News Item

Taute Vaai’s PCF intern experience

News 27 Jul 2018

I’m attending the University of Auckland studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science conjoint. Within my Arts programme I specialise in Communications.

I’ve always been drawn to the media industry through my passion for creating and editing videos, alongside interacting with and telling stories of people from all walks of life. My Samoan background, the knowledge learnt within the classroom, and socialising with my peers every day has allowed me to appreciate and recognise the beauty of diversity and the importance of showcasing the rich elements diverse communities bring. The media industry is the perfect place to share these stories.

The biggest challenge the Pacific region face today concerns the environmental status in relation to their economic development. Due to Pacific Island nations being so small it is difficult for them to compete on a global scale and build a robust economy, and also to fight against climate change. This negatively impacts the livelihoods of those of us in the Pacific. Journalism will help alleviate these issues through its role as the fourth estate, acting as a watchdog and providing a forum.

One of the many journalists I admire includes the award-winning journalist Ann Curry. My favourite pastime is photography and Ann Curry’s impressive photojournalist career has been a driving force in my aspirations to work in the industry, her work as an international correspondent and as a former NBC news anchor is inspiring.

My favourite experience during this internship was going out on assignments with different journalists from the FBC (Fiji Broadcasting Corporation) newsroom, meeting new people and learning about issues impacting Fiji. While out on assignments I met many Fijians got a glimpse into the selfless, kind-hearted warmth of their culture. They seem to share an infectious spirit of humour and a joyful appreciation of life. Despite being in a country by myself and not knowing anyone, I felt wrapped in the warmth of their genuine friendship.

I strongly recommend the PCF internship to other journalism students as it offers an opportunity to work in the Pacific and to shadow real-life journalists. I have learnt so much and met so many incredible people. My mind and my heart have been invariably stretched beyond my expectations. For that, I am eternally grateful.