Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New contributing editor joins PMW project

Pacific Media Centre

A new contributing editor for the Pacific Media Watch project has been appointed and has taken up his role this week.

Alex Perrottet, 29, is a postgraduate student working towards a Master in Communication Studies degree at AUT University. He is also a qualified lawyer and experienced aid project organiser who has carried out considerable work in the Pacific.

From Sydney, where he worked for some years as a solicitor before moving to Auckland, Perrottet is now making a career change into media.

He has a keen interest in Pacific media and he was appointed by the Pacific Media Centre to take up this new part time role. He has carried out research into the censorship regime in Fiji and is closely following issues of media freedom.

"I'm really interested in the Pacific. Having spent a bit of time there on volunteer projects, I have come to appreciate the mix of cultures that make up the Pacific Islands," he says.

"I have a real passion for writing and was writing articles even when studying and working as a lawyer back in Sydney."

Over the past 12 years, Perrottet has been involved in aid projects in indigenous Australian communities and also in Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia – and Kenya. Next January, he will be taking a group to Samoa to help rebuild homes and church buildings in a village badly damaged by last year's tsunami.

These experiences have been "life-changing" and Perrottet enjoys connecting with new people in the Pacific, hearing their stories and enabling young volunteers from Australia, New Zealand and around the region and taste the Pacific experience.

It has also enabled him to develop a deeper understanding of some different cultures and issues important to Pacific peoples that often go unreported in the Western press.

Perrottet has wide interests ranging from politics to sport, from literature and philosophy to humour and satire, music and the performing arts.

He is interested in education and has spent a lot of time coaching and mentoring school students in debating and public speaking and wider academia. His passion for volunteering has led him to coordinate youth projects, summer camps and performances for high school students.

"I was lucky enough to have the experience of speaking to around 300,000 people in Sydney in 2008 as the master of ceremonies at World Youth Day,” he says.

“ It was certainly a quick lesson in communication.”

Perrottet succeeds Josephine Latu, who has been contributing editor for the past two years. She has now completed her masters degree.

Latu recently reported on the Pacific Islands Forum in Vanuatu for Pacific Scoop.

An Alex Perrottet report - Fiji's 'painful process' could lead to better democracy
Pacific Media Watch database on DSpace - watch for the new PMC/PMW website going live soon. The old PMC website is here.

No comments: