Fiji: Student Journalists Win
SUVA (Fiji Times Online/Pacific Media Watch): Journalism students at the University of the South Pacific took centre stage at their annual awards last Friday night.
They were presented awards for their overall academic performance and their initiative in learning, newsgathering and dissemination.
The Journalism Student of the Year Award went to Sarika as the most outstanding graduating student.
French ambassador Eugene Berg was the chief guest and the awards were presented by the respective sponsors.
Introduced by former coordinator Dr David Robie in 1998, the awards are a much-anticipated event each year, journalism school coordinator Shailendra Singh said.
He said the awards served to motivate students to excel in their work.
"The awards are a very important event on the USP journalism calendar as they give recognition to work produced by students - it gives them something to work towards and strive for.
"The awards are supported by the industry which sponsors the prizes," Singh said.
"It is also supported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation which sponsors a four-week attachment trip to Melbourne for one of the winners. Preliminary talks have been held with the Human Rights Commission to sponsor some awards next year.
"Other organisations such as South Pacific Regional Environment Program have also expressed an interest in sponsoring awards.
"Students already cover human rights and environmental issues and awards they win will be a further incentive and recognition of their efforts," Singh said.
The French Embassy in Fiji journalism prize went to Fulori Turaga for her commitment to journalism and highlighting the major public interest issues.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Tarr's prize for the best in-depth reporting went to Erica Lee.
"She gave us some of the best stories for Wansolwara, including her special feature on the Chinese community and investigative reports on the students association financial affairs," Singh said.
The Islands Business International prize for best feature story went to Vasemaca Rarabici and Sereana Narayan for their story on the missing Rakiraki sisters.
The School of Humanities prize for the best editor went to Ashwini Singh for her hard work in bringing out two excellent issues of Wansolwara, Singh said.
"I know this because I used to see the student in the production lab when I came in the morning, and she was still there after I had left," Singh said.
The Fiji Times Award for the most promising first year student went to Fiji Times deputy chief of staff Vasemaca Rarabici.
Singh said Rarabici never let her full-time work status affect her work at school.
The Communications Fiji Limited prize for the best radio student went to Pese Tataua of Tuvalu.
The Fiji Television prize for the best TV journalism student went to Petrina Zinck.
The Radio Australia prize and Storyboard Award for regional journalism was awarded to graduating student Joanna Olssen of Nauru.
"This prize recognises excellence in reporting regional issues and events and is awarded to a graduating student. It goes to Joanna Olsson for outstanding stories on Nauruan Second World War survivors and other reports about the region," Singh said.
"She gets the Radio Australia Prize and Storyboard plaque donated by former USP journalism coordinator David Robie and his wife Del."