Wednesday, August 18, 2010

AUT seeks Pacific journalism lecturer for new course

Pacific Media Centre

New Zealand’s AUT University is seeking a Pasifika journalist and educator to join its teaching staff.

The university’s School of Communication Studies described the new post in an advertisement today as a “challenging opportunity to lead, develop and teach the new Graduate Diploma in Pacific Journalism programme”.

The new staff person would also contribute to other journalism papers.

Besides core journalism skills, this diploma will also offer specialist papers in Māori and Pasifika Media Industry and Reporting the Pacific Region with both Pasifika media and mainstream media internships available.

“Applicants need a thorough knowledge of reporting and production in one or more areas of the news media,” said the advertisement.

“They are also expected to have outstanding Pacific and mainstream media experience and industry connections with strong roots and mana in the Pasifika community.”

As a minimum requirement, applicants are expected to have at least five years experience in an area of Pacific journalism and an undergraduate degree. A postgraduate qualification is preferred, but not essential.

'Significant steps'
“Recruiting a Pasifika staff person and the new course are significant steps for media diversity in Aotearoa/New Zealand,” said Pacific Media Centre director David Robie.

“Finally we have some recognition of the value of cross-cultural skills and different cultural values in the news media.

“This is in line with the changing demographics in New Zealand. We want more journalists telling their own stories from their own perspective.”

He has been one of the sponsors of the new initiative, which has followed years of lobbying by the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) for a new Pacific Islands journalism course.

"What an exciting time for journalism education and upcoming journalists,” says New Zealand Herald Pacific Affairs reporter Vaimoana Tapaleao, an AUT communication studies graduate and winner of this year’s Qantas Junior Reporter of the Year award.

“The course will no doubt attract upcoming gems in the journalism world but most importantly help to take multicultural New Zealand into the newsroom,” says Tapaleao.

Dr Alan Cocker, head of the School of Communication Studies, says: “We teach journalism in a New Zealand and Pacific context and we have, over a number of years sought to strengthen our Pacific focus.”

School support
He cited the long-standing school support for a Pasifika communications scholarship, a partnership with the Pacific Islands Media Association, establishment of the Pacific Media Centre and research journal Pacific Journalism Review as examples of this initiative.

The one-year diploma course is not for school leavers, who will continue to enter the Bachelor of Communication Studies degree programme. Instead, it is a Level 7 programme aimed at people already in the media industry but with no qualification, or mature students with life experience wanting to make a late start in journalism.

Regional Pacific journalists and students are also welcome to apply.

AUT began teaching a Reporting the Pacific Region paper this year after a postgraduate Asia-Pacific Journalism course was established in 2007.

Many of the students' stories are published on Pacific Scoop.

John Utanga interview with Radio Australia
Taking multicultural New Zealand into the classroom

Details of the new position are on the AUT new jobs webpage. Deadline: September 15

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