Meat raffles and Journalism Idol: the return to Afghanistan

It’s not easy being a freelance journalist. When you’re reporting on an event overseas, the fee for your work doesn’t always meet the cost of getting you there, let alone a place to stay and a packed lunch. Award winning journalist Jon Stephenson is returning to Afghanistan before Christmas 2011 to cover a number of stories, and he needs a bit of support to get there.

To this end a group of fellow journalists and broadcasters have banded together to create a unique fundraising event: MC-ed by Hard News blogger and media personality Russell Brown. Alongside good music, a silent auction and the ubiquitous meat pack raffle, the event will also host the world’s first “Journalism Idol”. In which TV3 News journalist Mike McRoberts will fight it out with broadcaster Mikey Havoc, comedian Rose Matafeo and fellow TV3 reporter Tova O’Brien to see who best can deliver the news under pressure and claim the title of “King Journo”. Of course no talent show is complete without a panel of uncompromising judges, so the trio will be assessed by veteran current affairs journalist and Media7 producer Phil Wallington, Kiwi Fm’s Wammo (Glen Williams), and New Zealand Herald columnist Tracey Barnett.

The silent auction will offer a very special range of items including framed photos taken by Stephenson in Afghanistan, a special edition of the Phoenix Foundation’s Buffalo with a one-off cover by cartoonist Tom Scott, tickets to Lawrence Arabia’s Town Hall gig, a tour of the TV3 newsroom escorted by Mike McRoberts – followed by a meal with Mike, and a set of poster art from 95bfm.

If you can’t make it along on the night but would like help Jon Stephenson get back to the Middle East, you will be able to check out the items on the event website and put in a bid by email.

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