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It’s been a tragic end to the year for the profession of journalism with a fledgling reporter and a seasoned journo dying in unusual accidents.

Helen Bain (38), the former Dominion Post reporter and Sunday Star Times political editor has been revealed as the woman who drowned when she fell from her horse attempting to cross the flooded Ruamahanga River near Masterton.

Helen had left journalism to become communications manager for Forest & Bird, a role at which she excelled. In early November, I chaired a panel featuring Helen and The Press reporter David Williams talking about the relationship between journalists and environmental groups. Helen spoke convincingly and knowledgeably about what makes for good reporting of environmental issues.

She clearly loved her job, loved advocating the preservation of New Zealand’s native beauty and loved getting out into the open on horse back. I’ll post the audio of that panel discussion if I still have a copy of it on my recorder. Helen will be sorely missed.

On Sunday we were informed via the Herald on Sunday of the death of another journalist, 29 year-old Daniel Pilkington, who covered the technology beat for Auckland publisher Action Media.

I didn’t know Daniel, but a former tech journo myself, keep track of who is covering the beat and had read his articles online. He was reportedly found dead the bathroom of an Auckland bar with a hypodermic needle in his hand (see article below).

On behalf of all the Scibloggers and the staff of the Science Media Centre, I extend our condolences to the families and friends of Helen and Daniel.

Herald on Sunday report of Daniel Pilkington's death

Herald on Sunday report of Daniel Pilkington's death

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