Prime Minister challenges NUS journalism students

Four of the journalism students trying out the new radio equipment

By Unumoe Esera

APIA: MONDAY 29 OCTOBER 2012: Prime Minister Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi challenged the National University of Samoa Media and Journalism students who are currently attending the Institute of Technology at the launching of their new radio in a box broadcasting from the campus using the 105.0 FM frequency.

“I hope those who graduate from this programme do exactly what they were trained to do instead of what their employers want them to do,” he said.

He referred this comment to a complaint he had made in a letter to the Editor of the Samoa Observer newspaper because of the wrong translation of his comments made in interviews with his reporters which he said were “inaccurate and quoted out of context and were attributed to me but they were not my words.'”

He said he had ‘tried to help them but he had only received back uncomplimentary comments’. Tuilaepa also criticized the articles published saying that the “editing was very poor as well as the translation.” He went on further to refer to journalists and reporters currently working in the media industry as ‘half trained journalists’.

The Prime Minister said that 10 years ago, a request was made to him to setup a school to train reporters and so the programme was setup at the National University of Samoa.

“Today’s opening is another milestone for journalism, my understanding is that this radio will be used by journalism students to practise broadcasting before they go out into the media industry. I express a sense of gratitude for this radio in a box which is one of the biggest steps toward improving the standard of journalism reporting,” he said.

NUS Vice Chancellor Leapai Ilaoa Asofou So’o expressed how glad he was for the upgrade to the journalism programme.

“I acknowledge the Media and Journalism lecturers Nora Tumua and Misa Vicky Lepou who went out of their way to ask for assistance from UNESCO for this radio in box and the US Embassy for an editing suite which cost USD$6,000 and PACMAS donated cameras, recorders and Macintosh computers and laptops worth $78,000,” he said.

The Minister of Communications, Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau cut the ribbon to open the renovated newsroom where the new equipment is placed and where the radio will operate from.

The Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners, Nick Hurley and Dr. Stephen Henningham, US Charge D’Affairs Chad Bert attended the event along with lecturers of the University and students, media practitioners and the media.

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