Event recap: BWN Women in journalism

A small, but perfectly formed group of people attended our first Business Women’s Network (BWN) event with NZME news directors Carmen Hall and Zoe Hunter.

What began as a semi-formal presentation quickly turned into a really lovely informal and insightful discussion about the media industry over a delicious platter and plenty of Mills Reef wine.

Our speakers opened with a little bit about their career journey to date and one theme became immediately apparent: These two women don’t like to be told they can’t do something! Overcoming their individual challenges, they have both worked hard to rise through the ranks in their careers and now tell some of the region’s (and country’s) biggest stories.

What also became apparent is how important the human element behind their stories is and how that is the driving force behind any good story – as Zoe said, everyone has a story to tell, you just have to ask the right questions.

When quizzed on what their biggest stories have been, both shared stories that were very emotionally challenging, which raised the question: ‘How do you keep the professional and personal side in check?’ Carmen summed it up nicely, stating there is empathy and there are facts, and while you may feel for someone else’s situation, reporters don’t let this cloud their reporting or bring bias to the story.

The discussion was lively and engaging, with our group staying around for an hour and a half to discuss the ins and outs of the industry. One attendee shared that it was far more personal than expected and really showcased the people behind the industry – particularly at a time when people working in the media are being attacked and abused for simply doing their job of reporting the facts.

Thank you to our attendees, and to Zoe and Carmen for giving us a behind the scenes look at this complex, but hugely rewarding, industry.

Thank you also to Bobby Hanley for taking snaps of the evening.

Here’s some top tips to working with our local media team:

  • Don’t be afraid to approach them with a story – the best stories are emotive, impactful, something the public would be interested in, and share something unique.
  • Work to their deadlines and respect their time – if you have been approached for comment, or they are looking for answers to a story, ensure you meet their deadlines.
  • Be clear and concise, and explain your story – you may be an expert in your subject matter, but the reporters are not. If you leave something open to interpretation, it may be misinterpreted.

BWN Women in… is a new event series that takes a deep dive into a particular industry, connecting you to the women in these industries. These events will be held in an informal, round-table discussion format so everyone has an opportunity to ask questions, be inquisitive, and get to know our guest speakers.

We’re always looking for people to engage with, so if you think you have a good story to tell and want to host an event, please contact our events manager Anne on

Want more top tips, advice and insights? Check out our news section.

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