UniFiji spreads journalism, media studies courses to Samabula

UniFiji vice-chancellor Shaista Shameem
UniFiji vice-chancellor Dr Shaista Shameem . . . the university also wants to add film and a documentary course to the programme. Image: UniFiji

By Karishma Kumari in Suva

The University of Fiji will be offering its journalism and media studies programme at its Samabula campus from this semester.

UniFiji vice-chancellor Professor Shaista Shameem said the programme started at the Saweni campus in Lautoka in 2022 with only five students and had been growing since then.

She said there would now be more students registering for the programme as it was positioned closer to the court and Parliament for better news coverage.

Professor Shameem said the programme was drafted and written with the help of senior journalists and news media people in Fiji including Communications Fiji Limited chairman William Parkinson, Sitiveni Halofaki from Fiji TV, former Fiji Sun managing editor Nemani Delaibatiki, Matai Akauola, Anish Chand from The Fiji Times and Stanley Simpson of Mai TV.

The vice-chancellor said the programme was different from the other universities and student journalists were sent for training in newsrooms during their first year of study so that they could become well known with their bylines.

She said the university also has a newspaper, known as UniFiji Watch, and a radio station, Vox Populi, which had won an international award for college radio.

Industry teachers
The vice-chancellor said that most of the courses were taught by people in the journalism industry and veteran journalists, including Communications Fiji Limited news director Vijay Narayan, Vimal Madhavan and Matai Akoula.

She said the university also wanted to add film and a documentary course to the programme.

Head of department Dr Kamala Naiker said journalism students needed opportunities for innovation. The first lot of student journalists would be graduating next year.

Republished with permission.

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