Journalism students participate in disaster reporting simulation


A reality check hit the Whitireia Diploma in Journalism students last week.

It was heads down and keyboards and mics at the ready as the student journos got a taste of what it’s like when the big story breaks.

They were taking part in a major civil defence exercise. It was a win-win situation at the end of the day. The students got a high pressure realistic reporting experience and the civil defence people learned what it’s like to cope with the constant pressure applied by journalists hungry for the lead story.

The scenario? A magnitude 7 earthquake in Hawkes Bay with loss of life, collapsed buildings, looting and a cruise ship stranded in the port with 2,330 passengers on board. Yes tempers frayed. Yes things went wrong. Chaos reigned at times. Success was sweet and deadlines relentless.

Ultimately ‘learning happened!’ And that’s what we are all about.