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Veteran journalist honoured

Veteran New Zealand political journalist Ian Templeton has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Massey University.

The doctorate, to be presented at a College of Business graduation ceremony on Thursday, is in recognition of his contribution to journalism, the parliamentary press gallery and the establishment of the New Zealand Press Council.

Mr Templeton says as well as being honoured to be recommended for the doctorate, he was particularly pleased it had come from the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing.

“I’m an admirer of the people that teach at the school and of the people that come out of it,” he says.

In 2007 Mr Templeton celebrated 50 years of reporting from the gallery, including being the guest of honour at a dinner attended by media colleagues and politicians alike. Such is the esteem in which he is held in political circles, he was the only print journalist to receive a one-on-one briefing with the-then Prime Minister Helen Clark.

He joined the gallery in 1957 and in his early years there distinguished himself from peers with work that regularly injected keen political analysis into otherwise straight newspaper reportage.

In 1972 Mr Templeton was an enthusiastic supporter of the establishment of the New Zealand Press Council – a self-regulatory body, which oversees the ethical practices of the print news media. He served on the council for 25 years.

Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says Mr Templeton’s career is an example for all aspiring journalists.

“At a time when the news media is undergoing huge change, Mr Templeton is a reminder that old-style ethics and standards are just as relevant today as ever.”

He was awarded an OBE in the 1994 New Year’s Honours, and appointed Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in last year’s New Year’s Honours for his services to journalism.

“This ranks up there with the Queen’s honours for me. For a journalist to receive such an honour is quite exceptional,” Mr Templeton says.