SPC’s Human Development Programme and its Publications Section took advantage of the opportunity provided by the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts (20 July-2August 2008) to offer media internships to three young people. During the festival, that was held in American Samoa, the interns provided print and photographic coverage of the event which was disseminated through SPC’s media networks.
In addition to gaining experience of covering a large regional cultural event, the emphasis of the attachment for the interns was to enhance their knowledge of human development issues in the media. For the photography intern a further aim was to nurture his understanding of how to positively and actively portray people and their arts and culture through photography.
Joy Rikimae joined the SPC team for the duration of the festival from the Island Sun newspaper based in Honiara, Solomon Islands, where she works as a senior reporter. The event gave her the opportunity to explore a diverse range of topics raised through the discussions, displays and performances at the festival.
At the end of the internship she said the experience had broadened her understanding of human development and other culture-related issues. This will be useful as she follows the progress of Solomon Islands as it prepares to host the next festival in 2012.
“It has introduced me to new ideas, how to tackle technical human development issues and some techniques of covering such big events,” Joy said. “I’ve learned a lot of new terminology which is especially useful when writing for cultural festivals.”
Nanise Nawalowalo was a third year journalism student at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. She said the internship broadened her view on certain aspects of Pacific life which enabled her to better understand various facets of human development in the Pacific.
“I believe the experience of being part of an event that brought together respective Pacific Island nations has helped me understand the differences and the similarities we share,” she said. “[I learnt that] we share the same challenges brought about by change in environmental factors, economic changes, political and social changes.”
Miguel Zarraga, a student at the American Samoa Community College, is planning a career in film and video. He said the internship not only taught him technical skills, but also about how to approach a subject. “I have learned extensively from this photography internship about how things can be appropriately visually depicted as a whole, and this knowledge is something that I can apply to my future film projects.”