Telum Talks To: Tamsyn Parker, New Zealand Herald
Interview

Telum Talks To: Tamsyn Parker, New Zealand Herald

Tamsyn Parker, Business Editor at the New Zealand Herald, chats to Telum about her career, the stories she thinks are overdone, and what she wants to see in a pitch.

Tell us about your career in journalism and how it led to where you are today. 
I've been a journalist for 23 years and, like many, started at a community newspaper. While on my OE in London, I got a job writing for a financial trade press magazine, and that was my first foray into business journalism through writing about investment products. It was a big shift but one I really enjoyed. When I came back to New Zealand, I had a brief stint at the NBR before being approached to join the Herald in 2007.

I've been here ever since and have covered everything from tourism and manufacturing to capital markets and KiwiSaver. I was the Personal Finance Editor before being made Business Editor in April last year. I love writing but also wanted to expand my horizons by learning management skills.

How do you make business and finance news digestible for readers and keep them engaged?
A lot of people think business journalism must be boring but I find it fascinating - it's all about people and what they do to make money, lose money or solve a problem. Making it digestible is all about making it relevant to the readers, whether it is a company they invest in or are a customer of. We tell stories that can inform, educate, and provide opinion and analysis, to expose people to a range of views on an issue.

Do you have a favourite story your team covered in 2023? And do you have any predictions on what topics will lead the business news cycle this year?
The biggest story of last year was the cost of living, inflation, and interest rates. It felt like prices were going up every week, and Kiwis were feeling pressure on their pockets. It's hard to know what will be the big issue of this year but so far, we are seeing more companies go bust and staff laid off. It seems like all businesses are trying to cut back where they can. That could change in the second half of the year if interest rates start to fall.

Are there any stories in this sector you think are overdone? Or are there any topics you and your team won't cover?
I would say the topic of AI feels a bit overdone at the moment. We have had so many stories and opinion pieces on it. Unless there is a really fresh angle, it won't make the cut.

You see a pitch in your inbox from a PR. What do you want to see when you open it?
If I'm being pitched a story by a PR person, I like to see:
  • A good angle that is clear
  • Contact details for a person who can talk about it
  • Great images that are the right size (not too big and not too small), and
  • Words exclusive to the Herald.

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