Chasing media freedom story ‘opened passion’ for new PMW editor

New Pacific Media Watch contributing editor Kendall Hutt on the job today. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Award-winning Auckland University of Technology graduate journalist Kendall Hutt has been appointed contributing editor for the Pacific Media Watch freedom project for 2017.

Hutt says she is extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue growing her passion for and knowledge of the Pacific, but more importantly telling the region’s stories.

“Every Pacific nation has its own story. It’s not all about palm trees and white sandy beaches,” she says.

“Islands are being inundated by rising sea levels as a result of climate change, and human rights violations are being committed.”

Hutt says she is determined to make the wider public in New Zealand and regionally more aware of these issues, as the Pacific Media Centre had done for her during her studies.

“PMC opened my eyes to a region I hadn’t previously considered for my journalism career,” she says.

‘Gung-ho reporting’
“I had dreams of being a gung-ho war reporter or holding politicians to account in the halls of Parliament.”

Writing a story exploring media freedom in the Pacific in early 2015 really changed that direction for the better — it awoke a passion in me.”

She succeeds former PMW editor TJ Aumua, who is currently adventuring overseas with 2015 editor Star Kata; Norwegian journalist Daniel Drageset with the National Police Directorate; Alex Perrottet, now a journalist with Radio New Zealand International; and Anna Majavu.

Hutt has been a contributing writer for PMC since 2015 and has recently returned from a journalism exchange in Finland as part of her Honours year last year.

Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie congratulated her on her appointment after a series of interviews.

“We are pleased to have Kendall on board. She has shown with past contributing assignments that she is a dedicated and talented young journalist and committed to the Pacific.”

Pacific Media Watch collaborates with several global media freedom organisations, including Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.

The position of part-time PMW editor is appointed annually and is open to current AUT journalism students and recent graduates. It involves research, writing, editing and publishing on Asia-Pacific media freedom, human rights and socio-political issues.

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