N.U.S. campus radio lands global radio deal

By Misa Vicky Lepou in New York ,

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AMERICAN MEDIA SCHOOLS: Misa Vicky Lepou with colleagues at one of the U.S.Journalism Schools.

AMERICAN MEDIA SCHOOLS: Misa Vicky Lepou with colleagues at one of the U.S.Journalism Schools.

The highlight of this trip for me really was to see the opportunities out there for the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) Media and Journalism School to be globally involved.

Even those opportunities when you do get them can be a really useful door to market not just the university but Samoa to lure in tourists of various backgrounds. 

One of those is meeting none other than the founder of E-democracy, Mr Steven Clift in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who also coined the concept itself in 1994 using current buzzwords, that is the use of social media and technology for open government, citizen engagement, local innovation, public deliberation, and related topics.  His E-Democracy.org website became the world’s first election information website. 

His “government by day, citizen by night” insights were built as the founder of the State of Minnesota’s first e-government initiative at that time and was honoured as a White House Champion of Change for Open Government in 2013.”

Other than being digitally successful through his e-democracy project, he also created 1 Radio News App that brings together over 65 countries by compiling a global radio news bulletin in English. It is the top rated radio news apple on Google Play.  It is a pro version that has 30 times more stations on demand shows with no mobile advertisements compared to its free version.  It delivers over 500 hourly news, shows, and stations from around the world. 

Mr Clift’s vision is that the media is a successful platform to bring together issues and views of the democratic sectors which we are all aware of.  Radio news segments from giant media organizations like the BBC, CNN, Australia’s SBS, ESPN, Voice of America, Radio Scotland and many more are made available on this app.

Absolutely remarkable.  

Other than Australia’s SBS and Radio NZ International that produce Pacific programming, there is already hope for the N.U.S. Campus radio station to step up and be part of this global engagement.  

Mr. Clift is most favorable to take in some of our campus or local content.  

He will share some ideas on how our students could provide radio news for a wide audience. In addition he will also share some links to the listeners with college radio folks where he sees peer to peer exchange.  

There’s our door to the global community.  

That is definitely going to be my first post Multimedia Regional project and the next step to take.  We have a certain audience and that is the young people within the vicinity of our campus.  Even though we were set up as an educational tool, our Facebook Page has already attracted thousands.  It is also the most appropriate radio application for us as part of this collaboration and it’s free.  

Thank you Mr Clift.

I keep on saying it again that the world is changing but it is becoming more speedier than you think.  Even I have to follow Twitter by the second.  It is within a blink of an eye.

Should we get that Tuisamoa Cable up and running, we will absolutely be masterminding our own e-Samoan content across all sectors given the value of information on various policies and processes (even the changing role of the media and our relations with the Samoan public) which has yet to reach the wider society.  

For instance, how many Samoans know what the Strategy for the Development of Samoa document entails? How many people understand what their constitutional rights are?  

What choice of programmes and courses (aside from the status quo) are being offered at the National University of Samoa? Really, how many Samoans actually embrace the role of the media other than being labeled as ‘faikakala’ (nosey parkers), you name it.

The visits to Journalism Schools here in four states have been impressive except for one thing.  I can never find millions of tala to get N.U.S Media and Journalism School up to their standard. 

The American Media Schools are so glamorous and luxurious.  Of course research ideas and drawing relations between media schools as providers of quality media training can be something of a mutual interest but I am more pragmatic than an idealist of what goes on in the industry versus the public and how we should be consistent with the real world out there.  

This in my view brings me to the core of having the best available resources on the other hand to attract more young people to take up media as an honorable profession rather than just another job. 

I cannot draw that comparison with what the American Media Schools have with what we have, but I want to stay optimistic because if I lose to critics, nothing is ever going to change for the better.   I’d move mountains if I have to so that the future of the Samoan media gets the best resources.

On the other hand I’d like to win their hearts first by staying true to their cause and course in life. It’s not just Samoa but all TVET Media Institutions in the Pacific region hence why we formed Media Educators Pacific (MeP).  One of its core objectives is to share resources, forge stronger relationships with the industry and donors to provide quality regional media training.

It is our last week in the United States and like they say all good things always come to an end.  But then ending too has a new beginning. More stories will be shared about the lessons learned from this trip.

It’s time to go for 21 broadcast journalists including myself (as a Multimedia Lecturer) who were indeed being honoured by the hospitality of the U.S State Department.  It was indeed an opportunity to examine how broadcast media influences and reflects the American society as well as seeing firsthand the influence of social media and digital technologies on how citizens use and share information. 

These new forms of multimedia platforms have amazingly and shaped how the way news is gathered, reported, distributed and consumed.

Misa Vicky Lepou is a media and journalism lecturer and news website administrator at the National University of Samoa


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