First Place Year 7 & 8 Division

K. Hunia, Waatea School, Auckland

K. Hunia, author of the 2021 winning essay, “Black Lives Matter and Me,” pictured with the author and school trophy.

K. Hunia’s essay can be accessed here.

Judges commented:

• This is a powerful and personal message from an author who has a mature grasp of language and structure. The style changes from academic to emotional and back again, which gives the message of authority. At times I felt the phraseology could benefit from a bit of pruning, but it was in keeping with the passion.
• I could almost hear the author’s voice in my head, and I feel less like I have read an essay and more like I have been spoken to.
• Impressive! A solid personal voice supported by examples of how traditional media disparage and divide while 21st century digital media has more ability to build communities.
• Exceptional writing. Powerful and poignant throughout. The author peppers the essay with well delivered and hard hitting points. Well done indeed to this writer.

Second Place Year 7 & 8 Division

A. Perrett, Te Puru School, Thames

A. Perrett author of the 2021 essay, “The Man in Blue Jeans.”

A. Perrett’s essay can be accessed here in PDF form. Please note this essay discusses suicide.

Judges commented:

  • The natural and confident style of the author comes across strongly, and the opening and closing sentences ties the sometimes gut-wrenching essay together brilliantly. While more could be made of the stark contrast in the positive and negative aspects of the media regarding mental health, the Mike King story captures an original aspect of that. The author is speaking from the heart and their voice is strong.
  • A riveting piece of writing tackling an incredibly difficult subject with both emotion and fact, doing great justice to both. Painted a picture by using thoughtful questions, language, examples and research. Ka rawe!
  • Strong, passionate, and deeply convincing. A stand-out.

Third Place Year 7 & 8 Division

I. Ismail-Sanders, Wadestown School, Wellington

I. Ismail-Sanders author of the 2021 essay, “9-11 A Shockwave Across The World.”

I. Ismail-Sanders essay can be access here.

Judges commented:

  • The depiction of the media’s role in the impact of 9/11 on Muslims globally is well balanced with the author’s personal story of how Islamophobia continues to impact them and their community. I would have liked to have heard more about the final point made regarding diversity in the media, and how Islamic media have dealt with the topic. Thoroughly and widely researched, this is a very mature essay, written with conviction and restrained passion.
  • Solid essay backed up with superb quotes, personal voice and resources. The percentages are an eye opener! Well done!
  • Powerful essay. Well researched facts expertly interwoven with personal reflections. Emotive and appealing. Most impressive.

First Place Year 5 & 6 Division

F.Hofer, Oromahoe School, Oromahoe.

F.Hofer, author of the 2021 winning essay, “Society, Culture and Media,” pictured with the author trophy.

F.Hofer’s essay can be accessed here.

Judges commented:

This essay is a well written, well-structured and mature assessment of the impact of media and particularly social media on society’s and individuals’ awareness and understanding of current events. I was impressed by how concisely and clearly the author made their point that often people may not be aware of how they are being influenced.
• Fascinating essay showing in depth understanding of how media and social media work. Thank you for taking me on a journey of the pros and cons illustrated with apt examples and powerful vocabulary. Ka pai!
• Very clever piece of writing on the complexities of our world and the media. Clear, concise and packs a

Second Place Year 5 & 6 Division

E. Beaumont, Waitakere Primary School, Auckland

E. Beaumont, author of the 2021 essay, “My Generation and Cyber Bullying.”

E. Beaumont’s essay can be accessed here.

Judges Commented:

  • A clearly outlined explanation of an extremely sad side effect of the internet. Brilliantly backed up by research and examples. Ka pai for offering some solutions and support for those who experience cyberbullying.
  • This is a passionate and touching account that gave a clear impression of the author’s personal experience even before it was revealed that they had experienced cyber-bullying first-hand. As someone from an older generation who was not exposed to this aspect of media, it was interesting and disturbing to learn about the reality that children face, but it also gave me hope that those children can find new ways to combat it.
  • Excellent discussion about an important topic.

Third Place Year 5 & 6 Division

K. Rajagopal, Baverstock Oaks Primary School, Auckland

K. Rajagopal, author of the 2021 essay, Mass Media versus Covid 19″

K. Rajagopal’s essay can be accessed here.

Judges Commented:

  • This was an informative insight into the interaction between the government, the general public and the media, described by the author almost like a conversation between government and public. I would have liked to have learned more about some specific examples of this. Great use of the Francis Bacon quote as well.
  • Well-structured argument. Ka pai! Consider adding more of ‘you’ into your writing and discussing how the media coverage of the pandemic has affected/influenced you directly.
  • Beautifully written account of how the media supports the transfer of information and the power of this in a global pandemic. Excellent use of questioning throughout.