Asia Pacific

Fellowship builds reporting skills for economic literacy and women’s empowerment

Building journalism skills to report the economic life of communities, and especially the role of women, was the major theme of a journalism fellowship program delivered recently by APJC.

Seventeen journalists from Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu attended the five-week program, supported by Australian AID under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia Awards Fellowships scheme.

APJC director John Wallace said the professional goal of the program was to strengthen the capacity of news media to report on business, finance and economic matters, and to properly recognise in the media the role of women in the economy and community.

“Working with and through news media, the development goal is to build economic literacy in developing communities, especially among women, and to support the economic empowerment of women,” he said. “Both of these elements are needed for sustainable and pro-poor development.”

He said a key feature of the program was the work on leadership skills. “This is a powerful tool for participants, especially women, when they return home and try to implement strategies for reporting that reflects the views and role of women in the economy and their leadership ability.”

The fellowship program included a seminar on personal and professional leadership skills, workshops on business and digital journalism, and professional visits in Melbourne, Canberra and Albury-Wodonga where the journalists met with leaders in government, business, media, agriculture, social services and education.

Solomon Islands journalist Kikiva Tuni said, “It has taught me the important roles that women play in the economic development of a country. It reinforced the need for me as a journalist to play a part in this.”

Indonesian journalist Farodlilah added, “I got advice from senior journalists, professionals and all the instructors on how to improve my skills, especially on how to address women’s issues in financial and business news stories. I also got in-depth knowledge about women’s issues in Australia, Asia and the Pacific . . . I found the leadership sessions very helpful to bring out the better side of me so that I can contribute more to society.”

The program closed on June 5.

Participants in the program were:

  • Ms Agusta Bunai, Papua Barat Television, West Papua, Indonesia
  • Ms ‘Anau Fonokalafi, Broadcom Broadcasting, Tonga
  • Ms Anita Roberts, The Daily Post newspaper, Vanuatu
  • Ms Asrida Elisabeth, Yayasan Teratai Hati Papua NGO, Papua, Indonesia
  • Ms Carol-Anne Teneang Galo, Sunday Isles newspaper (now moved to Island Sun newspaper), Solomon Islands
  • Mr Christopel Paino, Mongabay Indonesia online, Gorontalo, Indonesia
  • Ms Dian Lestari, Tribun Pontianak newspaper, West Kalimantan, Indonesia
  • Ms Farodlilah Muqoddam, Bisnis Indonesia newspaper, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Mr Gary Hatigeva, Island Sun newspaper, Solomon Islands
  • Ms Ida Putri, Diffa magazine and Sasana Integrasi dan Advokasi Difabel NGO (SIGAB), Central Java, Indonesia
  • Mr Joanico Domingos Guterres, Business Timor newspaper, Timor-Leste
  • Ms Kikiva Tuni, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Solomon Islands
  • Mr Makmur Dimila, Aceh Tourism Magazine, Aceh, Indonesia
  • Mr Mark Kayok, National Broadcasting Corporation, Papua New Guinea
  • Ms Nurul Fitria, Riau Corruption Trial NGO, Riau, Indonesia
  • Ms Rita Bill, Capitol FM, Vanuatu
  • Ms Shirley Mauludu, The National newspaper, Papua New Guinea

Masthead photo: The fellows with Julie and Jim de Hennin on a visit to their beef and horticulture enterprise near Albury-Wodonga