Macleay College journalism student, Zathia Bazeer was awarded a Judith Neilson Institute (JNI) Opportunity Fellowship at last night’s Walkley’s Mid-Year Celebration of Journalism.
The JNI Opportunity Fellowships give talented early-career journalists the chance to work in a newsroom, build connections, and undertake reporting with the support and guidance of experienced journalists. Recipients also receive $10,000 to cover expenses for the duration of the fellowship.
Bazeer will travel from her home in Noble Park, Melbourne to Brisbane, where she will spend 12 weeks interning with 10 News First and The Courier-Mail.
“This is a career-making opportunity for me,” said Bazeer. “This fellowship will help me build connections and broaden my network. I’m looking forward to getting some real experience with the news teams at 10 News First and The Courier-Mail.”
Bazeer’s skills and determination ensured her place on the judges’ shortlist. “Zathia’s passion for storytelling and commitment to gaining experience were standout attributes for the judges,” said 10 News First Executive Producer, Holly Green. “I walked away from interviewing Zathia thinking she will be able to teach us just as much as we’ll be able to teach her”.
The 24-year-old’s interest in journalism was sparked after interning at the Yarra Reporter Information Exchange. “I loved covering the local events and stories and realised that journalism was the career for me,” said Bazeer.
Zathia Bazeer with her parents at last night's Walkley Mid-Year celebration.
This passion for storytelling saw Bazeer enrol in Macleay College’s Diploma of Journalism course in 2018 and subsequently thrive in the hands-on learning environment. “I really loved my journalism course, it was so different to university. The class sizes were small and lessons were so practical. We learned in a newsroom environment not a lecture hall, and were taught by journalists working in the industry. Assignments felt like you were really practising journalism, not just doing coursework.”
Set to graduate after completing her internship, Bazeer has her eye on a career as a news producer and presenter. “I feel that journalism can have a genuine impact and really change lives. There are changes I’d like to see in the world, and changes I’d like to see in journalism. I want to be part of driving that change.”
In the meantime, Bazeer is looking forward to 12 weeks in the Sunshine State once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. “I’m just happy to be able to get out of Melbourne for a while,” she joked.