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Louiseanne Laris from Bougainville in Papua New Guinea was among participants from four Pacific countries in a journalism training program that ran alongside the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 / ABCID

Reporting on the big stage

Journalist Louiseanne Laris from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea shares her experiences of the Team Up-supported mobile journalism training program at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. Alongside participants from Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands and First Nations women, she took part in the two-week journalism and commentary training initiative in Brisbane delivered by ABC International Development as part of the Women in News and Sport program under Team Up.

It hasn't been easy, and sports reporting is new to me, but working at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 in Australia is something I will treasure forever.

My name is Louiseanne Laris. I'm from Buka Island, North Bougainville in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. I work as a radio broadcaster and programmer with the National Broadcasting Corporation of Papua New Guinea, based in Bougainville (NBC Bougainville – Maus Blo Sankamap).

The core of my work back home is sourcing stories and creating content for on-air broadcast at our local station. I engage in shift work in radio presentation and anchoring, and help our journalists collect and create items for the local news or contribute these directly to the national newsroom in Port Moresby. Occasionally, I contribute to the NBC's national television service. Recently, I've initiated a local radio talk show where I invite guests to the studio to discuss a current issue.

I consider myself very privileged to be among participants selected for the mobile journalism training program, organised and conducted by ABC International Development (ABCID), in collaboration with FIFA and the Oceania Football Confederation, and supported by the Australian Government through Team Up and the Office for Sport. I was thrilled to learn that I was among the candidates.

Participants learnt skills in mobile phone video production / ABCID

Mobile journalism (also known as MoJo) was a totally new concept to me, particularly using mobile journalism in sports reporting and storytelling. It's a completely fresh angle that I can incorporate into what I'm used to.

I'm grateful for the new skills I've acquired in how to get quality audio, composition tips, on-camera presentation tips and styles of reporting when collecting content and short videos for visual storytelling. I feel empowered with training in these aspects.

I now appreciate MoJo as a very contemporary way of delivering my content. It's a different approach to the traditional mediums I'm used to, which are the radio, the airwaves and the camera. I find MoJo convenient, effective and efficient. I'm already feeling comfortable operating my smartphone because I have it with me all the time.

I've covered many events with my mobile phone, and this training now gives me the confidence to go a step further and share my stories with many people everywhere. It's exciting indeed.

I now have a better appreciation of the varying platforms for storytelling in our rapidly changing technological world. I appreciate that, with the changing media landscape across the world, there should and must be changes, with the adoption of new ideas and ways to operate in our line of work.

Participants and trainers in Brisbane during the tournament / ABCID
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The best part of the practical training was the opportunity to attend matches at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Brisbane. I got to see and experience how things are done at international events like this.

Who would imagine being a training participant in a world event like that while everyone else is at home watching it on TV?

For me particularly, I've gained valuable skills in capturing videos and recording and editing them. As participants we had to practise taking videos of people. It was fun and gave everyone the confidence to interact with each other easily.

The ABCID also invited several guest speakers to talk to us, sharing their experiences and the passion that drives them to enable equal opportunities for people with different abilities. Some stories were emotional and from this, we reflected on how things are done in our respective countries.

We also had opportunities to be interviewed by ABC Radio, sharing what we've learnt during the training and also sharing what we do back in our countries.

At first, I was a bit nervous about meeting new people from different cultures, but I soon overcame that. I managed to blend in well with my fellow participants. We've created friendships and built contacts in our line of work. It was exciting. Getting to know other people also helped in the training because we learnt from each other. I'm happy and thankful for being able to meet with other content creators from the Indo-Pacific region as well as the First Nations content creators from Australia.

I'd really like to see this type of training continue as a tool to help more women reporters and other content creators and storytellers become more professional in what they do in sports or related fields.

I'm excited about everything I've gone through, and am already planning to use my skills to not only focus on radio, but venture into short video storytelling.

A longer version of this story first appeared on the ABC International Development website.

Participants were interviewed on ABC radio about their experiences / ABCID
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