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More wins for USP journalism at FAME 2008
23/09/2008, Fiji

The University of the South Pacific’s Journalism Division won the Best Student Journalist award at this year’s Fiji Awards for Media Excellence (FAME) on Saturday.

This is the second successive win of the same award for USP Journalism.

Final year students Riteshni Singh and Nanise Nawalowalo were named winners for a jointly- written story entitled ‘Water extraction worries’. Singh also took out the same award last year.

The winning story appeared in the September 2007 edition of the student training newspaper, Wansolwara.

USP Journalism alumni also did well at the awards, with magazine editor Stanley Simpson and television reporter Anish Chand honoured at the gala night at the Tradeswind Convention Centre in Lami, close to Suva.

Simpson, editor of Mai Life magazine, won three awards —Best Feature, Best Business Report and Print Journalist of the Year. Last year he also won the same awards, plus the premier award, the Robert Keith Reid award for excellence in journalism.

Riteshni and Nawalowalo’s story highlighted the lack of legislation to monitor the activities of the water-bottling sector in Fiji.

The sector had expanded exponentially in the last decade, but no authority was monitoring the amount of water being drawn from aquifers, and its impact on the environment and future supply.

The divisional head of USP journalism, Shailendra Singh, said it was encouraging to see the efforts of the students recognised at a prestigious national awards.

He said students spent weeks researching and writing what was a complicated story.

“Wansolwara was the first media to raise the issue of the depletion of an exhaustible natural resource— other media mostly wrote positive reports about the sector, focussing on profits and job creation,” said Singh.

“One of the questions this article raised was whether a small country like Fiji could sustain so many bottling plants.”

Singh added that it was heartening to see current and former USP journalism students doing so well not just in Fiji, but the region.

“Not only are our students wining national, regional and international awards, they have started newspapers, magazines and television companies in countries such as Fiji, the Solomons and New Zealand.”

So far, USP journalism has produced over 100 graduates working for over 30 media or media-related organisations in 13 Pacific Island countries.

Riteshni Singh, meanwhile, said she was thrilled by the award. “This is the result of the hard work put in by me and Nanise. It is a major inspiration.”

Singh, who has served internships at The Fiji Times, said the experience she gained at the newspaper was also invaluable. She urged students to work hard and to write research-based and in-depth stories.

This award was USP Journalism’s third win at the FAME since 2005.

USP journalism has consistently won national and regional awards. This includes regular wins at the Journalism Educations Association of Australia/Pacific (JEA) student awards.

List of awards won by USP Journalism:

2008: Best Student Journalist, FAME
2007: Best Print Story, JEA
2007: SPREP/PINA Student Environmental Media award
2007: Best Student Journalist, FAME
2007: Best News Report, Print, FAME Journalism Student of the Year
2006: Highly commended, Best Print Story, JEA
2006: Highly commended, Best Feature Story, JEA
2006: Best Print News Story, Fiji Awards for Media Excellence
2006: Best Student Journalist, Fiji Awards for Media Excellence
2005: Highly commended, Best Print Story, JEA
2004: Winner, Best Regular Student Publication, any medium, JEA
2002: Winner, Best Regular Student, Publication any medium, JEA
2000: Winner, Online Edition, Best regular Publication
2000: Highly Commended, Best Regular Publication, Print
1999: Highly Commended, Best Regular Publication, Print
1999: Winner, Fiji Human Rights Award, Media Category

FAME awards list of main winners

Print Winners: Best News Report: Kelerayani Sereilni, Fiji Sun for report on Shavneet Kumar's death. Best Feature Article: Stanley Simpson, Mai Life for his article on Rupeni Caucau's origin. Best News Photograph: Sharum Ali, Fiji Sun. Best Sports Photograph: Atu Rasea, The Fiji Times. Best Page Layout: Ajeshwar Raj, Fiji Sun. Best Small Space Ad: RAZOR for Connect Me News. Best Use of Colour Advertising: SAMBA for Taveuni Travel Brochure. Best Layout: Joni Moce, The Fiji Times for Kaila! Best photography-Commercial: Art & Soul

Radio Awards: Best Single News report: Vijay Narayan, CFL for his report on Cyclone Daman, Best News Coverage of Single Event: Vijay Narayan, CFL for the first anniversary of the military coup. Best on Air Personality: Shammi Lochan, FBCL. Best Locally produced music feature: Clarence Dass, FBCL

Best Radio Sports Personality: Mikaele Kaloucava, VITI FM

Television Awards:

Best News Report: Ranbeer Singh, Fiji TV for his report on the FNPF Internal Audit report

Best Locally Produced Program: Vilisi Naduku from SPC. Best presenter: Neil Food for Flavors of Fiji. Best Graphics/animation in Ad: Art & Soul for FMF Chow noodles ad

Lifetime Achievement Award: Vijandra Kumar

Major Awards: Colonial Print Journalist of the Year: Stanley Simpson, Mai Life Magazine. Vodafone Radio Journalist of the Year: Vijay Narayan. And Robert Keith Reid Award for Outstanding Journalism: Russell Hunter and Victor Lal.
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