MASI aims to develop regional journalism with USP boost

Media Association of Solomon Islands president Charles Kadamana, a University of the South Pacific journalism alumni, with wantok student journalists Rosalie Nongebatu (left) and joint top award winner Elizabeth Osifelo. Image: Harrison Selmen/Wansolwara

By Geraldine Panapasa in Suva

The Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) plans to work closely with the University of the South Pacific journalism programme to develop journalists in the region, says president Charles Kadamana.

Kadaman, a senior journalist with the Solomon Star daily newspaper, says past collaboration with USP Journalism has been successful, including a recent week-long training on anti-corruption reporting in the Solomon Islands.

He said the training was timely as the Solomon Islands government was in the process of debating the Anti-Corruption Bill.

USP 50 YEARS

“In Solomon Islands, there are about 36 USP journalism alumni now holding top jobs in the media industry, the government and in the private sectors,” said Kadamana, who was a guest at last week’s 18th USP Journalism Students Awards ceremony at Laucala campus in Suva.

“Looking at the list of journalism alumni, it is evident that the USP journalism programme has produced a lot of communications professionals in different areas contributing to our countries.

“Fiji and other Pacific countries also have USP journalism alumni in top posts.

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“Today, there is growing interest of journalists studying at USP. I am also happy to see the number of students from Solomon Islands is increasing.”

Dominated awards
Eleven student journalists are currently with the USP programme and they dominated the awards.

As educated young people, Kadamana encouraged student journalists to take up leadership roles, adding taking up journalism was not an easy task.

“There will be people who will stab you in the back. To avoid disaster, all you have to do is produce the results.

“Do not be the person who only wants the position for status and glory,” Kadamana said.

The USP journalism alumni said the university had been the breeding ground for nurturing future journalists to meet the needs of the region during the past 50 years.

Wansolwara News and the Pacific Media Centre have a content sharing arrangement.

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Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Former PCF media intern welcomes Pacific newbies on NZ exchange

Adi Anaesini Civavonovono of Fiji (left) and Elizabeth Osifelo of the Solomon Islands (both of the University of the South Pacific) against the green screen in the television studios during their visit to Auckland University of Technology this week. Behind them are the Pacific Cooperation Foundation’s Suzanne Suisuiki (partially hidden) along with AUT students Leilani Sitagata and Pauline Mago-King. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

By Rahul Bhattarai

It was a case of Pacific meets Pacific in AUT’s School of Communication Studies this week as one of the inaugural winners of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation internships welcomed this year’s new batch of four student journalists from Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands.

Pauline Mago-King of Papua New Guinea was a final year communication studies student in Madang when the internships began and she visited New Zealand in 2015 thanks to PCF.

Now she is a master’s degree student at Auckland University of Technology doing research into domestic violence and non-government organisation responses in her home country.

She says she knew the flexibility of the AUT programme was just right for her – “especially when you come from a country where there aren’t enough opportunities for a student to gain experience.”

AUT’s Pacific Media Centre hosted the PCF internship students and director Professor David Robie welcomed them, saying “we‘re just a small programme but with quite a reach, we have an audience of up to 20,000 on our Asia Pacific Report website”.

The PMC, with a small part-time team, covers the region with independent news as well as conducting out a discrete media research programme.

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Three of the students on the two-week internship in New Zealand come from the University of the South Pacific and the student newspaper Wansolwara – Elizabeth Osifelo (Solomon Islands), Salote Qalubau and Adi Anaesini Civavonovono (both from Fiji). The fourth, Yumi Talaave, is from the National University of Samoa.

The interns toured AUT’s communications facilities, including the state-of-the-art television studies and control room.

Pacific Media Centre student journalist Rahul Bhattarai and University of Samoa’s meet King Kong on the AUT television studio green screen. Image: David Robie/PMC

They then visited AUT’s journalism newsroom and media centre.

The students also watched the final editing stages of a short current affairs documentary by two AUT students involved in the PMC’s Bearing Witness climate change project.

Hele Ikimotu and Blessen Tom travelled to Rabi Island in the north of Fiji in April and filmed the documentary Banabans of Rabi: A Story of Survival in the hope of spreading awareness about the impact of climate change in the Pacific.

Their lecturers, Jim Marbrook and David Robie, hope to enter the documentary into film festivals and an earlier video by the students as part of the project gives a glimpse of life on the island.

Suzanne Suisuiki, communications manager of PCF, says these kinds of internships provide the opportunity for Pacific students to gain wider exposure and better understanding of media.

“We wanted interns who had a sense of appreciation of the media industry,” she said.

She plans to next year expand to the wider Pacific region, including Tonga and Papua New Guinea.

Two students were also selected from New Zealand to go to Fiji and Samoa.

The Pacific Cooperation Foundation internship students with Pacific Media Centre students and staff at AUT this week. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Hot off the press – Wansolwara marks USP’s 50th anniversary

Wansolwara supervising editor-in-chief Geraldine Panapasa, broadcast teaching assistant Eliki Drugunalevu and USP journalism programme co-ordinator Dr Shailendra Singh browse through the latest edition of Wansolwara alongside students Elizabeth Osifelo and Kritika Rukmani (right). Image: Koroi Tadulala/Wansolwara

By Elizabeth Osifelo in Suva

The first edition of the University of the South Pacific’s student journalist training newspaper Wansolwara for the year has hit the news stands and celebrates the institution’s half century of achievements as one of the most successful regional organisations with more than 63,000 alumni and 26 international accreditations.

The university has presented 64,000 qualifications over the past 50 years and more recently was seeking initial accreditation with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

The 24-page special edition focused on USP’s 50th Anniversary and the “people power” behind the institution is one of two publications planned for the year and was printed as an insert in the Fiji Sun newspaper on Friday.

Wansolwara’s May edition hit the news stands today as an insert in the Fiji Sun. Image: Koroi Tadulala/Wansolwara News

Wansolwara supervising editor-in-chief Geraldine Panapasa said the publication was dedicated first and foremost to the people who had made USP what it has become today.

She said the first edition focused on academics, support staff and the people who, over time, had become a part of the USP family.

The second edition is expected to feature various graduates and their contribution to society.

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Final-year journalism students worked closely with the editorial board on the production of the newspaper.

The editorial board comprises USP journalism programme co-ordinator Dr Shailendra Singh, broadcast teaching assistant Eliki Drugunalevu, Panapasa and student editor Drue Slatter.

The award-winning Wansolwara newspaper is the longest surviving student publication in the region with the largest circulation (more than 20,000) of any student newspaper in the Pacific and Australasia.

An e-copy of the publication can be found on www.wansolwaranews.com or on ISSUU.

Elizabeth Osifelo is a final-year journalism student at USP.

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MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

PMC’s radio show features Chinese ‘base’ claim, justice and diabetes

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: PMC’s radio show features Chinese ‘base’ claim, justice and diabetes

Pacific Media Watch Newsdesk

Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie blasted some of the global coverage of the alleged Chinese military base plans for Vanuatu, describing it as speculative and “scaremongering”.

He praised the Vanuatu Daily Post for giving the other side of the story and media director Dan McGarry for his in-depth “baseless rumours” article published in both The Guardian Australia and the Post.

Radio 95bFM’s Reuben McLaren talked to Dr Robie on the PMC’s weekly Southern Cross show.

Dr Robie also talked about Nauru abolishing its Appeal Court in Australia, a huge diabetes health bill blowout in Fiji, and the “mourning” in Suva over Fiji’s shock 14-0 loss to New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games sevens gold medal final.

The diabetes story was revealed by a final-year Wansolwara student journalist, Adi Ana Civavonovono, of the University of the South Pacific.

PMC’s Southern Cross on 95bFM

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Southern Cross on PMC’s Soundcloud

Listen to Southern Cross:

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Graduating USP student journalists tell of hard work, sacrifices on way

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Graduating USP student journalists tell of hard work, sacrifices on way

Three of the USP journalism graduates, Vilimaina Naqelevuki (from left), Chrisnrita Aumanu and Anishma Prasad, with their scrolls at the National Gymnasium in Suva. Image: Koroi Tadulala/Wansolwara

By Mereoni Mili in Suva

It was a proud moment for six journalism students who graduated from the University of the South Pacific in Suva this week.

For Chrisnrita Aumanu, a journalism student from the Solomon Islands, being away from home was challenging but worth the sacrifice after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Fiji President Jioji Konrote at the National Gymnasium.

“I feel so over the moon and extremely thankful that I’ve managed to come this far and finally get my degree,” she said.

Aumanu, double majoring in journalism and information systems, thanked her parents and husband for their support on her big day, adding they were her “biggest supporters from day one”.

“I’ve seen how far my parents had gone to support me. This has also challenged me to keep on going with my studies, not only at this level but beyond,” said Aumanu.

Aumanu, former editor of USP’s journalism award-winning student training newspaper Wansolwara, thanked Dr Shailendra Singh, coordinator of the journalism programme and the head of information systems for helping her with her studies.

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“I would like to thank the head of schools and teaching assistants who helped me with the problems I faced,” she said.

Sacrificed six years
Another journalism student, Anishma Prasad, said she sacrificed six years to get her degree and the end result was overwhelming.

“At times I felt I would never see a degree in my hand but today I feel happy and content that I have achieved one of the biggest things in my life and I was able to fight my battles,” Prasad said.

Being the eldest of three, Prasad put her studies on hold to look after her sick mother and family.

The Bachelor of Arts double major in journalism and politics also worked part-time to pay for her studies.

Despite the challenges she faced, Prasad was determined to complete her studies.

The Nausori student said her biggest inspiration were her parents who fought all the challenges that came their way.

Her advice to students was to stay determined and focused on the path ahead.

“It is not easy but if I can do it, anyone can. If you’re determined to finish what you’ve started, you will never lose hope,” she said.

For Linda Filiai from Tonga, studying in Fiji was not easy at first because of “culture shock”, but with the help of her friend, she overcame this.

Filiai said receiving a degree was what every USP student looked forward to because great education would improve the standard of living.

“The reason behind my success today is the fact that I wanted a better life for my family,” said Filiai.

Other journalism students who graduated with their BA degree were Vilimaina Naqelevuki, Ruci Vakamino and Travis Ronnie.

The USP journalism programme has produced more than 200 graduates working in various media roles throughout the Pacific and globally.

Mereoni Mili is a student journalist with Wansolwara newspaper of the University of the South Pacific regional journalism programme.

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Top journo students honoured at USP’s award night

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Top journo students honoured at USP’s award night

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

Cake cutting ceremony at the 2016 USP Journalism Programme awards which, also celebrated Wansolwara’s 20-year anniversary. USP journalism teaching assistant Eliki Drugunalevu (far left), Wansolwara student editor Chrisnrita Aumanu, head of USP journalism Dr Shailendra Singh, USP journalism tutor Dr Olivier Jutel with founding Wansolwara editor Professor Philip Cass, Wansolwara supervising editor-in-chief Irene Manueli and award recipient Sonal Singh. Image: USP

The University of the South Pacific hosted its annual journalism awards this month, honouring some of the top students who report for the journalism programmes multi-award winning student newspaper.

Eleven students of USP’s Journalism Programme were presented with media awards.The ceremony was held in the AusAid theatre in Laucala Bay, Suva. Image: Fiji Times

Wansolwara, USP’s training newspaper, was also commemorated for its 20th year of publishing.

Journalism student Chrisnrita Aumanu received the award of Best Wansolwara Editor, sponsored by Fiji publication Business Melanesia.

She told Asia Pacific Report that she enjoyed her role as student editor this year and was humbled to receive the award.

‘Challenging times’

“There would be challenging times, for example, running out of stories to put on the pages and looming deadlines. But at the end of the day when the challenges are dealt with, and with the great help from our tutors, it’s a great feeling.”

She said one of the successes for 2016 was this years first edition of the newspaper, when  student journalists dedicated two-pages of the publication to TC Winston, the biggest cyclone ever to hit the Fiji islands.

Aumanu said being an editor has pushed her out of her comfort zone. Originally from the Solomon Islands, she hopes to bring her experience home to give back to her country.

She also acknowledged the team of student reporters and photographers who worked tirelessly on the newspaper this year.

‘Wansolwara’

Wansolwara is a great news outlet, as it is a great platform for student journalists to put on paper what they have been taught in classrooms. Moreover, Wansolwara moulds budding journalists like us to write better stories each and every time with a sense of pride when we see our bylines.”

Another big winner of the night was former Wansolwara student editor, Sonal Singh, who won the Fiji Sun Tanoa Bowl Best Graduating Student Award.

‘Biggest success’

He told Asia Pacific Report, the award is his biggest success this year.

“Since 2014, when I first came to know about the awards, it became one of my goals to win the best graduating student award. I could say that my consistency brought me closer to this.”

“This awards means that I am on the right track.”

Singh said the biggest challenges for the year have been managing his role as the president of the USP Journalism Students Association (JSA), as well as a six-week attachment, and his commitment to Wansolwara.

“However through the understanding and help from family, friends and my lecturers, I was able to overcome my obstacles.”

‘Revived’

Singh, together with fellow journalism students have also successfully “revived” USP’s JSA by raising enough funds to improve the facilities in their newsroom.

Asia Pacific Report asked Singh what advice he would give to other aspiring Pacific journalists: “My advice would be that if you have the will and courage to stand and speak for what is right to improve our society, then become a journalist. It’s more exciting and satisfying than you think.”

Chief guest

The chief guest at the awards night was former USP lecturer Dr Philip Cass who founded Wansolwara in 1996 and now teaches at UNITEC in Auckland.

Founding Wansolwara editor, Professor Philip Cass, also presented at the 2016 World Journalism Education Congress in Auckland. Image: PMC

Wansolwara has gotten more ambitious, covering issues from across the Pacific region,” Cass said in a statement featured in the Fiji Times.

“I think over the years, Wansolwara has become a lot better and has certainly won a lot of awards. This certainly has reflected the hard work done by my successors and all the staff who have worked on it over the years.

“This is a very special moment for me to think that it has survived this long and has prospered this much. I was very touched and I am very grateful for this invitation.”

Wansolwara is now the longest surviving student publication in the Pacific region and continues to cover serious news on a quarterly basis.

USP journalism coordinator Dr Shailendra Singh said the awards have been an important event in university’s journalism calendar, since it was introduced by the Pacific Media Centre’s Professor David Robie.

‘Well supported’

“The awards are well supported by the news media industry in Fiji who sponsor the prizes,” Dr Singh said.

“News media industry representatives attend the function and present the prizes in person, which is a boost for the future journalists of the region.”

Dr Singh said the need for well-trained journalists had increased with the onset of social media and citizen journalism, especially in the face of the ongoing development problems faced by the region.

‘Young journalists’

“It is very important to encourage potential young journalists by recognising, incentivising and rewarding good examples of journalism,” said Dr Singh.

“The awards have become an important occasion in the USP journalism calendar over the years, given USP’s critical role in nurturing the future journalists to meet the needs of the region.”

The USP Journalism Programme has produced more than 200 graduates. Many are now working in various media roles throughout the Pacific and beyond.

Top journo students honoured on USP’s award night

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Top journo students honoured on USP’s award night

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation’s news bulletin featuring interviews with the awardees at USP’s Journalism Awards 2016. Video: FBC

The University of the South Pacific hosted its annual journalism awards this month, honouring some of the top students who report for the journalism programmes multi-award winning student newspaper.

Eleven students of USP’s Journalism Programme were presented with media awards.The ceremony was held in the AusAid theatre in Laucala Bay, Suva. Image: Fiji Times

Wansolwara, USP’s training newspaper, was also commemorated for its 20th year of publishing.

Journalism student Chrisnrita Aumanu received the award of Best Wansolwara Editor, sponsored by Fiji publication Business Melanesia.

She told Asia Pacific Report that she enjoyed her role as student editor this year and was humbled to receive the award.

‘Challenging times’

“There would be challenging times, for example, running out of stories to put on the pages and looming deadlines. But at the end of the day when the challenges are dealt with, and with the great help from our tutors, it’s a great feeling.”

She said one of the successes for 2016 was this years first edition of the newspaper, when  student journalists dedicated two-pages of the publication to TC Winston, the biggest cyclone ever to hit the Fiji islands.

Aumanu said being an editor has pushed her out of her comfort zone. Originally from the Solomon Islands, she hopes to bring her experience home to give back to her country.

She also acknowledged the team of student reporters and photographers who worked tirelessly on the newspaper this year.

‘Wansolwara’

Wansolwara is a great news outlet, as it is a great platform for student journalists to put on paper what they have been taught in classrooms. Moreover, Wansolwara moulds budding journalists like us to write better stories each and every time with a sense of pride when we see our bylines.”

Another big winner of the night was former Wansolwara student editor, Sonal Singh, who won the Fiji Sun Tanoa Bowl Best Graduating Student Award.

‘Biggest success’

He told Asia Pacific Report, the award is his biggest success this year.

“Since 2014, when I first came to know about the awards, it became one of my goals to win the best graduating student award. I could say that my consistency brought me closer to this.”

“This awards means that I am on the right track.”

Singh said the biggest challenges for the year have been managing his role as the president of the USP Journalism Students Association (JSA), as well as a six-week attachment, and his commitment to Wansolwara.

“However through the understanding and help from family, friends and my lecturers, I was able to overcome my obstacles.”

‘Revived’

Singh, together with fellow journalism students have also successfully “revived” USP’s JSA by raising enough funds to improve the facilities in their newsroom.

Asia Pacific Report asked Singh what advice he would give to other aspiring Pacific journalists: “My advice would be that if you have the will and courage to stand and speak for what is right to improve our society, then become a journalist. It’s more exciting and satisfying than you think.”

Chief guest

The chief guest at the awards night was former USP lecturer Dr Philip Cass who founded Wansolwara in 1996 and now teaches at UNITEC in Auckland.

Founding Wansolwara editor, Professor Philip Cass, also presented at the 2016 World Journalism Education Congress in Auckland. Image: PMC

Wansolwara has gotten more ambitious, covering issues from across the Pacific region,” Cass said in a statement featured in the Fiji Times.

“I think over the years, Wansolwara has become a lot better and has certainly won a lot of awards. This certainly has reflected the hard work done by my successors and all the staff who have worked on it over the years.

“This is a very special moment for me to think that it has survived this long and has prospered this much. I was very touched and I am very grateful for this invitation.”

Wansolwara is now the longest surviving student publication in the Pacific region and continues to cover serious news on a quarterly basis.

USP journalism coordinator Dr Shailendra Singh said the awards have been an important event in university’s journalism calendar, since it was introduced by the Pacific Media Centre’s Professor David Robie.

‘Well supported’

“The awards are well supported by the news media industry in Fiji who sponsor the prizes,” Dr Singh said.

USP Journalism staff: Dr Olivier Jutel (from left), head of USP journalism Dr Shailendra Singh, journalism teaching assistant Eliki Drugunalevu and Wansolwara supervising editor-in-chief, Irene Manueli with a former USP journalism student Emmanuel Mar. Image: USP

“News media industry representatives attend the function and present the prizes in person, which is a boost for the future journalists of the region.”

Dr Singh said the need for well-trained journalists had increased with the onset of social media and citizen journalism, especially in the face of the ongoing development problems faced by the region.

‘Young journalists’

“It is very important to encourage potential young journalists by recognising, incentivising and rewarding good examples of journalism,” said Dr Singh.

“Towards this end, the awards have become an important occasion in the USP journalism calendar over the years, given USP’s critical role in nurturing the future journalists to meet the needs of the region.”

The USP Journalism Programme has produced more than 200 graduates. Many are now working in various media roles throughout the Pacific and beyond.