Global inspiration for Fijian women in sports media
An inclusive reporting workshop for women in sports media in Fiji has been co-delivered by facilitators from India and Fiji in a ground-breaking international collaboration.
A participant in the recent Women in News and Sport mobile storytelling and inclusive reporting workshop in Fiji reflects on her experiences and learnings.
By Eleina McDonald
Mind-blowing, inspirational, empowering and educational are but a few words to describe the 2022 Women in News and Sports (WINS) mobile storytelling and inclusive reporting workshop that I attended recently in Fiji.
Facilitated by Rica Roy, WINS trainer and Sports Editor from NDTV India, alongside Fijian co-trainers Lavenia Yalovi and Sofaia Koroitanoa, attendees included multimedia sports journalists as well as officials and athletes from national sports organisations.
It was the first time a WINS trainer from India had travelled to the Pacific to co-deliver a course.
The three-day practical workshop taught the women attendees ‘mojo’ (mobile journalism) skills, including how to shoot, edit and script sports stories using mobile phones.
They were also shown important resources for diverse reporting, such as the preferred language and terminology to create inclusive content when covering stories on disability and gender.
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) multimedia journalist Venina Tunaivugona said she took away several key highlights from the workshop.
"We have always wanted to learn more for the convenience of on-field reporting and having to send through assignments quicker from rural areas – WINS has encouraged us to make this happen!
"I was quite conscious about reporting on inclusive sports but, having learned the fundamentals of this I am now more confident with the terminologies, and I am going to do more stories around this spectrum.”
Her FBC colleague, Talei Matairakula, said she felt simply empowered.
"Even though I am a newbie, hearing about the similar challenges faced by the ladies participating has been empowering. I've been belittled for stories I've covered because I am a female, but this WINS program tells me that I am not alone, I have a network to help me thrive in this industry – my whole perspective within media reporting has changed."
It was a great networking opportunity for the women who came from Mai Television, FBC, the Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, and sports organisations National Rugby League (NRL) Fiji and Fiji Football Association’s Just Play program.
The first day of the workshop coincided with World Press Freedom Day – bringing with it a new energy that resulted in the next generation of female sports journalists emerging with their own vibrant ways of storytelling.
Aspiring journalist Adi Arieta Lewanavanua, who is jovially known as one of Fiji's colourful storytellers, said she was excited about expanding her abilities.
"I'm now on another level with the little tips given. I believe that if we have more courses likes this for those of us who do not have journalism backgrounds, it is a very positive move towards expanding as an individual."
NRL Fiji In-Country Manager Ema Levaci said it was a great learning experience.
"We're so used to just uploading on social media platforms, but to learn more specific mojo techniques and tricks has been great, and to meet Rica, who shared her experience and perspective (from India), is just wonderful."
Melinda Saga'itu-Atalifo from Mai Television said she cannot wait to get her creative juices flowing.
"Being able to evolve in the role and being thrown into sport makes me appreciate the work that those before me do – it's a lot to learn in three days, we had fun doing it and it is an experience that I am going to apply myself to."
As part of the workshop the women attended a training session of Fiji’s Olympic gold medallist rugby 7s team. They produced content for social media and showcased the stories to representatives from the Australian High Commission in Fiji during a certificate presentation ceremony.
WINS is a training and mentoring program run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's International Development Unit (ABCID) and supported by the Australian Government through Team Up.