August 7th, 2014

Meet Karyn Scherer

Karyn Scherer2

After nearly 30 years in journalism, there aren’t many jobs I haven’t done. I’ve covered almost every round possible, including agriculture, politics, local government, business, and Māori affairs.

I’ve worked on regional papers, big metros, weeklies, magazines, Sundays and tiny community papers. I’ve written everything from headlines to long investigative pieces. I’ve taken photographs, subbed, appeared on TV and radio, and travelled all over the world. I’ve worked in Rotorua (twice), Hamilton, Wellington, and Auckland.

I’m probably best known for my long stint as a business reporter and editor at the NZ Herald, and my rather short one as deputy editor of the NZ Listener.

I’ve won a few awards along the way, and scored some superb scholarships. My favourite was a fellowship to Singapore, Korea, Guangzhou and Hawaii to study urbanisation - although the one that required me to live in Paris for several months was rather wonderful, too.

I’m a pretty good advertisement for why journalism can be a great career. So why give it up to oversee journalism training in New Zealand?

Eighteen months ago I moved north to edit a community newspaper in Warkworth called Mahurangi Matters. My family, including my elderly parents and my disabled brother, live in the area. But the demands of the job meant I was not spending enough time with my own sons, so when Competenz advertised a parttime job as National Account Manager for journalism, I was delighted.

I have always found working with young journalists one of the most enjoyable aspects of being a manager. Their enthusiasm is energising in an industry which has more than its fair share of cynics.

These days, many are missing out on the kind of mentoring that once took place in newsrooms, and I believe it’s important that experienced journalists are able to pass on their knowledge and wisdom to the next generation.

I also believe that strong journalism is absolutely vital for a strong society. Despite the industry’s current challenges, which are many, I remain convinced there is a healthy public appetite for the kind of curatorship that trained journalists are able to provide, and I’m keen to do my bit to ensure that continues.

In journalism we have a saying: “Those who can do, and those who can’t, move into PR”. (Just joking, all my PR friends!)

If you’d like to find out more about our industries, contact Karyn:
p. 09 539 9878