Nothing inspires a budding journalist more than listening to the struggles that one of New Zealand’s most prominent TV journalists endured before making it to the top.

The New Zealand Broadcasting School students were treated to a special visit from Patrick (Paddy) Gower, who took time to speak to them even though he had a busy schedule following the release of his first documentary.

Gower, whose background is in print journalism as well as television, engaged his audience of around 60 radio, TV and journalism students with funny anecdotes from his work life. Yet every single example he brought up had an underlying message and tip for the students, who soaked up his experience.

Learning from an industry professional, who has come across many rejections, from all newspapers in the country actually before he was offered a job at the NZ Herald, and hearing that it wasn’t anything else but hard work that led him to where he is right now, encouraged students to keep going and pushing for more.

Gower talked about common problems which he encountered at the start of his career and how to avoid them. It was invaluable advice like ‘push your notebooks completely out of your way before a live broadcast so you don’t get tempted to look at your notes. Memorise them as bullet points beforehand’. Advice that will help the aspiring journalists excel in their future careers and put them a step ahead of others.

“All these things I talk to you about now I had to learn on the job […] I didn’t have time to practice them. That’s why I think you guys here have a real advantage.”

He also took his time to answer every single question the students had for him in-depth and made sure they were happy with what he told them. He also praised them for their knowledge and research behind their questions.

Industry insights from experts like Paddy Gower are a different way of gaining experience for the students and show Ara’s commitment to bring real-life learning into the classroom.

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