Children from Western Heights Primary School had a taste of what it takes to be a journalist last Wednesday.

Fifteen students from the school's journalism class were invited to the Rotorua Daily Post to experience a newsroom in action and interview a real-life reporter.

The reporter was Kelly Makiha. She has been a journalist since she was 17 years old but has been interested in journalism her whole life.

"When I was a just a little girl I was so nosey and always wanted to know what was going on. When I heard sirens, I would get my mum to take me to wherever the sirens were, to see what was going on" Mrs Makiha said.

Over the years Mrs Makiha has interviewed over 25,000 people. She said that meeting people was one of the best bits of the job. She loves being a journalist because every day you are writing different stories so every day is different and exciting.


"If you love what you do, you won't have to work another day in your life," Mrs Makiha said.

There are lots of things to remember when you are journalist. But the two most important things are to be a good listener and be accurate.

"The thing that annoys people the most is when journalists get information wrong," Mrs Makiha said.

A day at the Rotorua Daily Post starts at 8am and finishes around 4.30pm, but as people know the news never stops so you never know what the day might bring.

Journalists get to cover all sorts of events and go to all sorts of places. Just that morning of the school visit Mrs Makiha had been at the Rotorua District Court reporting on a burglary. She has also been to murders, car accidents, special events, elections and much more.

You must work fast when you are journalist because you have to meet deadlines. Once the editors at the Rotorua Daily Post have chosen the best stories to go in the paper they are checked for mistakes then sent to Auckland in the early evening where the paper is printed.

The papers are then put onto a truck which comes back to Rotorua and are delivered to shops and homes early the next morning. All of that happens while we are sleeping.

But journalism is not just about writing it is also about talking on the radio, as the students found out when they were lucky enough to visit Paul Hickey from The Hits radio station.

Two students, Michaela Fawthrop and Danayla Wilson were given the opportunity to speak on air.

"It was so cool talking on the radio station, I have never done anything like that before," said Michaela.

The students' journalism teacher Dana Haimona said it was a great trip and she is so thankful to Mrs Makiha and the Rotorua Daily Post team for the opportunity.

"It was a wonderful opportunity for the journalism students to experience a real-life news room and radio station. Hopefully it will inspire them to be journalists in the future. Who knows, we may one day see some of these students as Daily Post reporters."