Tune in to Whitireia City Campus
One of the country’s largest media education centres is being established at Whitireia Community Polytechnic’s Cuba Mall campus.
The Whitireia journalism and publishing schools will be joined at the central Wellington campus by the recently acquired NZ Radio Training School and the polytech’s creative writing school is to become the Whitireia NZ Media Training Centre early next year.
Whitireia dean of arts Kaye Jujnovich said she is delighted about the plans.
Although she would not disclose how much the makeover would cost, she said it will be money well spent.
The new centre will fill the entire first floor of the former Wellington Workingmen’s Club near the bucket fountain, premises Whitireia rebuilt in 2008.
Recording studios, production suites and other media-related facilities will be added.
The NiuFM radio station will also relocate to the campus, providing an outlet for practical radio work for journalism students.
Operated by the Pacific Media Network (along with 531PI), the station broadcasts nationally and the network wants to boost its presence in the Wellington region.
It will work with Hollah FM, a Porirua-based Pasifika station that was recently taken over by Whitireia.
As part of the development, Whitireia Journalism School will launch a third new programme at the campus, the Diploma in Radio Journalism, the only course of its kind in New Zealand.
It joins the new Certificate in Multimedia Journalism launched earlier this year and the National Diploma in Journalism (Multimedia), which was relocated from the Porirua campus in 2008 and completely revamped and expanded.
With more than 70 journalism students coming through the doors each year, Whitireia will match Auckland University of Technology as the country’s biggest journalism education institution.
The Diploma in Publishing is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and half of those who graduated from the programme this year were offered jobs by publishers around the country before they finished their training.
The publishing programme will be expanding in 2011, offering for the first time a Book Editing Masterclass and an annual Te Reo Maori Scholarship.
Whitireia Journalism School head Jim Tucker said the polytech council’s decision to approve the new centre will see fruition for plans originally laid in 2007.
‘‘So many things have changed in the news media over the past couple of years, and this centre will see us full equipped to train the multimedia journalists of the future,’’ he said.
The centre will have multimedia – web, print, radio and video – facilities to enable students to emerge ready to face any news media-related job.
Whitireia’s journalism students numbered in single figures in 2007 and courses faced closure.
The school is the only one to have its own news website, Newswire. co. nz, which publishes students’ work and ensures they are fully conversant with webrelated media developments.
The new radio diploma, which will start on April 4, will initially take 15 students, who will spend a semester at the school before going out to the radio industry to work in newsrooms.
Next year, the school plans to develop a range of short courses in media photography, video reporting for the web, blogging and web editing.
It will also have level 3 NCEArelevant ‘‘boot camp’’ courses for senior secondary students interested in exploring journalism as a career.