Shaw’s Zero Carbon Bill as “toothless” when it was released in May, has titled his lecture: “Will the Zero Carbon Act really cut emissions? What institutional change does a climate emergency demand?”

Greenpeace NZ executive director Russel Norman will outline what is really needed to cut carbon emissions when he gives this year’s Bruce Jesson Lecture on October 22.

The lecture comes after a dramatic week at the United Nations where 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg told world leaders: “How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as usual and some technical solutions?”

Continue reading Greenpeace leader: What we really need to cut emissions

Levin journalist wins 2018 Bruce Jesson journalism award

Levin journalist Aaron Smale has won this year’s Bruce Jesson journalism award to fund research into abuse of patients at the former Lake Alice mental hospital near Marton.
Smale, a freelance journalist whose previous work on abuse at Lake Alice helped to put the wider issue of abuse of people in state care on the public agenda, receives a $4000 grant to fund further work on the issue.
The annual grant was established to honour journalist and politician Bruce Jesson,  who died in 1999. It funds “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”.
Bruce Jesson Foundation acting chair Simon Collins says Aaron Smale’s work, done mostly without secure employment but with a passionate commitment to social justice, is “exactly the sort of work that the Jesson Foundation exists to support”.
“This work would not be done without an independent source of funding for public-interest journalism,” he says.
“We are very grateful to everyone who has donated to the foundation over the past 18 years so that we can contribute in a small way towards funding Aaron’s important work.”
The foundation has given this year’s Emerging Journalist Award of $1000 for published work by a student journalist to Wellington journalist Meriana Johnsen for a story published in the Sunday Star-Times on police handling of suicide calls, written while she was a journalism student at Massey University.
Two other Massey students have been awarded special $500 highly commended awards: Amber Allott, for an investigation into reptile trading published in NZ Geographic magazine, and Anna Whyte, for an in-depth story on revenge porn published on the TVNZ website.
The awards are being announced at the annual Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture, which is being delivered at Auckland University at 6pm tonight by Monte Cecilia Housing Trust chief executive Bernie Smith.

‘Housing crisis – A Smoking Gun with no Silver Bullet’ – Bernie Smith’s 2018 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture

This housing crisis is not a central or local government issue to resolve in isolation, this crisis has been in the making for many years and it’s now going to take many years of courageous and creative solutions backed by strategic planning and financial backing.

Bernie Smith, CEO of the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust, canvassed the situation in the 2018 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture and argued that we can do much more.

Click on the picture below to see a video of Bernie’s talk. The accompanying text and slides can be found here.