News Item

​Building networks within Pacific media

Success Stories 29 Jun 2017

New techniques, new angles, new contacts and experiencing how professional journalists in New Zealand operate are on Joshua Lafoai’s wish-list of things to learn during Pacific Cooperation Foundation’s (PCF) 2017 Media Programme internship.

Joshua, 22, from National University of Samoa (NUS), is part of the two-week internship for Pacific-based journalism students in their final year of tertiary studies.

He is joined by Linda Filiai, 29, and Shivika Mala, 21, from the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

After arriving in Auckland on June 25, the trio have begun an intensive two-weeks observing and learning at Auckland media organisations, such as Pacific Media Centre (PMC), Pacific Media Network (PMN), TVNZ, NZME, Tiki Lounge Productions and Sunpix.

Meanwhile, Safia Archer from Massey University and Brandon Ulfsby from AUT have travelled to Suva and Apia respectively to complete two-week internships with Pacific media organisations.

As a representative of NUS, Joshua feels he has a big role to play in the internship.

“I need to prove Samoa has the capacity to produce good, quality journalists,” he says.

Media in Samoa, while free, still has many constraints, he adds.

“We need to educate journalists on their rights, and the access they have to information … when it comes to writing controversial stories at home, it is difficult to gain information from sources.”

Joshua is looking forward to expanding his knowledge on how journalists in NZ do things, and implementing those techniques when he is back in Samoa.

“We need to realise the vast experience of New Zealand journalists, so future journalism students can fully take advantage of this programme.”

It is the third year this PCF initiative has been run, and Shivika is very excited to be a part of it.

“In Fiji, the focus is on print media, but there is a strong focus on online and broadcasting here,” Shivika observes.

At PMC, the trio were given a tour of the exceptional AUT facilities, which are unlike what the Pacific students have seen at their respective homes.

The students then spent two days PMN, during which they were taken on a tour of Manukau Police Station, where they conducted the police round and learnt the do’s and don’ts about crime reporting.

Linda is studying at USP, but has already done some reporting for Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC) and says there are vast differences with technology in NZ compared to the Pacific.

“It’s quite interesting seeing what equipment New Zealand journalists are using – it is much more modern that what we use in the Pacific,” Linda says.

“It’s useful observing how to use this equipment, so when we return to the Pacific, we can share what we have learnt.”

Making connections are a huge part of the internship, and the trio say they have already begun to network and establish NZ-based contacts, which will be helpful in the future.

The Media Programme internship concludes on July 10, when the Pacific-based journalism students, and NZ-based journalism students will come together for a meet and greet, and review session before returning to their respective homes.

Visit PCF for more information on the Media Programme.

Read interviews with the interns HERE and HERE.

(Photo caption: L-R - Shivika Mala, Joshua Lafoai, and Linda Filiai are the Pacific-based journalism students taking part in PCF's 2017 Media Programme internship.)