Three AUT University journalism students have recently returned from Fiji having covered the recent elections for AUT’s Pacific Media Centre (PMC). The student journalists were given the unique experience of setting up their own news bureau to cover the first elections in the country in eight years.
The bureau of AUT students was Alistar Kata, Mads Anneberg and Tom Carnegie. Kata and Anneberg travelled to Fiji while Project Editor Tom Carnegie remained in Auckland. The trip was made possible through a cross institutional exchange with the University of the South Pacific in Suva.
Both students interned with local Fijian media outlets to provide access and local knowledge. Kata worked at the University of the South Pacific’s student newspaper, Wansolwara and Radio Pasifik and Anneberg for the Repúblika magazine in Fiji.
The student journalists reported on a palpable sense of excitement for the first election since the military coup in 2006 and had first-hand experience of censorship and freedom of the press throughout the election.
David Robie, director of the PMC says that no other New Zealand university has ever provided students with such an opportunity.
“This project was the first of its kind for AUT or for any New Zealand tertiary institution. These students were given the unique opportunity to report on a historic moment in pacific politics and they took it in their stride. They were excellent representatives for AUT and the Pacific Media Centre with their professionalism and unbiased reporting”.
For more information on the students’ coverage of the Fijian elections, visit http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/category/fiji/fiji-elections-2014/