Meet our journos
Meet the journalists who work on New Zealand Doctor
Curiosity has driven the working life of New Zealand Doctor editor Barbara Fountain, taking her from clinical research, through scientific publishing to land in journalism. She worked at the Otago Daily Times and the business weekly The Independent before joining New Zealand Doctor in 1996, taking time out to have a family. Barbara loves print but also enjoys the grand access to knowledge and stories afforded by the internet. She has previously researched science reporting and the use of official information laws, and in 2016 was the inaugural Editorial Leader of the Year at the national Canon Media Awards. In 2015, she co-founded The Health Media with business partner Anna Mickell, to take over publication of New Zealand Doctor, Pharmacy Today and ELearning.
Deputy editor Ruth Brown joined New Zealand Doctor in May 2014 after nearly 25 years of daily journalism, magazines, specialist publications and short forays into other careers. She worked as a reporter and subeditor in London and returned to New Zealand to delve into the fashion industry for several years before returning gratefully to journalism in 2004. Since then, while raising a couple of girls, she has joined the quest for high-quality, web-based journalism, and worked as content manager for New Zealand Doctor before taking on the deputy editor role in February 2018.
Cliff Taylor started his career in journalism at the ripe age of 17, working for the now-defunct Auckland Star. After a brief foray into academia, he spent 15 years as a hack for hire, using journalism to fund his extensive travels. He wound up freelancing in Uganda for various publications, including The Independent, which led to a seven-year stint at the BBC World Service, in the Africa section. Somewhere during this erratic journey he managed to publish three novels. He lives by the beach in Pakiri, where he often embarks on over-ambitious cross-country runs and paddle board surfing excursions. He has been with New Zealand Doctor since 2014, spending sometime as deputy editor before opting to work from Pakiri.
Wellington correspondent Virginia McMillan arrived at New Zealand Doctor one story at a time, as she ventured into freelance writing after a career in newspaper reporting, subediting and editing. She got into health journalism via the notorious (now-defunct) business weekly, The Independent, where she covered the primary healthcare reforms of the early 2000s. She soon became a regular contributor of news and award-winning feature articles, phasing out other roles – such as journalism tutoring – to devote herself to us. Virginia also subedits many of our print edition stories.
Before coming to New Zealand Doctor to wrangle with the website, Keira worked as a journalist on the West Coast based Westport News. Before that, she mostly lived the life of an international drifter: teaching English in Japan, cooking in a Russian teahouse in New York, running a Kiwi film night in Glasgow, hanging out with Burmese refugees on the Thai border... She is very interested in public health. In lieu of finishing an MA in literature, she pours her writing energy into New Zealand Doctor, and working on its website and social media channels.
A Wellingtonian originally, Fiona Thomas has spent the last decade bouncing around New Zealand and the world. She studied geography and political science at the University of Canterbury, followed by journalism. She then went on to work at the Christchurch Star as her first reporting gig. After taking the customary OE to Europe, she joined New Zealand Doctor in Auckland in February 2016. Fiona was a finalist in the Canon Media Awards in 2016.
An AUT journalism graduate, Simon Maude got his start working as a community news reporter for The North Shore Times in Auckland. Shortly after starting, Simon took these photos that earned him two Australasian PANPA awards. Simon then moved to Stuff.co.nz’s Auckland news bureau, covering everything from breaking news to Auckland issues to lifting the lid on a health practitioner’s dubious methods. Once in a while Simon would write the odd forthright opinion piece or travel story. For some reason Simon likes to run to and from work