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SUVA, Fiji Islands (November 9, 1999 – Pacific Media Watch/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Young Pacific journalists and students at the University of the South Pacific have joined forces to produce a new television program on media education.

The 15-minute documentary, called Pasifik Nius Beat, was launched at last week's inaugural regional student journalism awards, and gives a glimpse behind the scenes at what its makers describe as the "cutting edge" of Pacific journalism training.

Two of the program's hosts, Fiji Daily Post reporter Litia Naigulevu and Radio Pasifik news director Emily Moli, won awards for their journalism.

"I was reporting on the Daily Post and loved it but working and studying at the University of the South Pacific has opened a whole new media world for me," says 21-year-old Naigulevu.

Majoring in journalism and information systems, Fiji's Naigulevu has also been active in theatre arts.

She won an award from the Suva-based photography supplies company Caines Jannif, Ltd. as best editor for her role as deputy editor of the new weeklong daily training newspaper, Spicol Daily, published with the Daily Post.

Emily Moli, also from Fiji, scooped two awards - Fiji Television, Ltd.'s student television journalism prize and the Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association (PIBA) prize for best radio journalism.

She features in the documentary as Radio Pasifik news director but also on attachment with Fiji Television as the only woman reporter in an all-male newsroom.

The documentary interviews several of the 64 students and journalists from 12 countries in the regional journalism program, including Aterina Samasoni from Samoa, Alison Ofotalau of the Solomon Islands, and Mathew Yakai, an exchange student from the University of Papua New Guinea.

Directed by Sangeeta Singh and assisted in the editing by final-year student Luisa Tora, the documentary is produced by journalism coordinator David Robie.

"The documentary shows life in the newsroom and how students produce their training newspapers Wansolwara and Spicol Daily, Radio Pasifik, television programs and online journalism," says Robie.

"The Pacific journalist needs to be far better educated and trained at the entry point for journalism careers, if they are to cope with future rapid changes in communication technology.

"But we also need journalists with integrity, who have been trained with a solid foundation of ethics and basic news values."

Visiting Suva last month, the head of Bond University's journalism school in Australia, Associate Professor Mark Pearson, described the USP journalism program as "an innovative model and a regional leader."

The University of the South Pacific is one of only two regional universities in the world and is owned by 12 nations. The other is the University of the West Indies.

* VHS copies of Pasifik Nius Beat are available from the USP Media Centre at F$20 each, plus postage. Orders: 

Title -- 2436 REGION: New Pacific media documentary launched Date -- 9 November 1999 Byline -- Media release Origin -- Pacific Media Watch Source -- Journalism Programme, USP, 9/11/99 Copyright -- Journalism Programme, USP Status -- Unabridged

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