28 Apr 2017
Now in its third year, the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) Media Programme exchange is reaping great rewards. In the past two years, eight of the 10 interns have found employment in the media industry, a key aim of this initiative.
This year, PCF received high calibre applications for the internship which starts on June 26 and concludes July 11.
Applications were sent in from around the Pacific, including AUT, Massey University, University of Papua New Guinea, Divine Word University, Fiji National University, University of the South Pacific and National University of Samoa – all these tertiary institutions offer media/journalism degree courses.
After a tough selection process, PCF has selected five interns for the 2017 Media Programme, which will see two final year tertiary students from New Zealand travelling to the Pacific (destinations to be confirmed) for the two-week internship, and three Pacific-based students journeying to NZ for an intense two weeks spent at various media organisations in Auckland
PCF is delighted to introduce you to our talented 2017 Media Programme interns:
Shivika Mala (USP, Fiji)
I’m Shivika and I was born and raised among one of the Pacific’s finest countries known as Fiji Islands. I’m 21 and a final year undergraduate student majoring in journalism and politics. I chose to study journalism because I’ve always wished to see history being made and report it to those who may not be able to see it. I enjoy listening to what people have to say - whether it is a 10-year-old talking about how fun it is to go to school, or a local market vendor sharing his concerns about the increasing price of fertilisers. I love listening to people’s stories because what may affect them, may affect us as well. I applied for the PCF internship in hopes to broaden my knowledge and skills on how New Zealand media works and their strategies to deliver news to its audiences effectively, and use these skills wherever I go. Apart from that, I hope to work with editing tools and play around with cams and meet tons of new people! I also love learning and experiencing new things such as language, sport and food.
Linda Filiai (USP, Fiji)
My name is Linda Filiai and I am from the beautiful island Kingdom of Tonga. I am 29 years old and a final year journalism student at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. Journalism was not on my list of career choices 12 years ago but few years back, I discovered the profession and that’s when I knew, journalism is my passion. Growing up in the small town of Leimatu’a on the second largest island in Tonga, I had never heard about journalism until I moved and study on the main island of Tongatapu when I was 18. This is when I started to admire how they carried out interview, field reporting, investigative journalism among others. Journalists sometimes risk their lives to find the truth and to keep the public informed about what is happening around the world. Journalism has opened many opportunities for me including attending the University of the South Pacific, and gaining a place in the upcoming Media Programme internship in New Zealand. I applied for the internship hoping to get a chance of experiencing how media operates in developed countries like New Zealand. I hope to learn as much as I can from media experts in New Zealand. This internship will be an opportunity to exchange ideas, learn from one another and develop a network of sources, as well as fellow media professionals.
Joshua Kiruhia (DWU, PNG)
My name is Joshua and I come from the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. I am 26 years old and a final year journalism student at Divine Word University here in Madang Province. While growing up, I was fascinated with the medium of radio, which was the one thing that kept me busy and out of trouble. I grew up being captivated by a local talkback show host by the name of Late Roger Hau’ofa, an artist who used his mastery of skills to shake national leaders from their seats, and who always made sure the ordinary grassroots had their voices being heard on live national radio. I am a passionate young man, who believes in community-wide participation and the involvement of men in ending violence against women. I have worked in the Gender Based Violence scene for more than four years in Papua New Guinea and I am a recognised young male advocate for women human rights. I was a panellist for the 2016 American Embassy sponsored Papua New Guinea National Women’s Forum, where I spoke about men/boys’ participation in ending violence against women by challenging unhealthy masculinity that disempowers women and girls. I took up journalism out of curiosity as well as my love for radio, only to realise its importance in shaping opinions and beliefs of people for better or for worse. I believe journalists should not only see themselves as the ‘eyes and ears of the people’, rather they must connect with the people and it comes with empathy. Only through such approaches can we have traction on a lot of issues affecting us. I am keen to learn as much as I can and am willing to share my experiences with other students upon my return to Papua New Guinea.
Brandon Ulfsby (AUT, Auckland)
My name is Brandon Ulfsby - I am 20 years old and of Cook Islands Māori decent. I reside in South Auckland and my main interest in journalism is the idea media can play a part in influencing change. Growing up in a multi-cultural mecca of South Auckland, I have grown up observing that many a time the stories and issues facing these communities are not represented or shown appropriately in the media. Because of this, I love going out and finding stories which elevate the success of ethnic communities, particularly Māori and Pasifika, as well as shedding light on the issues facing them. This is the sole drive for me wanting to be a journalist – to make a change through the representation of stories – their stories. This internship will be a great learning experience for me and an enjoyable one. It will allow me to engage with people in a different cultural setting and environment as well as provide an opportunity to expand my networking – the chance to work alongside experiences senior journalist, editors and so on. I hope my participation in this initiative will assist in making the voices of the Pacific louder and heard.
Safia Archer (Massey University, Wellington)
Formerly in public relations in Dubai and central government, I’d experienced one side of the communications machine - the attractive pay, the glitzy events, the carefully worded press releases. But the other side of the table always beckoned. The adage journalism is a calling not a career made sense to me. So, I set about securing a job at a community newspaper. Now equipped with a background in international relations and sustainable development, experience as a reporter in a small coastal community, and the tutelage of one of the top journalism schools in the country, I felt the PCF internship would provide an exceptional platform to put my skills to good use, and an unrivalled opportunity get up close and personal with the issues and the people of the Pacific. Growing up in Auckland, I saw our island neighbours as a tropical paradise, then media coverage of climate change and coups changed that vision but failed to follow up. The opportunity to humanise climate issues, cover real-time stories behind sustainable development, and capture the vibrant culture of the Pacific are just some of my aspirations for this internship, that could in turn cement my career direction. My Fijian heritage and innate love of all things coastal make this internship significantly personal, allowing me to connect my two cultures in a meaningful way.