The Jim Tucker who owns this website is the New Zealand one.
That needs to be said, because there are journalists and journalism teachers named Jim Tucker in Brisbane, New York and California. And there’s Jim B Tucker, an American who writes popular books about reincarnation.
This Jim Tucker has landed back in his old home town, New Plymouth, on the west coast of the North island of New Zealand, after a half-century career as a reporter, editor, subeditor, photographer and journalism teacher.
This one is supposed to be retired, but it turns out retirement from journalism is a myth. I’m busier than when I held down a day job, the last one being as head of the Whitireia Journalism School in Wellington, which I left in 2013.
Since then I have published a book on water quality in my home province, Taranaki; spent three months researching a big defamation case (it was settled out of court); edited a book on motor-racing, and one by New Zealand’s leading triathlon coach, John Hellemans; and published sixe non-fiction books, one of them to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hospice Taranaki and four about pioneering Taranaki families.
With journalism colleague Tony Potter, I have put together a writer’s guide, which can be downloaded free from the Home Page. I am halfway through writing my memoirs.
I started a weekly column for Stuff and the Taranaki Daily News in 2016, the number now exceeding 200. Until midway through 2020, I wrote in-depth articles for Taranaki’s Live magazine.
This blog – one of several I administer – aims to aggregate my work in one place. It publishes my weekly column, details of books published or nearing completion and the Live magazine articles.
Those on journalism, prostate cancer, water quality, and newsroom middle management can be found on other pages here.
My background, briefly:
- Began as a cadet reporter at the Taranaki Herald in New Plymouth in 1965. Became chief reporter in 1970. I won six national awards for journalism, including news, features and business.
- In 1976, I moved to the Auckland Star as a reporter. Later served as picture editor, editorial manager, deputy editor, associate editor and finally editor. My main project there was setting up the Sunday Star (now the Sunday Star-Times).
- From 1979 to 1981, had a stint as news editor of NZ Woman’s Weekly.
- From 1987 to 1998, I taught journalism at Auckland Institute of Technology (now University of Technology), where I was head of the journalism department. Obtained a master of arts degree in communication studies, my thesis being on ethical decision-making by young journalists. Wrote my first textbook on journalism, Kiwi Journalist, in 1991, followed by another in 1998, Intro.
- Moved back to New Plymouth with wife Lin in 1998 and headed up the journalism school at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki.
- Worked at the Sunday Star-Times for six months in 2004 as acting chief reporter and as a subeditor.
- Headed the NZ Journalists Training Organisation from 2005 to 2007. Edited several journalism textbooks.
- Moved to Whitireia Journalism School in 2007. Retired in 2013. Moved back to New Plymouth with Lin. Chaired the advisory committee for the WITT journalism school and did a bit of teaching there.
- In 2014, I published Clearing the Water, the followup to an investigative series I wrote in 1971 about water pollution in Taranaki’s many streams.