Excellence in broadcasting

A new broadcaster faces many challenges.

Gaining technical skills, finding a niche in the media industry, finding a ‘voice’,  growing a personality that is both authentic and relevant to an audience – these are complex requirements.

Media outlets have exploded in number and variety over recent years.  Competition has sharpened innovation and changed views on what is acceptable, relevant or excellent.

Emerging broadcasters must find their place in an industry that often rewards the highest standards and sometimes also the lowest.

The Bill Toft Memorial Fund recognises and fosters the highest standards of performance by new broadcasters.

Bill Toft was a leading newscaster in New Zealand television during the 1960s and ‘70s.
During this period television was overtaking radio as the dominant medium, commercial broadcasting was overtaking public sector broadcasting, and competition between radio and television stations first began.

Then, as now, standards were shifting.  New, creative approaches to audience engagement, entertainment, news and current affairs were hallmarks of the industry.

In this environment Bill Toft offered a clear, authentic and authoritative voice. 

His untimely death prompted the establishment of a memorial fund to promote the standards he forged.

The Bill Toft Memorial Fund now awards a substantial monetary grant - annually when conditions are met – for new broadcasters working in New Zealand who display key skills such as relatability, impact, authenticity and authority.

Bill Toft Memorial Fund Convenor Sue Scott-Gould leads a team of current and former broadcasters who judge the award entries.

Scott-Gould says the Awards look to the future.

“A new broadcaster is often seeking a way of performing that has immediate impact, and is perhaps not so focused on the things that will lead to longevity in the media marketplace.

“The Awards help to shine a light on broadcasting standards that will endure,” Sue Scott-Gould says.