About

The Jim Tucker who owns this website is the New Zealand one.

That needs to be said, because there are journalists and journalism teachers named Jim Tucker in Brisbane, New York and California. There may be others.

This Jim Tucker has landed back in his old home town, New Plymouth, on the west coast of the North island of New Zealand, after a half-century career as a reporter, editor, subeditor, photographer and journalism teacher.

This one is supposed to be retired, but it turns out retirement from journalism is a myth. I’m busier than when I held down a day job, the last one being as head of the Whitireia Journalism School in Wellington, which I left in 2013.

Since then I have published a book on water quality in my home province, Taranaki; spent three months researching a big defamation case (it was settled out of court); edited a book on motor-racing; written the occasional news story for the NZ Herald; researched and written a book about a pioneering Taranaki family; and – more recently – written in-depth articles for North & South and Live magazines.

I’m currently writing a book to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hospice Taranaki, which will be published in 2017.

This blog – one of several I administer – aims to aggregate my work in one place. It will publish the Live magazine articles as they appear, as well as samples from my books as they are published.

Those on journalism, prostate cancer, water quality, and newsroom middle management can be found on other pages here.

My background, briefly:

  • Began as a cadet reporter at the Taranaki Herald in New Plymouth in 1965. Became chief reporter in 1970. I won six national awards for journalism, including news, features and business.
  • In 1976, I moved to the Auckland Star as a reporter. Later served as picture editor, editorial manager, deputy editor, associate editor and finally editor. My main project there was setting up the Sunday Star (now the Sunday Star-Times).
  • From 1979 to 1981, had a stint as news editor of NZ Woman’s Weekly.
  • From 1987 to 1998, I taught journalism at Auckland Institute of Technology (now University of Technology), where I was head of the journalism department. Obtained a master of arts degree in communication studies, my thesis being on ethical decision-making by young journalists. Wrote my first textbook on journalism, Kiwi Journalist, in 1991, followed by another in 1998, Intro.
  • Moved back to New Plymouth with wife Lin in 1998 and headed up the journalism school at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki.
  • Worked at the Sunday Star-Times for six months in 2004 as acting chief reporter and as a subeditor.
  • Headed the NZ Journalists Training Organisation from 2005 to 2007. Edited several journalism textbooks.
  • Moved to Whitireia Journalism School in 2007. Retired in 2013. Moved back to New Plymouth with Lin. Chair the advisory committee for the WITT journalism school and do a bit of teaching there.
  • In 2014, I published Clearing the Water, the followup to an investigative series I wrote in 1971 about water pollution in Taranaki’s many streams.

One Response to About

  1. Anita Divers says:

    Dear Mr Tucker,
    I am interested in doing a Journalism course and would really appreciate your wisdom and experience on subjects such as what it takes to be a good Journalist, whether there is a future in the career of Journalism and which courses you would recommend applying for.

    My background is as follows: I grew up in Taranaki, where my parents had a dairy farm. In my teenage years, we lived in New Plymouth. My favourite subjects at school were English, languages and history. I also enjoyed music and played the violin and piano.

    I was interested in becoming a Journalist or a Lawyer when I left school, but because of various circumstances, I trained as a nurse and qualified in 1991. I lived in the UK for seven years. I married my Scottish husband in 1994. We came to New Zealand to live in 2000, and settled in Auckland.

    I have been a nurse for twenty years, and have had an interesting career and met many lovely people. However, I would like to change career and am still interested in Journalism.

    I should mention that I am 52 years old whick is probably a difficult time to change career. However, I believe in researching things to see whether my opinion is valid, before giving up before I start!

    I wonder if it would be possible to phone you to talk about this?
    Kind Regards,

    Anita Divers

    Ph: 06 6344160
    027 9332016

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