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USP Journalism Bags Top Environmental Reporting Awards

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The four recipients, from left : Anish Chand, Rachna Lal, Kalpana Prasad and Moffat Mamu.

The University of the South Pacific Journalism has added more awards to its collection.

All four winners of a recent regional award in Environmental Journalism are USP Journalism alumni. The award is part of the media outreach by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). It encourages partnerships with Pacific media to help strengthen their role in raising awareness in sustainable environment concerns.   

The winners of the first ‘Vision Pasifika: Climate Change Media Awards’ are:

Ms Rachna Lal and Ms Kalpana Prasad – Winners, Student Category
Story: "Coral reef destruction continues unabated”, published in ‘Wansolwara’ USP’s journalism newspaper.

Kalpana Prasad, 22, graduated with a BA in Journalism and Tourism Studies in April this year. She works as the Community Media officer at FemLINKPACIFIC.  Kalpana has received numerous awards for articles published in ‘Wansolwara’.

Rachna Lal, 22, graduated with a BA in Journalism and Literature also in April this year. She works with Fijilive. She represented USP journalism at the AIBDS Conference in Denarau Fiji. She was also selected to take part in the SPREP Climate Change Media Training in September 2009, and was part of the Pacific Communications team at COP 15 in Denmark last December.    

Anish Chand (Fiji) – Winner, Television and the Best Overall Category:
Story: "Pacific Politics and Climate Change”.

Anish was the Team Leader News at Fiji Television Limited, with 13 Journalists working under his supervision.  He has been associated with Fiji TV since 2003. He holds a Diploma in Journalism from USP.    

Moffat Mamu (Solomon Islands) – Winner, Print Category:
Story: “Chance” printed in the Solomon Star News.

Moffat is a business reporter with the Solomon Star newspaper. He has been a full time reporter since graduating in 2004 with a BA in Journalism and History/Politics.  His work was recognized by the Asian Development Bank Institute, a sister organization of the Asian Development Bank, which saw him win an award on ‘Climate Change’.    

Over 30 news items were entered for judging before a panel consisting of a member from the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), WWF South Pacific Programme and SPREP. Winning entries received US$500 each.  

Espen Ronneberg, SPREP’s Climate Change Adviser says, “I think all the entries were good in their own rights but since it was a competition, we needed to pick the best entries”.

Nanette Woonton, SPREP’s Associate Media and Publications Officer revealed that they were really pleased with both the caliber of submissions, as well as the amount of entries received.

The Divisional head of USP Journalism Shailendra Singh commended the award winners for their service to society through their reporting. He also praised the organisers of the award saying, “This is a good incentive for journalists, including those who are still in school”. He added, “It is also a go example of collaboration between regional agencies to promote youth and the environment ay the same time”.

Recently two USP student journalists received a high commendation from the Journalism Education Association of Australia (JEAA).

Second year Journalism students Arin Kumar and Fenton Lutunatabua, received the runner-up prize for their investigative story published in ‘Wansolwara’, in April 2009.

‘Wansolwara’ also has won the most ‘Ossie’ awards of any publication in Australia, NZ or the Pacific (10, plus it scooped the pool in 2000 with the online and print coverage of the George Speight coup).


This news item was published on 22 Apr 2010 01:57:38 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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