Saturday, 10 October 2015 09:58

 Vocation Plunges into

Low Paid Avocation

Warns White House

Press Corps Dean

White House Press Corps dean and National Press Club of New Zealand Lifetime Achievement laureate radio reporter Connie Lawn cautioned would-be journalistic practitioners about the accelerating free model in an interview with Irv Chapman (pictured below), late of ABC, CNN, and Bloomberg.

Her lawyer father, recalled Miss Lawn, at the outset of her career a half century ago, had advised her that journalism was more of an “avocation” than a “vocation.” Even then, she noted, the portents were there about the now so-evident hobby nature and impermanence of the calling.

The free model increasingly involving unpaid chores such as blogs and other such commentaries combined with falling remuneration for practitioners served to emphasise the increasing reality of the paternal prediction.


Bloggers

Bloggers and others in comment and opinion if they were required to making a living out of it had to find their own advertiser-sponsors, thus restricting what they could in fact say.

An Honorary Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her work in assisting the New Zealand cause in the United States Miss Lawn is exclusively pictured above with the man who presented it to her, the New Zealand Ambassador to the United States Mike Moore. He is pictured with Miss Lawn and Mrs Yvonne Moore (at right.) Mr Moore like Miss Lawn has addressed the National Press a number of times.


Press-friendly Presidents

On one occasion the former parliamentarian and head of the World Trade Organisation used the club as a forum to conduct soundings on constitutional issues.

Meanwhile, Miss Lawn recalled to interviewer Irv Chapman that the most press-friendly White House incumbents in her experience had been Jerry Ford, Ronald Regan, and Bill Clinton. In spite of the rough time he had received at the hands of the press corps, President Clinton never lost his amiability around them.

Miss Lawn was speaking to Irv Chapman in a narrow cast arranged by the National Press Club of Washington in order to commemorate the final iteration of her autobiography which in part chronicles her many years as correspondent for Radio New Zealand.


The final chapter

The new edition is entitled I Wake You Each Morning: The Final Chapter. In it she talks about the time she met Nelson Mandela and he told her he listened to her radio reports while in prison.

Returning to contemporary times Miss Lawn noted that since the presidency of the “second George Bush,” the White House had become a “passive beat” with its press conferences becoming stage managed.

The National Press Club of Washington of which Miss Lawn and Irv Chapman are stalwarts is affiliated to the Wellington club.