Multimedia Sport Journalist, NZME
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Journalism
He was determined to make a living out of his passion for sport, says communication studies alumnus Lachlan Waugh who is now a sports journalist for NZME.
“While I played a variety of codes growing up, I was never quite at the level to make a career as an athlete, so immersing myself in sports media felt like the logical choice. I was aware that AUT offered a communication studies degree that centred on the area I wanted to get into, so it made sense to come to AUT to study journalism.”
There were many highlights across his three years at AUT.
“Along with the in-class work we did, completing a range of practical tasks outside of campus made assignments both thought-provoking and gratifying. I also managed to land an internship with Radio Sport at NZME while I was at AUT, which has led to my current employment.
“The facilities the university provides are incredible and mirror what is used in the real media world. Most of all, the people I studied with made it a fruitful experience – students who are like-minded and striving for the same goals, as well as lecturers with so much knowledge to offer.”
A dream come true
After graduating from AUT in 2018, Lachlan has now fulfilled his dream of working in sports journalism and has secured a role as a multimedia sport journalist at NZME, working for Newstalk ZB and the New Zealand Herald.
“I create on-air and editorial content for NZME, covering sports news on a variety of platforms in New Zealand. I’m unique within our newsroom as the only person who continually splits their work between radio and editorial. For Newstalk ZB, my role includes sourcing audio via phone and in-person interviews along with press conferences. For the Herald, I work with the online production team to manage the sports pages. A central part of this is writing news and opinion-based articles.
“I love sport and I always have, so being able to navigate down a career path where that is the root of my work is thoroughly enjoyable. Technology has become a big part of journalism, and I very much enjoy the work involving the two merged together. Most of all, the people I work alongside are terrific.”
He has had a number of achievements he is particularly proud of in his journalism career so far.
“One of my proudest achievements so far was playing a key role in Radio Sport’s award-winning coverage of the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England, which required many late nights in the office. I also recently appeared on the Herald Focus show previewing a weekend of sport ahead, which was more or less my on-screen debut. The way I see it, a sign of whether or not I’m doing my job well is how often my name is out there in the public sphere. Regularly featuring live on air with news bulletins and slots on radio shows, along with my name attached to Herald articles online and in the paper, is encouraging in this regard.”
Advice for other students
Make the most of the terrific resources at your disposal, Lachlan advises other students.
“I found the facilities, tutors and everything offered comes together to form a great springboard into the industry. While I firmly believe nothing will ever truly prepare you for a professional job until you actually enter that realm, what AUT provided me was huge in my initial development.”
He also has some specific advice for others hoping to get into a career in journalism.
“If I’m talking directly to aspiring journalism students, my advice is to get used to the pressured environment of the industry. It can become quite stressful and if you’re unaware of that, it can catch you off guard and put you behind the eight ball. Always be active with ideas and look for stories – if you go looking, you’ll genuinely be surprised by what you find.”