Diploma in Radio Journalism

Learn voice and audio skills to go with research, interviewing, writing, photography and video storytelling. Graduates can get jobs in radio, TV, podcasting, web, mobile, social media and newspapers, as videographers and in PR/communications. LEVEL 5
The Diploma in Radio Journalism offers two strands – one in journalism (including video) and the other in broadcasting (including radio station design, writing commercials, live broadcasting and podcasting).

Programme Overview

Level 5 Programme

Diploma in Radio Journalism graduates have the audio, video and digital storytelling skills to tackle the exciting multi-media world of radio, TV, online and in print. 

No other one-year programme in radio journalism exists in New Zealand. 

Radio journalists use their specialist voice, audio editing and production skills and podcasting training on top of research, reporting, writing and camera skills with their own smartphone required for journalism on the web, on mobile, TV and print.

The programme is aimed at producing graduates suitable for employment in the radio industry as news reporters and producers, and is a good first step towards a career in TV journalism. Graduates are employed in commercial stations, in public radio and iwi stations, and in TV. They also get jobs in what were formerly print newsrooms because of the converged nature of journalism roles now, and graduates have also been employed for those skills in communications and PR jobs.

Whitireia Journalism School operates out of its own student newsrooms in central Wellington and Auckland. It is the one of the few journalism schools in New Zealand with its own news websites – NewsWire.co.nz​ (Wellington campus), and Newsbeat/kiwi (Auckland campus) – where student stories, photographs and videos are posted daily. When graduates seek employment after the programme, they are able to provide editors with links to their work on NewsWire and Newsbeat.

Whitireia has opted for a mid-year start to the programme each year to ensure that graduates have no competition from other journalism school graduates when going for employment. It works well, with most graduates being employed within a couple of months of the course end. Auckland diplomas are offered at the beginning of the year also.

A typical class includes school leavers who have previously completed the Level 4 Certificate in Multi-media Journalism, degree holders, mature applicants looking for a career change, others returning to the workforce and from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Most are in the early 20s and 30s.

The programme differs from university-based journalism courses in its focus on practical work and the high degree of one-to-one tutoring available. The school has a staff of former journalists or technical specialists whose specialities include radio, photography, videography, TV, print and the web.

Programme Outline

Students are expected to complete work outside class contact hours.

The courses include:

  • News Reporting: Identifying potential radio news stories; and conduct research for news reporting. Conduct research for news reports; plan, carry out, record and edit news interviews for radio. Do   documentaries on Maori and diversity issues
  • Radio News Story Production: Write radio news scripts, edit audio and voice pre-recorded news stories to a broadcast-quality standard. Learn how to compile radio news stories covering crime, emergency services, numeracy, polls and local government reporting – and report it from your smartphone
  • Broadcast Presentation: Students will learn to develop voice for radio and video to achieve broadcast quality reports. Develop the ability to carry out live radio crosses from outside of the studio
  • Radio Production: Students gain an understanding of the production techniques and audio editing processes so they can record and package news
  • Multimedia: Video, blogging, social media, photography, and mobile journalism with smartphones
  • Podcasting: Train in the skills and techniques to build your brand with entertaining and informative programming which develops an online following
  • Radio news industry internship: Students can work a radio newsroom as a trainee journalist. Students develop knowledge of newsroom practices and processes, and experience the real life demands of a radio newsroom
  • Radio Feature Production: Students learn how to put longer form documentaries together


Radio news industry internship - Students will work a radio newsroom as a trainee journalist for 8 weeks. Students develop knowledge of newsroom practices and processes, and experience the real life demands of a radio newsroom.

Documentary - in radio or video

Creative Broadcasting - pitch and develop as a proposal an original idea to enhance broadcasting content.

Delivery timing:

Students spend the first 22 weeks in class at Whitireia completing two terms. The 8-week internships run in January and February. The final term is spent back at Whitireia completing electives.


Credits:                     120 total at level 5

Core compulsory:      105 at level 5

Electives:                   15 credits required at level 5


Campus Starts on Duration
Wellington City 2017: 24 July One year, full-time
Auckland City 2017: 30 January, 24 July One year, full-time

Domestic Fees: $6,026

International Fees: $19,950 NZD


Entry Requirements

Domestic students

NCEA Level 2 or equivalent with minimum 10 credits in English (5 credits reading, 5 credits writing) plus evidence of writing ability based on interview, voice test and writing test

International students

IELTS 6.5 (no band lower than 6.0)

Graduates receive the Diploma in Radio Journalism which is regarded as an industry accepted workplace entry qualification. It also equips graduates with research, technology and writing skills welcomed by a wide range of careers apart from journalism, including web-editing, communications, management and public relations.​

Related Careers

Related Areas of Interest

Related Faculty

Whitireia Services Enrol with Whitireia Send Your Enquiries FAQs

Follow us on the web

Whitireia and WelTec have formed a strategic partnership to develop
a network of tertiary learning throughout the Wellington region.
Whitireia and WelTec partnership