PACIFIC ISLANDS JOURNALISTS WANT MORE INTERNET TRAINING

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (July 1, 1999 - PINA Nius Online)---Senior Pacific Islands journalists finished a regional course on using the Internet, with a request for more seminars.

The Newsroom Management for the Internet course was organized by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) and Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) in cooperation with the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

Comments by participants at the end of the program in Suva, Fiji Islands, included:

"Pacific Islands journalists need to learn the wealth that is available on the Internet."

"There's so much to learn. We need another workshop to specifically focus on web design and all its aspects."

"There is so much happening. We need more training so we can keep up."

The course was designed to equip newsroom leaders and senior journalists from radio and TV stations and newspapers to help develop more Internet use in their own newsrooms.

In giving thanks to participants at the end of the course, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, a senior journalist with Fiji Television, told how it equipped him to use the Internet as a reporting tool.

Fiji Times publisher Alan Robinson closed the workshop and praised the development of Internet training.

He said while it was still unclear how the Internet would be fully used by news organizations, it was important that they be equipped to handle the Internet era.

The course covered using the Internet for both computer assisted reporting and World Wide Web page development.

It was conducted by a pioneering teacher of Online Journalism in Australia, Kerry Green, a former editor and now senior lecturer at the University of Queensland journalism department.

PINA Pacific Journalism Development Centre coordinator Peter Lomas said PINA is working on follow-up programs as part of its continuing Internet training development program.

Based on recommendations from participants, these would separately cover computer assisted reporting and world wide web site development.

Lomas also said it was crucial that a genuine Pacific Islands news media presence on the Internet be developed, providing the newsroom values of full, fair and accurate reporting from the region.

He said PINA members have already resolved to develop e-mail news services and this was now being done with support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the French embassy in Suva.

An example was the daily e-mail news exchange between the news media of the English-speaking and French-speaking Pacific being coordinated through the PINA Secretariat.

Australian High Commission first secretary Glenn White, who opened the course, also echoed the need for Pacific Islands news organizations to strengthen their own presence on the Internet.

He urged them to combine to ensure a genuine Pacific Islands news voice in the "global village."

White praised the efforts of Fiji Islands news media organizations which have done this through combining in World Wide Web sites.

He said Fiji has two such sites:

Fiji Village (http://www.fijivillage.com/), which combines the news resources of the Communications Fiji radio stations (FM96, Navtarang, Viti FM), Fiji's biggest daily newspaper, The Fiji Times, and Islands Business magazine.

Fijilive (http://www.fijilive.com/) combines the news resources of the Island Networks radio stations (Bula Network, Radio Fiji), Daily Post newspaper, and Review magazine.

For more information, contact Nina RATULELE, PINA Administrator, at pina@is.com.fj

PACIFIC JOURNALISM SCHOOLS OPEN UP "NEW AGE" ONLINE MEDIA

CANBERRA, Australia (July 5, 1999 - Pacific Media Watch/USP Journalism/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Pacific journalism schools have opened up the region to a "new age" of online media publishing and research, a University of the South Pacific educator says.

David Robie, coordinator of the USP journalism program, told journalists and educators at the University of Canberra in Australia this week that online news techniques had made a dramatic impact in the region, raising the Pacific's international profile.

Eighteen second-year journalism students at USP last month created online news sites.

"The University of Papua New Guinea launched the first full online newspaper in the region in 1995, and USP introduced the first online newspaper in Fiji in April last year," Mr. Robie said.

"And the East-West Center's innovative Pacific Islands Report in Hawai‘i stole a march over the region's media by establishing its popular regional news site in 1997."

Mr. Robie, visiting Canberra as the Australian Press Council's 1999 Fellow, presented a paper called "Cyberspace Media and the Pacific's Political Frontier."

Online journalism was last year integrated into the USP program as a core topic along with print, television and radio journalism. Its regional website Pacific Journalism Online http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/ was also introduced then.

"One particular plus of the Internet training is a growing awareness of the Pacific region as a whole," said Mr. Robie.

"Never before have journalism students - or journalists for that matter - had such quick and comprehensive access to the region's news media and other research sources.

"The new curriculum involves greater attention to issues of legal risks across international jurisdictions, ethics, privacy, confidentiality, freedom of expression, social justice, business acumen and consumer protection as well as the technical skills involved.

"However, online journalists still vitally need the key abilities of critical thinking, research skills, story-telling and a passion to keep people informed."

Mr. Robie praised Papua New Guinea's Post Courier and the National for their pioneering Pacific websites, established in 1996.

He also congratulated Fijilive - the joint website of the Daily Post, The Review newsmagazine and Bula Networks - for their "innovative approach and best news website" in Fiji.

Title -- 2200 REGION: Pacific J-schools open up "new age" online media

Date -- 5 July 1999

Byline -- None

Origin -- Pacific Media Watch

Source -- Journalism, University of the South Pacific, 3/7/99

Copyright -- Journalism, USP

Status -- Unabridged

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