Dr Gavin Ellis

PGDipArts , MA (Hons), PhD


Gavin is a former editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Herald. His career in journalism spanned more than 40 years and included periods as a political journalist and defence correspondent. He was chair of the Media Freedom Committee, representing all mainstream media on issues of free expression and was recipient of the 2005 Commonwealth Astor Award for services to press freedom. On his retirement from journalism he completed his doctorate and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Political Studies and Film Television and Media Studies. He is currently an honorary academic and contract lecturer.

Research interests

News media structures and governance; journalism past, present and future; propaganda.




Research | Current

Gavin conducts research in the areas of politics and the media, social effects of media organisation, and media ownership.

Areas of expertise

Media structures and management, journalism, political economy of communication, media ethics, future of news.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Ellis, G. (2016). Complacent Nation. Bridget Williams Books. Pages: 152.
  • Ellis, G. P., & Thompson, P. A. (2016). Restoring civic values to the news media ecology. Policy Quarterly, 12 (2), 37-40. Related URL.
  • Ellis, G. P. (2016). The Political Role of New Zealand Newspapers. In G. Kemp, B. Bahador, K. McMillan, C. Rudd (Eds.) Politics and the Media (pp. 238-256). Auckland: Auckland University Press. Related URL.
  • Ellis, G. P. (2014). 2014 UNESCO Lecture: 'No-one died covering celebrity news'. Pacific Journalism Review, 20 (2), 172-186. Related URL.
  • Ellis, G. P. (2014). Holding the Fort. New Zealand Listener (November 8-14, 2014), 26-31.
  • Ellis, G. (2014). Trust ownership and the future of news: Media moguls and white knights. Palgrave Macmillan. Pages: 328.
  • Ellis, G. P. (2013). The Political Role of New Zealand Newspapers. In B. Bahador, G. Kemp, K. McMillan, C. Rudd (Eds.) Politics and the Media (pp. 177-191). Auckland: Pearson. Related URL.
  • Ellis, G. P. (2012). Hyper-competition and acceptable risk: the demise of the New Zealand Press Association. Paper presented at Journalism, Media and Democracy Research Centre (JMAD) Conference 2012, Auckland University of Technology. 13 September - 13 September 2012. Media Histories: New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific. Related URL.

Contact details

Alternative contact


Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
New Zealand

Web links