Journalism Excerpts


Selected excerpts from student writing from the Magazine Journalism Course.
 
Excerpt from "Plane Sailing: A Girl's Guide to a Fuss-free Flight" by Ariella Caira

Those torturous, non-reclining seats, the screaming kids and the greasy guy's knees digging into your back are just a few aeroplane horrors that leave you feeling crankier than a rusty propeller by the time you (finally) land. But fear your upcoming flight no longer - here's a foolproof plan that will keep you feeling glamorous, comfortable and totally refreshed on arrival.

You're about to board that Boeing when a sudden wave of terror floods your system. Images of that ghastly in-flight food, the fellow passenger with halitosis and that tiny, ill-lit lavatory begin to clog your brain. The certain discomfort and inevitable separation from your favourite handbag send your pulse racing. Stop. Breathe. Salvation is here. Follow this simple 7-step plan and your next flight, from luggage to legroom, will be plain sailing....
 
Excerpt from "Energy Vampires: Are You A Sucker?" by Michelle Nöthling

It started off innocently as extending sympathy. Lanique* (33), a university lecturer, listened compassionately when Martin* (33), a fellow lecturer, slumped into her office to share the agony of his recent break-up.
 
What followed was a maelstrom of sacrifice. Occasional pep talks soon mutated into Lanique enduring Martin's suffocating negativity and self-obsession. If she escaped him at the office he'd arrive at her home and stay until the early hours of the morning.
 
"He has drained me to the point of depression," Lanique sighs. "When I see Martin's number on my phone, I want to burst into tears." Too wracked by guilt to say no to his emotional manipulation, Lanique's work and private life are paying dearly for her rescue attempt. She finds herself ensnared by an energy vampire.
 
The predators

In her book, Emotion Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Harmony Books), psychiatrist Dr Judith Orloff describes energy vampires as people who emotionally deplete you. They can even undermine your self-worth. "A vampire's effects can stun like a sonic blast or make you slowly wilt," warns Orloff. Although energy vampires range from being charming to venomous, most of them are blissfully unaware of their behaviour.
 
 
Excerpt from "Bootstraps to Boardroom" by Raymond Eberhard Magazine Journalism Course

John Morrisey walked an extra circuit of Hagley Park rugby field. He needed to be sure his team mates had gone. The last player strolled out of the changeroom, disappearing into the darkness. This was John's moment. Dashing back inside, he unlocked the cleaner's cupboard, relieved they still hadn't twigged. They'd never let him live it down - playing his first year of rugby for Canterbury and being the cleaner!
 
Extra work brought in additional money. He'd started with odd jobs at the age of 9. "I'd help mucking out the stables next door. At age 11 I'd do fast work driving with the horses at Addington Track before school. At 12 I travelled alone in a goods train all night, looking after six horses going to the Greymouth races. I scared the hell out of myself, jumping out into dark sidings for a break and hoping the train wouldn't leave me behind. I took on responsibility and flourished with it. A young boy just can't do that today."
 
Hard work has paid dividends. Who would have thought Morrissey would become such a successful figure in the power systems business and a key supporter of charitable trust Hohepa Canterbury?
 
"I've had good role models. Pat Vincent, my history master, was Canterbury captain, going on to lead the All Blacks. He was a great mentor for me," John says. "He lent me his boots, which were especially tailored to fit, made of kangaroo hide. I wore them when playing for Boys High against Otago. It was the curtain raiser to the third Test between the All Blacks and Springboks in 1956. I scored three tries in front of 56 000 people. In 1962 I was selected as an All Black to play in three Tests against Australia."
 

Excerpt from 'Why Intuition Can Save Your Life' - by Leigh-Anne Hunter (for O Magazine)

The only time *Paula ever stared down the barrel of a gun, her first thought was not for her, but for her small children asleep upstairs.
 
As the armed robbers marched her through her suburban home, demanding money and valuables, she heard the faint whisper of another voice – a voice from deep inside her.
 
With ropes cutting into her wrists and nothing to defend herself, she tuned into this guiding voice through the buzz of aggression that had invaded her home. As the night dragged on, her initial terror subsided and she managed to remain calm and avoid eye contact with her attackers.
 
Whatever that voice was, Paula’s certain it saved her life that night, and kept her children safe. “I was scared in the beginning,” she relates, “but once I called on my inner resources, I knew exactly what to do.”
 
If the idea of intuition has you picturing crystal balls and tarot cards, think again. Most of us have experienced this ‘sixth sense’ in action: The phone rings and you know who’s on the other end. You have a hunch about a business venture that turns out to be spot-on. Or maybe someone gives you a creepy vibe.
 
“Intuition is a gift we are all born with,” says Linda Shaw, SA astrologer, writer and motivational speaker. Knowing that we have this powerful ability can save our lives. But first we must distinguish between these genuine flashes of insight and the mundane thoughts that constantly flit through our minds.
 
“Slow down,” Lisa de Speville told her boyfriend, just as they approached a quiet intersection. “Cars always go through the red lights here.” As she predicted, a car hurtled through a red robot, just seconds later.
 
But Lisa had never seen a car skip those red lights before, and she has no idea why she said what she did. But listening to her inner voice, even though it made no sense, saved her from a potentially fatal accident.
 
“Intuition is the stuff we know, but don’t know how we know it,” explains clinical psychologist and Reiki teacher Eilat Aviram…..
 

Excerpt from 'Cock of an Empty Nest: Understanding men and the empty nest syndrome' - by Laura Colarossi (For Woman & Home)

“Hop on,” Paul Riebold challenges his wife, his blue eyes daring her through the slit in his helmet. Cheryl blinks back in amazement, wondering if menopause causes visions as well as a leaky bladder. Before her, she thinks she is seeing her husband of 25 years straddled over a silver BMW motorbike. Both the bike and black leathers are foreign to her but even more disconcerting, is the expression in his eyes. Her muddled thoughts flash back to Paul’s surfing days and his look of sheer triumph after mastering a particularly difficult wave. “What are you doing?” she stammers in disbelief.   
 
What Paul is in fact doing is Paul is attempting to cope with his empty nest. Three months ago Amy, their third and youngest child, joined her siblings and left for university. Since then, Cheryl has succumbed to an introspective, purposeless brooding interrupted occasionally by thoughts of her descending bladder and the probability of having to move her parents into a retirement home. Paul, instead, has become edgy, irritable and obsessed with thoughts of his own mortality and virility. The empty rooms in their comfortable suburban home present him with concrete reminders that his earthly pleasures are numbered.
 
Sociologists popularized the term “empty nest syndrome” in the 1970’s and used it to define the feelings of identity crisis, depression and lack of purpose that parents, especially mothers, supposedly feel when their offspring leave home.
 
Psychologist, Helen M. DeVries disputes the notion that it is women who battle most during this time….
 

Excerpt from 'French Dreaming' by Shannon Hunt, Magazine Journalism

Holidaying in Gironde in France in a 300-year-old cottage with no running water and electrics that powered only a toaster and a jug but not at the same time, was a dream come true for an Auckland couple with a passion for French living.

It takes a certain type of person to turn a dream into reality. Patience, courage, tenacity and an ability to see beyond four walls made Pauline and Neil Munro perfect contenders.

A palate for authentic French cuisine along with a penchant for overseas travel saw Pauline and Neil leave their Auckland home in 2001 to buy a holiday home in France. Falling head over heals in love with Gironde, a small village in the south-west of Aquitaine, famous for its azure blue coastal waters and vine-covered hills, they set about looking for a cottage priced within their limited budget.
 

Excerpt from 'Venus Invaded: Where have all the manly men gone?' - by Belinda Glenn (For Fairlady)

It appears the Martians have arrived, and we’re not talking about little green creatures from outer space. Sixteen years on from John Gray’s bestseller Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and it seems the men have invaded Venus and in response we have decamped to Mars. The first wave of the invasion was heralded by men’s overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the metrosexual lifestyle. Now the emo movement has hit us, ‘guyliner’ in tow. What's this all about?
 
Metrosexuality and emo are both terms associated with men who are concerned with their appearance and grooming, and with the pursuit of typically feminine activities, such as child rearing, fashion and décor. Emos, in particular, use eye makeup and go for carefully styled hair. It seems hard to imagine that this would catch on. But it has.
 
According to a 2007 study by the Nielsen Company, 91% of local men believe it is acceptable to spend time and money enhancing their appearance, and 94% of respondents claimed to spend more time doing just that than they had previously.
 
But what does this blurring of gender roles mean for women, as we climb the corporate ladder and wear the metaphorical pants, while our men yearn for babies and moisturiser?
 

Excerpt from 'Fun, Fearless and She-Male' - by Allison Scotsman (for Cosmopolitan)

One of my favourite episodes from Sex and the City is the one where Carrie cheats on Aidan. No, not the illicit trysts with Mr Big, but rather, when Carrie cheats on her straight boyfriend with her gay boyfriend. He’d be the perfect man; if he weren’t into men. Therefore he gets relegated to the perfect friend. And what a friend.
 
Combine all your favourite qualities of your girlfriends; mix in the honesty, style and affection of a man. Then lightly garnish with entertainment that only gay men can provide. Tada! A cocktail of fabulous friendship.
 
Gay men, like babies and small dogs, have been portrayed as the ultimate fashion accessory for the style-conscious women. But this is one trend that shouldn’t fall away with seasons. If you haven’t already got a gay bestie, or you’re stuck in a rut with your girlfriends, read on and discover how this friendship could be a positive change in your life... (To be followed by 5 Reasons A Gay Man is A Great Friend)
 
Gloves at the ready. It's Women Vs Women
 
As much as we sisters love each other, there is no denying that female friendships are prone to a little competition. Many female friendships can be threatened by jealously. According to Leora Tanenbaum, author of CatFight: Women and Competition, many women yearn for direction and control. Self-conscious and defensive, they begin justifying themselves at each other's expense, comparing clothes, bodies, careers, children and husbands. With a gay man, this competition may not be entirely eliminated but it will be less of a menace.
 

Opener from Natasha Chandler (Module Six: Magazine Journalism)

I'm that woman at stork parties who sits with the deer-in-the-headlights look on her face while the rest of the women swarm around Mum-to-be and discuss how to stop projectile vomit from staining clothes. So while they’re ooh’ing and aah’ing over that special “baby smell” and the latest breast milk pump (which to me looks like a medieval torture device), I’m keeping an eye on the nearest exit and sipping my third glass of champers. It’s when they mention the terms “Braxton Hicks” and “Nipple Creams” that I really start to squirm. Braxton Hicks? Sounds like a soccer team to me!

I don’t want children. Not now, not ever. I have never experienced that crazed look that women get in the height of their broodiness, when they see someone carrying a baby and you think they’re going to snatch the little sprog right out of its mother's arms and dash off with it!
 
The only way I would consider reproducing would be if I could grow the baby in a Petri dish until it turned 18: fully developed and ready to get a job.
 
Rule number one is never to make these kinds of statements at a stork party. I mean, here I am in the middle of baby country and I'm talking as if I'd sell my first born for a pair of Jimmy Choos. Oh come on, I would never really do that... unless it was for a very good cause, like World Peace or some such malarkey. 
 

Opener from Nicky Pantland (Module Six: Magazine Journalism)
 

Jozi is so hot that even the birds are sweating. I am trapped in traffic jam, an impromptu parking lot on the N3 just outside Alberton. My car engine is off, my windows are down and I have not moved an inch in almost 10 minutes. In every direction the cars squat shoulder to shoulder, all gasping for air through anything that will open. The antics of the people in the car behind me play across my rear view mirror in an echo of my own discomfort. They shuffle. They fidget. They sweat, and on their faces tension lines spell 'agitation'. A white bakkie flies down the outer shoulder, screeches to a halt and pushes a tired little Fiat out of the way. I clench my jaw. A little later, a taxi scrapes past almost ripping off my side mirror and I throttle my steering wheel trying to stay calm. There has to be a more effective calming mechanism…but what?
 
I look to the car next to me for inspiration. The driver has a scowl reminiscent of a herd of particularly ill-tempered buffalo. No help there. Then, like a bubble in a kettle, a quote shoots to the surface of my mind. Comedian Bill Cosby famously said: “If you can laugh at it, you can survive it”. All good and well, but the last thing I feel like doing right now is laughing. Still, I suppose it is worth a try.
 

Excerpt from final article by Liezl Durie (Magazine Journalism Course)

It lurks in the air, makes the world go round and changes everything. You can feel it in your fingers, maybe even in your toes, and before you know it, you're caught in a dance that is as old as love itself: the dance of courtship.

And, like love, courtship has survived from the time of armour-clad heroes and distressed damsels right up to the modern day with its chino-wearing knights and liberated ladies. How? By doing as all things must: evolving.

We live in an era where the food is fast, the traffic slow and people participate in speed dating to meet as many partners as possible in the least amount of time. According to a recent study, we have become so busy that one in every six people turns to the Internet to meet their future spouse. A far cry from Jane Austen's crowded ballrooms and sophisticated dinner parties.

Now, with the "one enchanted evening" cliché on the wane, how are the other clichés keeping up?
  

Excerpt from final article by Ansie van der Walt (Magazine Journalism Course)

With an early-morning cup of Ceylon tea in hand, a black cat purring on her lap and another snoozing on the couch next to her, internationally renowned textile designer Heather Moore starts her day by reading and commenting on a couple of her favourite design blogs. "I used to read a lot of blogs, but find myself too busy to do so now," she says a little sadly.

With a 10- to 12-hour workday ahead, one would think she works for a terrible boss, but Heather is quick to set the record straight: "It sounds like a gruelling schedule, but I'm lucky to be doing what I like, and to be able to work in a beautiful space."

This space is a first-storey, light-flooded studio in Cape Town's Long Street, which she shares with two fine artists, both painters.

Once Heather leaves home to cycle the short distance to her studio, there will be few quiet moments. In contrast to the peaceful and serene ambiance on the painters' side, Heather's corner is a riot of colour, textiles and activity. Rolls of fabric, pillows, aprons, tea towels, ceramic mugs and paper-cuts happily share space with a sewing table, work desk and packaging area.
  

Scene from Rebecca Hunt (Module One: Magazine Journalism)
 

Gossip. It feels like everyone’s at it! Once the domain of housewives over the garden fence, we now have websites, television programmes and magazines all devoted to gossip, and text messaging has taken the past-time to new heights. Of course the gossip we see in the media is about celebrities and that seems to make it okay. After all, these people have put themselves in the public eye. Aren't they just begging to be talked about? But what about gossip concerning us ordinary folk. Harmless fun? No.
 
Last year alone, 83% of work harassment and stress-related leave cases were due to gossip. 76% of teen suicides in NZ were the victims of gossip. ‘The problem is’, says clinical psychologist Melvyn Hill, ‘something once considered morally wrong has become an acceptable part of social activity, and we’re paying the price.’
 

‘Living Fables: Lessons of Hope from Our Youth’ – by Leanne Johannson (Magazine Journalism)

My 5-year-old niece has recently discovered the joys of The Little Engine That Could. Mimicking the train engine’s treacherous journey around our living room, she puffs out the fable’s famous mantra: “I-think I-can! I-think-I-can!”

“Well, if this economic recession continues as it’s going, I’m not sure I can,” sighs her mother.

Hope and hopelessness, separated by a generation. Her mother’s meaning may be lost on the child, but it certainly isn’t on me. As I’ve gotten older, the reality of the newspapers has surpassed the fables of children’s tales; stories of crime, swine flu, strikes and economic recessions, send me spiraling into a sluggish despondency.

Apparently, I’m not alone. 

 

‘The Upside of Downsizing’ – by Angela Horn (Magazine Journalism

A year ago we owned two cars, one rental property and a house full of stuff. We also had a shed out back for those items that didn’t crack the ‘inside’ nod. The weed-eater, bicycles and other bric-a-brac that served no purpose bar sentimentality. Demanding jobs left us with precious little in the way of leisure time. Our lives were all work and no play. We were a couple of very dull Janes. With a lot of stuff.

A tentative conversation ensued, with phrases ranging from ‘let’s sell everything’ to ‘are you mad’ flying back and forth. Given that we’d just bought a new dining room suite and a bed for the spare room, the idea was met with some resistance. We opened a second bottle of Pinot Noir and delved deeper into the pros and cons of discarding life as we knew it. In the end the pros won out.

Enter Operation Downsize. We held the mother of all garage sales and sold everything except for our clothes and one of the two cars. We felt as if we’d given our souls a thorough spring cleaning. Our friends were horrified. Photo: P22earl
 

Best Little Noodle Bar in Tokyo - by Angela Pearse (Travel Writing)

Scouring the streets of Tokyo to find the city's best noodles is exhausting work but Angela Pearse discovers that perseverance pays.

Looking for a noodle bar in Tokyo is rather like looking for sand in the Sahara.  In a city of over 12 million people, who eat noodles for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between, they're well catered for in the noodle arena.

But as a wise man once said, 'There are noodles and then there are noodles'.  This makes perfect sense when one evening, just slightly north of Shibuya Crossing, I'm ingesting a greasy soup with undercooked udon, fatty chicken and floating burnt cabbage.  The empty booths, the desperate waitress and bar's outlook onto naked neon women were a warning but not one I heeded.
  

Stairway to Espresso Heaven – by Shannon Hunt (Advanced Magazine Journalism)

Napier is a city where art deco architecture and celebrations, sun and fine dining have lifted the spirits of visitors and residents alike for decades. Add New Zealand’s 2009 Best Cafe Award and ask yourself, ‘How much closer to paradise can one city get?’ Find the answer by climbing the 10 steps to espresso heaven.


Groove Kitchen, 112 Tennyson Street, Napier’s latest cafe award-winner, is where espresso lovers meet daily for a full-bodied, smooth, creamy pour that sends their senses heavenward. Cafe owner, Ben Simcox, favours serving an espresso short pour to capture only the sweet, rich and aromatic espresso essence from each syrupy extraction. He serves lattes in a glass or large cup (no bowls here) offering intense flavours that deliver the natural sweetness and perfect balance of a good espresso. Groove Kitchen is nestled into an Art Deco building with crisp white decor and serves a variety of Mediterranean influenced dishes with daily specials.
 
Milk & Honey, Cnr Bridge Street & Hardinge Rds Ahuriri serves a sweet, full- bodied, creamy espresso alive with exquisite flavour, from early morning to late evening, 24/7. Superb presentation adds to the experience while consistency is your excuse for repeat visits.Barista Ben Hart has a system he follows religiously and he treats your espresso as an opportunity to create his best espresso for the day. The influences of Italian chef Paolo Pancotti from Milan and the hospitality experience of owner Sean Burns is obvious in the food, wine, detailed service and decor. So, if you haven’t yet graced Milk and Honey with your presence, now’s good!    Photo: Lachlan Hardy
 
 

Is the Petrolhead Dead? By Kevin Willemse for FHM
 

The fact is, in order for our beloved engines to work, it relies on something which is expensive, dangerous, in short supply and harmful – oil. In some way or form, oil has literally been fuelling the 98-octane dreams of hot-headed car fanatics since Mr. Benz and Mr. Ford gave us something in which to do a handbrake turn. But, the experts now tell us, it’s buggered up the planet, we’ve used it all up, and it’s putting gold plating on Mr. Bin Laden’s Bentley. The result? No more oil, and no more 500 horsepower engines to stick into your latest supercars then.

So, if you can’t fuel or even buy an 8.0L Corvette that sucks small animals through its turbo intake at 8000RPM, what else is there? Hybrid technology and alternative fuels, that’s what.

But don’t laugh/groan/hang yourself just yet.

OK, there’s still no denying that rocking up to the braai in the god-awful petrol/electric Toyota Prius hybrid still has the social impact of boldly announcing you have crabs at a swingers’ party. The front end looks like a pug in a wind tunnel, it still uses more fuel than a diesel hatchback, and better handling was demonstrated by the Titanic.

But they sold faster than wors rolls at Loftus; not only to tree-hugging vegans, but to the celebrity posse and Mr Joe Average too. Then your mate bought one. So you stopped the pointing and laughing, and asked yourself the question: “Can an alternative fuel car ever be cool?”
 
 

Debbie New   The Art of Forgiveness ( Magazine Journalism: Final Article Excerpt for Psychologies)

Six years ago Cynthia struggled to leave her house for trauma counselling, let alone for work. Early one morning in 2003, as she arrived at her office door, she was brutally beaten into unconsciousness and robbed by two men. She was left with a bruised and distorted face, barely recognisable. Her left eye was bloodshot and swollen shut, and she had acquired a limp caused by constant shooting pains in her neck.  

It took months before she regained her confidence to leave the house on her own, without debilitating fear.

Six years on, Cynthia is smiling and confident, radiating calmness and peace. So how did she progress from a life of fear to a life of serenity? She believes that forgiveness was her first step on the road to healing emotional and physical hurt.

‘My forgiveness journey started immediately. While they were beating me all over my body, my head and my face, it was as though I was watching from above and what I saw didn’t make me angry with them. But I was angry with the circumstances of their lives that made them capable of beating a woman in her fifties, old enough to be their mother.’

The police said her calmness is what saved her life.
 

Excerpt from 'Dog Ownership – One Dog versus Two'  by Maria Flint

I can still remember my husband frowning in the passenger seat all the way home from the dog breeders. Freddie, our second bichon fries was snuggled on his lap, a tiny ball of fluff, all legs and no brain. My husband was shaking his head from side to side muttering to himself, “What the hell am I doing? He was now the ‘proud’ father of two bichon frise and I was the overjoyed mother. Grinning from ear to ear, I couldn’t wait to get home to introduce Barney, my oldest bichon to his new ‘baby brother’.

I really had no idea of what owning two dogs involved. The time, the cost, the commitment, their differing needs. After all, dogs are extremely dependent. They need you for all the necessities of life: food, water, shelter, exercise and companionship. Now I had two - a ready-made family.

Suddenly I was faced with the questions: Does owning two dogs double the work load and what about the cost? Can we afford the ongoing expense and the ongoing commitment?
 

Excerpt from 'Love and an Age Old Garden'  by Shannon Hunt, Magazine Journalism

Okawa, an age-old garden that nurtures nearly one hundred and sixty years of history, is situated at the end of an oak lined driveway, on the Lowry farm, just 10 minutes north-west of Hawke’s Bay. Two, shiny, new giant copper dragonflies hover over the garden's terrace, keeping guard over hundreds of trees, perennials, low stone walls, eclectic garden seats and a collection of objects d’art.

Tom Lowry’s passion for gardening is inherited from his parents, grandparents and great grandparents. It was the sharing of this passion that brought him and Joanna together as a couple, now in their seventies, after both had lost their spouses to illness.

When Joanna joined Tom as his wife in 2003, she brought new landscape ideas to Okawa. They replaced brightly coloured annuals with head-high perennials, recreating a sense of longevity in the garden in line with the age of the property.

The couple recalls fond memories in the garden as newlyweds. “I dumped piles of weeds onto the pathways and Tom would patiently follow with his wheelbarrow picking them up. He still does it, bless him,” says Joanna. Tom quips, “One of the perks Joanna gets for marrying a younger man.” 

 

fb2 Join us on Twitter Follow us on Google+
 
     

Click here to pay with PayPal

Click here to pay with VISA Click here to pay with MasterCard
       

About Us


NZ Writers College is a leading online writing school in New Zealand.

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice. Work one-to-one with a professional writer and realise your writing dreams.

 

Locations

NZ Writers College offers online writing classes all over New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. We have students from Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Whangarei, Rotorua, Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Invercargill, Dunedin, Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North, as well as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, Australia.

Contact Us

Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout
Email: admin@nzwriterscollege.co.nz


Phone:      +64 9 550 4635

9-5 Monday to Friday
 

 
white line grad
Student Log-in