Pacific Media Centre
A new one-year Graduate Diploma in Pacific Journalism is being offered to fulfil needs in New Zealand's increasingly diverse media environment at AUT University's School of Communication Studies.
Next year is the inaugural year for AUT's new Pacific graduate diploma, a programme spearheaded by Pacific Media Centre director Dr David Robie.
The development of the course follows a global trend towards specialist journalism courses and calls from the Pacific Island Media Association. There is an increasing demand for both more journalists in the growing Pasifika media industry and highly-skilled cross-cultural journalists for the mainstream, says Dr Robie.
This is a logical outcome of the demographic changes in New Zealand, and particularly Auckland.
The diploma targets Pasifika people who wish to enter journalism from another career, journalists and students from around the Pacific region seeking a New Zealand qualification, and Pasifika people already in the media wanting to upgrade their skills with a qualification.
Students will study papers within the Bachelor of Communication Studies in Journalism, as well as value-added Pasifika media papers and other electives that reflect particular interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The core papers include a media industry internship and optional study
of a Pacific language.
"This new course will be a boost for regional Pacific reporting and will also contribute to a higher Pasifika community profile in the New Zealand media," says Dr Robie. "We hope journalists on this programme will push the boundaries of Pacific reporting in a challenging way."
Tagata Pasifika producer John Utanga says while many Pacific students pass through communications programmes around the country, most do not choose to major in journalism.
“In the current era there is so much more choice, but we know that while some students do the journo component, not enough do,” says Utanga, who is also current chair of AUT’s Pacific Media Centre.
“The bottom line is fewer people have chosen that option over the last few years – hence the reason for getting a Pacific-focused journalism course up and running,” he says.
An appointment of a Pasifika journalist by the School of Communication Studies is expected soon to run this programme. - Margo White
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