More trained journalists and educators needed in Pacific
Media Educators and Trainers have come together to form a new regional body to address the decreasing number of journalists and educators in the Pacific.
Media educators and trainers have come together to form a new body to address their decreasing numbers in the Pacific.
Members of the Media Educators Pacific group met as part of a congress at New Zealand's Auckland University of Technology.
Indira Stewart was there.
President of the group Misa Vicky Lepou who is also head of journalism at the National University of Samoa, says there are serious challenges in Pacific journalism.
MISA VICKY LEPOU: The industry is struggling to find qualified and trained journalists. We too, the Education Sector, is facing the same challenge. Vanuatu is struggling. Tonga is is struggling. Fortunate enough for the case of Samoa we're getting two additional staff. So, I think the industry and the education sector need to come together and publicise and promote our course - doing media in the region. For us to produce that, to feed the industry, we need qualified educators to assess us in this course.
The University of the South Pacific's head of journalism, Shailendra Singh, says the lack of Pacific journalists and educators is a complex problem. Mr Singh says the industry is not competitive when it comes to salaries and graduates do not last long in the industry.
SHAILENDRA SINGH: We keep hearing these complaints about how much aid is being pumped into the journalism sector and then you see so little return. After maybe 3 or 4 years, they are head hunted and recruited by NGO's and all these other organisations. So we have this constant problem of lack of skills. Just when they've developed, just when they are ready to do some serious journalism, they are plucked or recruited by these organisations.
Chief editor of Papua New Guinea's Post-Courier, Alexander Rheeney, says the media industry in the Pacific has grown despite the low number of trained journalists. Mr Rheeney says alongside the need for more journalism training in PNG, there also needs to be a change to the media codes of ethics.
ALEXANDER RHEENEY: Social media has funnily become a movement in Papua New Guinea. How do we work within the code of ethics and apply - how can journalists in Papua New Guinea apply that to their profession today. You know, we need to have a code of ethics that actually reflects those changes.
Sessions on journalism education in the Pacific as well as reporting climate change issues in the region will also feature at this week's global journalism conference.
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