Lucas de Jong
Seven Sharp, TVNZ
- Bachelor of Communication Studies
Lucas de Jong is a born story-teller. So it was only natural that he would wind up with a successful career as a broadcast journalist, telling some of the biggest stories on the planet to an audience of millions.
After five years living overseas and working for BBC World News in London and Singapore, Lucas is now back home in New Zealand and working for TVNZ's Seven Sharp programme.
Lucas says he had "looked everywhere" before deciding on the Bachelor of Communication Studies at Waikato. "The flexibility of studying and the BCS itself really sold me on Waikato," he says. "I was able to study across communication, media studies and even social sciences."
Following a year's further study in Auckland, Lucas drew on connections he'd made at Waikato to land internships at Fairfax Media and TVNZ. He spent over a year as a producer and reporter on TV1's Breakfast programme, later basing himself in the capital as Breakfast's Wellington reporter.
He's covered some of New Zealand's major events, including the Pike River Mine disaster, the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and the devastation following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake - which he recalls as a hugely defining moment for him.
"I was fresh to being a journalist and the stories were just everywhere, happening in real time. It was definitely the most poignant moment in my career so far."
After finishing up on Breakfast, Lucas and his fiancee (who he met at Waikato University in Student Village!) travelled around Europe together before settling in London, where he worked on BBC World's 24-hour news coverage. You can watch some of his stories here.
"With BBC World News, you're working on the biggest stories in the world. So I bounce around a bit, producing stories, editing, doing voice-overs, even overnight reporting. I really love being out in the field, seeing stories unfold in front of me."
With the BBC known for its formal style of reporting, Lucas says the unique Kiwi accent didn't hold him back.
"Actually, I think it's been an advantage as we have reporters all over the world, so it's good to have that international flavour ... though I did have to work on pronouncing a few things differently!"