The University of The South Pacific (USP) Journalism Programme hosted a workshop on “Reporting Fiji’s 2022 General Elections” in collaboration with Dialogue Fiji to prepare and equip Journalism students covering this year’s Fiji 2022 General Elections.
The speakers present at the workshop included Dialogue Fiji Executive Director, Nilesh Lal, The Fiji Times Editor-in-Chief, Fred Wesley, USP Journalism Coordinator, Dr Shailendra Singh and the USP Pacific Studies Academic, Dr Avinash Kumar.
The Fiji Times Editor-in-Chief, Fred Wesley said that journalists have a crucial role in delivering credible and balanced information to the general public in assisting them to make well-informed decisions in the lead-up to the elections.
He stressed that with responsibility came great power reminding students that they held the power to make a difference, the power to motivate and influence decisions.
“What matters ultimately is the importance of deciding about our future and appreciating and understanding the role we play in making things happen for us as a nation,” he added.
Dialogue Fiji Executive Director, Nilesh Lal highlighted the electoral systems and the key electoral processes that students needed to be mindful of while covering the general elections this year.
“The generalist journalistic point of view is critical because if you as journalists would be following election news, conventional election opinion, editorials and so forth, and following what happens after every election in our electoral outcomes then that would empower and motivate the public to go and vote in the elections,” he added.
Dr Avinash Kumar explained the importance of voting for the youths of this country and the problems of some countries accepting the results of the general elections.
“We have a ‘one person one vote’ policy and every individual who has the right to vote should not shy away and vote in the elections because not doing so can limit the public from so many opportunities,” he explained.
This workshop was a productive experience for a final-year Journalism student, Cindy Chand as she prepares herself for covering the elections this year.
“There was so much to learn from this workshop and the information shared will stay with me throughout my journalism career. My knowledge of covering the elections and the processes has broadened and I am looking forward to reporting on the 2022 general elections,” she said.