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USP student sharpens journalism skills to report on regional meteorology forums

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USP Journalism student Ruci Vakamino, (third from left), with programme teaching staff, from left, Mr Eliki Drugunalevu, Ms Irene Manarae and Dr Shailendra Singh (programme coordinator).

A final year student of The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Journalism programme is in Honiara, Solomon Islands, to cover two (2) major conferences on the region’s meteorological sector.

Ruci Vakamino, who is the serving editor of the programme’s news publication Wansolwara, is part of the regional media team selected by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) to cover the two meetings which are the 4th Pacific Meteorological Council meet and 2nd Pacific Meteorological Ministerial meet.

Ruci is part of a team of journalists including senior editors and junior reporters. The journalists undertook a four-day workshop to help them prepare to report the regional meetings.

Ruci said that she was grateful for the opportunity and was determined to learn as much as she could.

“This trip will give me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge,” she said.

This is the first time for Ruci to report specifically on the weather. In the past, her reporting has largely focused environment issues and post-Cyclone Winston stories.

She said her interest in the environment is important because “the region is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and journalists can use their platform to address it.”

Ruci noted that despite this being her first major assignment and the first time for her to travel outside Fiji, she was not too nervous because she was already in contact with USP Journalism alumni in Honiara.   

Dr Shailendra Singh, Journalism Programme Coordinator said Ruci is a hard-working and talented student journalist who deserved the award.

Dr Singh added that the exposure to the experts and senior journalists from the region will be a boost for the final year student.

He thanked SPREP for allocating space for student journalists, following an approach from USP Journalism.

Dr Singh highlighted that USP Journalism's alliances with regional organisations were expanding the horizons for student learning and practical experience.

Former journalism student Emmanuel Mar went on a similar SPREP trip in 2015 to cover the third Pacific Meteorological Council meeting in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.

Recently, an opportunity to travel and report from abroad was also given to two final year students, Linda Filiai and Shivika Mala, who were based in Auckland for two weeks and worked with several media organisations to enhance their journalistic skills.

This news item was published on 15 Aug 2017 11:01:33 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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