Sinead Boucher, the journalist who bought Stuff, New Zealand's biggest media company1, for $1 will deliver this year's
Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture.
Quality journalism has long sat at the heart of the democratic process – with a commitment to uncover the facts, and
hold the powerful to account. Yet in a society increasingly plagued by misinformation and conspiracy theories, public
trust in news organisations is under threat like never before.
In the wake of the US and NZ elections, this lecture will explore the importance of public trust in journalism. What can
news organisations be doing to rebuild public trust? Is it possible in a world where social media platforms continue to
grow, unchecked, fuelling greater division and social unrest? And, as the media landscape continues to undergo rapid and
significant change, what learnings can the Stuff experience offer for those seeking to build a sustainable future for
journalism, and find innovative ways to fund it?
Sinead Boucher was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Stuff in August 2017 and in 2020 completed a management buyout from Nine
Entertainment Ltd, famously for a dollar. Prior to becoming CEO, Sinead was NZ Group Executive Editor for four years,
responsible for NZ’s largest newsroom, a stable of newspapers and magazines, and the Stuff website. She started her
career as a reporter for The Press in Christchurch and was a journalist at the Financial Times and Reuters in London
before returning to New Zealand, where she became Stuff’s first digital editor. Under her watch, Stuff has grown to
record audience numbers driven by the organisation’s reputation for award-winning journalism.
She will deliver the 2020 Bruce Jesson Lecture in Lecture Theatre B10, General Library Basement (Building 109), 5 Alfred
Street, Auckland, at 6pm on Tuesday 1st December.
The lecture is free and open to all, but registration is encouraged. A collection will be taken to sustain the Bruce
1 2019 AUT NZ Media Ownership Report
, p25About the Bruce Jesson Foundation
The Bruce Jesson Foundation was established after Bruce’s death in 1999. The Foundation is governed by its Trust Board,
and its main activities to date have been an annual Bruce Jesson Lecture, established in 2000, at the University of
Auckland and two journalism awards, established in 2004 and 2009.
Jesson’s magazine The Republican, which he edited from 1974 to 1995, published some of the most challenging analysis of
New Zealand’s society and business of the time, facing up to issues of class and ethnic disparity long before those
issues became part of mainstream political discourse.
Jesson analysed the issues in more depth in a series of books including Behind the Mirror Glass: The Growth of Wealth
and Power in New Zealand in the Eighties (1987) and Only Their Purpose is Mad: The Money Men Take Over New Zealand
He led a political challenge to those “money men” in the 1992 Auckland local body elections, becoming chair of the
Auckland Regional Services Trust to keep key assets such as the Auckland port in public ownership.
The Bruce Jesson Foundation was established in his memory “to promote activities designed to generate critical,
informed, analytical and creative contributions to political debate in New Zealand and about New Zealand”.
The first annual Jesson Lecture was delivered by former Prime Minister David Lange in 2000. Subsequent lectures have
been given by Brian Easton (2001), Chris Trotter (2002), Jane Kelsey (2003), Ani Mikaere (2004), Colin James (2005),
Gordon Campbell (2006), Laila Harre (2007), Mike Lee (2008), Robert Wade (2009), Annette Sykes (2010), Paul Dalziel
(2011), Nicky Hager (2012), Ted Thomas (2013), Mike Joy (2014), Rod Oram (2015), Lisa Marriott (2016), Tāmati Kruger
(2017), Bernie Smith (2018) and Russel Norman (2019).