Report – By Rachel Reeves and Matiu Workman of the Cook Islands News
Pacific Scoop, edited and published by Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Media Centre, will be diligently tracking Pacific Islands Forum news and posting it online.
The service will be posting Cook Islands News coverage of next week’s Pacific Leaders Forum to this website, alongside content generated by Asia-Pacific Journalism course students and other media.
Pacific Scoop will also be updating its Facebook page with real-time news.
Henry Yamo, a postgraduate communication studies student at AUT from Papua New Guinea, will be covering his second consecutive Pacific Leaders Forum. Last year, he was among 10 students accredited to cover the Forum in Auckland.
He will be hosted by and based at the Cook Islands News during the Forum.
A primary school teacher for 11 years in the Southern Highlands province in Papua New Guinea, Yamo made the crossover to journalism with the intention of reporting on some of the development problems he had faced while in his former job.
He was a journalist with the Sunday Chronicle and the anti-corruption agency PNG Transparency International.
Having moved to New Zealand to undergo a Master of Communication Studies at AUT, the obvious differences in the standards of living and learning certainly took some getting used to, Yamo says.
But perhaps the biggest difference between the two countries is the opportunities on offer to him in New Zealand, such as being able to attend last year’s Forum in Auckland.
“This has contributed a lot to broadening my personal capacity and to look at the profession in a broader perspective.”
Yamo is the only media student attending the Forum and will be based at the Cook Islands News newsroom.
During the meet, he will be reporting back on the Forum from a Melanesian perspective for the Pacific Media Centre (PMC) and the Pacific Scoop website.
“The PMC’s continued support and gesture has allowed this to be my second time to cover the PIF as a student.”
His research thesis examines the use of mobile phones to further communicate in the health sectors in rural communities in PNG.
Yamo is looking forward to networking with other Pacific journalists as he had done last year.
“It was a wonderful experience last year to rub shoulders with journalists from different countries and organisations and I look forward to a similar experience this year,” Yamo says.
Rachel Reeves is political reporter and Matiu Workman is a reporter with the Cook Islands News.