AUT Pacific journalism students win Ossie Award for Fiji elections coverage

02 Dec, 2014
Alistar Kata on assignment for Pacific Scoop at the University of the South Pacific campus in Fiji.

AUT University’s Pacific Scoop has won a major student journalism award for its coverage of the Fiji post-coup general election in September.

The crew of three students – Mads Anneberg and Alistar Kata in Fiji, and anchor editor and reporter Tom Carnegie in Auckland – provided comprehensive multimedia coverage of the election campaign for two weeks, including the three-day “blackout”.

Judge Tania Bawden said the students’ multimedia experience and background research provided “wide-ranging insights” in their coverage to win the Best Use of Multimedia in the annual Ossie Awards for best student journalism in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Commenting on the general high standard of entries, Bawden said they “showed very impressive and highly creative combinations of media from web effects to video, music, audio and social media, to complement and enhance key messages and the written word”.

Pacific Scoop – the publication work of AUT University’s Asia-Pacific Journalism course and Pacific Media Centre, produced in association with Scoop Media – was also commended for their multi-media coverage of the elections, producing a total of 68 print and multimedia stories and 13 YouTube video reports.

“The team’s multimedia experience and background research provided wide-ranging insights into a range of issues and election dramas, in the first democratic elections in Fiji since the military coup of 2006,” said Bawden.

“Their work also included coverage of the release of Fijian peacekeepers in the Middle East during the election period.

“The assignment put the three student journalists in the thick of a difficult and even tumultuous political situation, probably with limited resources, in which they each proved their potential under time critical and challenging circumstances.”

Mads Anneberg was on an internship with Republika magazine in Fiji, Alistar Kata with the University of the South Pacific newspaper Wansolwara while Tom coordinated the Pacific Scoop coverage from the three student journalists in the Pacific Media Centre office in Auckland.

Professor David Robie, supervising the Fiji project, praised the students: “All three hit the deck running and they impressed our industry partners with their commitment and talent.”

The Pacific Media Centre and AUT journalism programme students also won five highly commended awards – including for the student newspaper Te Waha Nui - the highest tally by a New Zealand journalism school at any Ossie Awards event.

Judge Melissa King praised, in particular, a TWN front page story about the activities of high-priced retail truck operators, “exposing the plight of a vulnerable group in society”.

Pacific Scoop team member Mads Anneberg also won two highly commended citations for Best Photojournalism and Best Story by an International Student for his work on the Fiji elections, and for a profile on Republika editor Ricardo Morris.

Student Craig Hoyle won a citation for his video report on the rise of extremist movements in Greece.
Masters student, Anna Majavu, contributing editor of the Pacific Media Centre’s Pacific Media Watch freedom project, was highly commended in the Best Online story category for an article about visiting West Papuan journalist Victor Mambor.

The judge, Shauna Black, of Black Stump Media, said Majavu had “unearthed a truly newsworthy issue: lack of access for journalists to West Papua and the toll on the local community of West Papua’s continued occupation by Indonesia.

“This is a well written and brave story that exemplifies the best of what journalists can offer to the reading community,” she said.

Visit the full Pacific Scoop Fiji elections student archive here.

View the full Ossies award list here.

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