News Item

​Media exchange into the Pacific inspires hope

News 13 Jul 2017

A programme that gives journalism and media students the opportunity to intern in the Pacific has reaffirmed a young woman’s passion for journalism.

Offered by Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) the programme saw Massey University student Safia Archer (pictured in Suva) go to Fiji for a two-week internship with local media organisations.

Safia, who is of Fijian origin says she’s always felt a strong connection with the Pacific islands.

“I grew up in West Auckland where there is a huge island population, and I was no exception with my father born in Ba, Fiji, so that really intrigued me,” she says.

Safia, who lives in Wellington now, says she’s always dabbled with journalism since she was young but realised two-years ago this is what she had to do.

“It’s not the sort of industry that you can be unsure about, as it does take passion, drive, and determination to see stories through.

“I’m lucky to have had a very diverse upbringing, so I tend to gain insight into cultures that others may not be able to experience or access first hand.”

The two-week internship took place from the June 25 to July 8 with Archer interning at local media outlets CFL Radio, FBC TV, Fiji 1 TV and Mai Life Magazine.

“The whole experience, seeing the rich cultures first hand, being invited into people’s homes to share their stories, their experiences, has really changed my perspective on both a personal and professional level.”

She says she could not have predicted the personal development she experienced whilst in Fiji.

“It reaffirmed why I chose journalism as a career - every country has similar struggles, but they handle them differently.

"The media has a role in portraying this, and getting the local stories out there.

“Internships are the most impactful way to learn - you can sit in a classroom for years and not gain the insight I’ve had into a culture in my first two days alone. “

Safia says this experience has opened door ways for her and wants to focus on sustainable development reporting in the country.

“Seeing the human side of climate change had a major impact on me.

"Taking time to see the story unfold and piecing it together, rather than just focusing purely on policy or negotiations, has been a real highlight.”

She says there’s a lack of reporting on the Pacific in New Zealand but that the exchange offers a unique opportunity for change.

“PCF puts interns right in the thick of it, and will no doubt nurture some excellent reporters who gain personal first hand insight into the Pacific regionally.”

Visit PCF for more information about its Media Programme.