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REGION: USP win internships to boost journalism training

The Pacific Cooperation Foundation ... media commitment to the region. Image: PCF

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Item: 10181

By Geraldine Panapasa
SUVA (University of the South Pacific/Pacific Media Watch): Five final-year students from the University of the South Pacific’s Journalism Programme have secured international professional attachments as part of their ongoing development and training.

Elizabeth Osifelo from the Solomon Islands, Adi Anaseini Civavonovono and Salote Qalubau from Fiji are expected to leave for a two-week internship in Auckland this Sunday after successfully securing a place in the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) Media Programme 2018.

Two other students, Koroi Tadulala and Mereoni Mili, are expected to leave for Scotland later this month for the Future News Worldwide 2018 Conference.

Tadulala and Mili were two of only three successful regional recipients out of more than 2000 applications to secure scholarships from the Scotland British Council to attend the conference. As many as 100 participants are expected to attend this conference.

To celebrate this achievement, USP’s dean for the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, Dr Akanisi Kedrayate, hosted the students to an event on Laucala Campus.

While congratulating the five on their placements, Dr Kedrayate said their achievement was a reflection of the calibre of students trained through the programs offered by FALE as well as the commitment from staff towards student development.

“We are very proud to have quality students who are able to stand on their own feet and produce quality work in the market,” said Dr Kedrayate, who also urged the students to take advantage of the opportunity to hone their learning experience in the field of journalism.

Raising the bar
Head of the School of Language, Arts and Media Professor Sudesh Mishra urged the students to set industry standards through hard work, perseverance and commitment.

“A lot of people from Fiji and the region have excelled despite some people saying we can’t compete internationally so keep raising the bar high for yourself. Don’t ever feel as if you can’t do anything that other people can’t do,” Dr Mishra told the students.

Osifelo and Civavonovono said it was a privilege to be given the opportunity by PCF to be part of the extensive internship in New Zealand.

“I have prepared myself mentally for this trip and will try to perform to the best I can. I hope to gain all the experience I can so that when I come back, I can share this experience with fellow colleagues,” Osifelo said.

For Tadulala, attending the conference in Scotland will broaden his knowledge on the digital impact of technology on journalism.

“I am interested in the technical field of journalism. We are exposed to the way the media works in Fiji and the region but not so much about how it works at the global level so this is a good opportunity to explore that and how it can be applied in the local context,” he said.

The USP journalism programme co-ordinator, Dr Shailendra Singh, said the internships were possible through their ties with developmental agencies to broaden students’ learning experiences.

He said training and retraining were crucial to keep abreast of developments in the field and to protect journalists since the environment was becoming riskier due to harsher legislation.

PCF Media Programme Internship
The Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) Media Programme
, now in its third year, focuses on improving the level and quality of media exposure in the Pacific, with particular interest on economic development, arts and culture.

Past students who have participated in the program have been hosted by Pacific Media Network, Māori Television, Pacific Media Centre and Tiki Lounge Productions where they have experienced the reality of working as a journalist and a sense of appreciation for the media industry. Selected students will be immersed in newsrooms for two weeks from June 24-July 9 where they will meet reporters and gain a better understanding of regional issues.

Future News Worldwide
Future News Worldwide
is a unique partnership program between the British Council and some of the world’s leading media organisations. It aims to assist young people to develop a wide range of journalism skills and to establish the UK as a global leader in the nurturing of young journalists and media figures.

Underlying this, the programme will help build strong and lasting connections to the next generation of media leaders across the globe. The #UseYourVoice initiative under the programme centres around a two-day conference which takes place annually at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

With English as the working language, the conference offers aspiring young journalists from across the globe the opportunity to develop practical and editorial skills and hear directly from some of the world’s most high-profile industry leaders.

The 2018 conference will be held from July 5-6.

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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