Students awarded Pacific Games Media internships

Ten participants of the "Equal Playing Field, Reporting for Women and Sports" workshop have been granted Pacific Games media internships.

Three National Rugby League athletes, Mary Stowers, Etevise Vaifale and Gaufa Salesa, will intern as social media reporters for the first time to fulfill a purpose of the training, which is to encourage athletes to enter the journalism field.

The other seven are N.U.S. students - Faafetai Kolio, Sili Sauni, Penehuro Lalovi, Elisapeta Fale, Makerita Enele, Emma Matuu and Joshua Setima.

Etevise told the Samoa Observer she looks forward to reporting.

“We are so lucky to be given this chance to have a career in journalism," she said. "I have been playing tag and touch rugby as a career but I’m glad to know that I can have a new career in journalism as well.

“We’re just so grateful and proud and looking forward to reporting especially for soccer and having to apply what we have learned throughout this workshop to reporting.”

N.U.S. Head of Media and Communication Department, Misa Vicky Lepou, said: “We are so pleased to co-host this workshop with U.N. Women, and to have our journalism students involved in the practical learning sessions that have ranged from Press Conferences, to interviewing athletes, hearing from national and international experts, and more.

“The workshop has assisted these students to transform into work-ready sports journalists who have each produced social media sports news bulletins now posted on our N.U.S. Facebook page.

“Through the workshop, students have also successfully applied for accreditation to access the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games media center and been awarded seven internships to support media agencies in their Games coverage.”

Of the 10 internships, the Melanesian Media Group (M.M.G.) has selected six N.U.S. journalism students to assist with its coverage of the Pacific Games, while one N.U.S. student and three athletes, now trained as social media reporters, will join Samoa Global News.

U.N. Women Country Programme Coordinator in Samoa, Papali’i Mele Maualaivao, acknowledged the participants for creating new relationships.

“These friendships will go beyond the walls of the workshop and manifest in mutual respect and strengthened engagement across the media and sport sectors here in Samoa," she said.

“Knowing that all of the participants will take these newfound skills and respect for gender equality to the Pacific Games, resulting in more unbiased coverage and celebration of female athletic achievement is truly heartwarming,” she added.

The workshop provided participants with information, learning exchanges and discussions around the #EqualPlayingField approach to sports reporting, including the challenges and the benefits of ensuring fair reportage of women in sport and also encouraging more Samoan women sports reporters.

The workshop attracted more than 20 journalists, journalism students and athletes keen to learn and share ideas about professional media and social media sports reportage, and to ensure fair and empowering coverage of all athletes regardless of whether they are women or men champions.

The workshop that was held from 25-27 June was supported by U.N. Women, Fiji Multi-Country Office in partnership with the N.U.S. and the Pacific Games Office and organised through the Journalists Association of (Western) Samoa.

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