Eliki Drugunalevu Journalism Teaching Assistant, Julie Cleaver, Kendall Hutt and Dr Shailendra Singh, Head of USP Journalism (seated) and other journalism students.
Two award-winning New Zealand graduate journalists on attachment at The University of the South Pacific (USP) have completed their attachment saying it was an enriching experience.
They are Julie Cleaver, a Communication Studies Honours student journalist and editor of the student magazine Debate, and Kendall Hutt, Pacific Media Watch contributing editor from the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology (AUT).
They were in Fiji for two (2) weeks in May as part of the Bearing Witness climate change project, a collaborative venture between Pacific Media Centre, the documentary research collective Te Ara Motuhenga, USP Journalism Programme and PACE-SD.
During their assignments, Julie and Kendall produced several articles including traveling to the remote village of Tukuraki, Ba to report on local stories on effects of climate change.
They also interviewed students around the Laucala Campus who shared their experience on the ‘reality’ of Climate Change in the country.
According to Kendall, they found that the people in Fiji and the Pacific were more receptive about Climate Change than New Zealanders adding it was quite clear because the effects are being felt first-hand.
Kendall stated that experiencing the effects of Climate Change first-hand was an eye-opener.
“Talking to the people who were actually feeling the impact provided a deeper understanding of the grimness of the issues from a human perspective,” Kendall said.
This year, she won the Radio New Zealand International Award for the top Asia-Pacific Journalism Studies student while Cleaver won the School of Communication Studies Award for Excellence in Communication Theory.
Professor David Robie, the Director of the Pacific Media Centre, said the attachment was a "life changing" experience for the students.
This is the second Bearing Witness project. Last year AUT journalism student Ami Dhabuwala and honours graduate TJ Aumua spent two (2) weeks in Fiji.
Dr Shailendra Singh, USP Journalism coordinator said they welcomed such collaborations as it was important for broadening student’s learning experience.
Last year USP journalism student and editor of USP’s award-winning newspaper, Wansolwara, Sonal Singh was selected to take part in Pacific Cooperation Foundation’s (PCF) Media Programme the two-week internship in Auckland and visited the Pacific Media Centre.
Two (2) more USP journalism students will go to Auckland this year under the same scheme.
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