Tertiary Insight | Editorial policy
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Editorial policy

Succinct and timely information

Our aim is to save our clients time and money in their search for information on the New Zealand tertiary education sector. We want to give them a head start, so they can take their own action on the issues that matter.

Our Style

We know our clients are busy people, so we make it easy for them to find what’s important to them, including:

  • using few words;
  • linking to source content wherever possible;
  • signalling the purpose and relevance of posts upfront;
  • a Key Facts section for most issues, with no spin;
  • Our Take on what an issue means, in a separate section; and
  • consistent templates, so clients can quickly drill down, or delete, according to their needs.

 

We are committed to the Principles of the Press Council (we are not a member of the Press Council), including (but not limited to):

  • ensuring accuracy, fairness and balance;
  • maintaining distinctions between opinions and facts;
  • protecting our sources;
  • openly managing any conflicts of interest; and
  • promptly correcting errors that we make.
What We Cover

We cover a mix of posts that provide a breadth and depth of information about the tertiary education environment. We scan hundreds of sources for new material, including tertiary education organisations, government agencies, industry groups and the wider media. Our focus is on government policy, the activities of tertiary education organisations, and the interest of wider stakeholders. Most of the material that we cover is publicly available, although we do file some Official Information Act requests and make other inquiries. We seek clarification and comment from organisations and individuals, as appropriate for our style of coverage.

 

Our current range of posts is shown below.

  • Weekday news post This comes out between 7am and 9am, covering all relevant tertiary education stories since the last news post. It has five sections:
    • policy, management and people;
    • research and innovation;
    • students;
    • stakeholders; and
    • teaching and learning.
  • Parliament Report This usually comes out each Monday, covering relevant Parliamentary Bills, Select Committee matters, Oral and Written Questions, and NZ Gazette notices.
  • Reviews of Quality We review NZQA external evaluation and review reports, and university academic audit reports as they come out (each month for PTEs).
  • Annual Reports We review annual reports for TEIs, ITOs and some major PTEs.

 

We also publish standalone or omnibus posts on major issues, like a new Bill, the Budget, funding or research investment plans, quality assurance changes, annual planning and reporting documents for major government agencies, enrolment statistics, regional economic plans, educational research, and more.

 

Our aim to provide you with the best media analysis of tertiary education issues, and that will mean other media may well cover the issue first.

 

If you have a suggestion for coverage, get in touch with us.

Our Other Work/Interests

We have an independent view that is not coloured by lobbying or consultancy work for tertiary education sector organisations. We also do not publish sponsored posts or native advertising. We may participate in the following fee-for-service activities:

  • presenting to boards, management teams and others on the current tertiary education environment – that may be a prelude to their own strategic planning session;
  • running events on tertiary education policy and management issues; and
  • facilitating sessions or events for other parties (eg facilitating a political panel at a conference).

 

Our Editor, Dave Guerin, has the following interests at present (management strategy in brackets):

  • director of Careerforce, an industry training organisation, until May 2017 (Dave will avoid any detailed analysis of Careerforce issues until after Careerforce’s 2017 annual report – another analyst will do any required work); and
  • trustee of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Assn Trust (Dave will avoid any detailed analysis of issues relating to the VUWSA Trust, or its parent body, VUWSA – another analyst will do any required work).
What We Don’t Cover

Since our audience is tertiary education decision makers, we avoid the following topics that are interesting, but don’t usually affect the direction of tertiary education.

  • Graduations and Alumni Most media releases and media coverage about graduations and alumni are human interest stories designed to put the teaching organisation in the best light. Graduations are an important part of tertiary education, but we’re more interested in graduation rates, and measures of post-study success.
  • Enrolment Promotions We usually don’t cover advertorials or media releases that have a primary purpose of promoting enrolments in a specific programme. We may cover them if they relate to a new programme, or have some other unusual feature. We do cover new advertising campaigns.
  • Scholarships We don’t usually cover scholarships or academic awards for students, as there are hundreds of them, and they don’t differ much. We may cover high-profile awards and big new scholarship initiatives.
  • Academic Research and Opinions Academics release a great deal of research, and offer opinions on many public issues, every week. Most of them are more relevant to an industry or community sector than they are to tertiary education. We do cover the awarding of major research funds, and public debates that touch on wider issues relevant to tertiary education (ie academic freedom).

 

When reviewing major publications, we don’t usually publish quotes from all the stakeholders, as such opinion is easily found. We focus instead on the key facts of what has been released, and its wider implications, which other media usually do not cover.

Engaging with Us

You are welcome to send us content related to what we cover. Please send such material to [email protected]. We receive a large volume of material so we are unlikely to provide feedback if we do not cover the material.

 

Feel free to invite us to attend your events, launches, conferences or Xmas drinks. We are based in Wellington, but we regularly visit Auckland and sometimes visit other centres.

 

We regularly have on the record and off the record chats with sector decision makers. We are happy to engage by phone or in person if you would like to brief us on an issue.

 

We welcome tips, and even leaks, and we protect our sources from disclosure.

Mistakes and Complaints

We sometimes get it wrong, and we will retract and/or correct our views when we do so, as appropriate to the context. See the footer for our contact details for news issues.

 

We are seeking to be an associate member of the NZ Press Council.