Thursday, April 22, 2010

Media ethics high on agenda for winner of inaugural Indian Newslink scholarship

By Thakur Ranjit Singh: Pacific Media Centre

Barbara Dreaver’s Samoa “gangs and drugs” story, Voreqe Bainimarama’s controversial media decree in Fiji, and the Julian Moti saga in Australia make interesting news debates. And a common issue in the middle is media ethics.

Imogen Crispe, an Auckland University Bachelor of Arts honours graduate with a double major in philosophy and French, has a passion for ethics.

She is the inaugural recipient of the Indian Newslink Scholarship for Postgraduate Journalism. In formally receiving her award at the School of Communication Studies awards function, she acknowledged Indian Newslink for a scholarship that is seen as generous because it is an “open” one - not restricted on race, regional or other grounds.

In fact, she almost did not apply for this, assuming it was for “Indians” because of the sponsor. However, her search of the criteria for the award convinced her that she qualifies and hence should pursue her dream of becoming a journalist.

Crispe says she had an interest in writing, researching and talking to people. This was evident with blog site she used to run. While studying for philosophy at Auckland University, she developed her interest in ethics and feels strongly about ethics in media.

She sees herself as repeating the feats and travel history of her forbears. In the early 1950s, her grandparents were on overseas experience in Britain while her father was born in England to Kiwi parents.

At the age of three, her father moved over with her grandparents to New Zealand. Some three decades later, Imogen’s parents found themselves in England and saw the birth of their first daughter, Imogen Crispe in Surrey.

When she was three, her parents moved to Dubai where her father still lives and works in the construction industry. At the age of 13, she moved to New Zealand as a boarding student at Auckland Diocesan School for Girls. While away from parents since that age, she never felt lonely. This was because of her caring grandparents at Auckland and Rotorua, and uncles and aunties as well.

Imogen’s area of study and her interests go together. While initially somewhat apprehensive about whether she would enjoy journalism, her enthusiasm was quite evident and visible when she said that she made the right choice. So did the selection panel in picking somebody who is not only rooted in philosophy and ethics but also widely travelled from an early age.

As part of her one year scholarship, she is studying for the Postgraduate Diploma in Communication (Journalism). She enjoys all aspects of journalism studies such as print media, online, TV, radio and photojournalism.

The current recession has perhaps been responsible for pushing people to study who otherwise may have been in employment. This applies to her as well.

After finishing her bachelor’s degree at Auckland University, she hunted for jobs for a year but never got anything that she enjoyed doing. She started pondering about her future and it was then that her interest in writing developed with her blog site.

Her only other sibling, a younger sister is studying vertinary science in Perth at Murdoch University – coincidently named after the media mogul who owns the Fiji Times and the Post-Courier in Papua New Guinea, among others worldwide.

Photo of Imogen Crispe: Thakur Ranjit Singh

The Indian Newslink scholarship at AUT
Other School of Communication Studies scholarships

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