Feature

World News Day, Fiji Sun Presents Caroline Delaivoni-Ratucadra

World News Day aims to raise public awareness of the critical role that journalists play in providing credible and reliable news, to help people make sense of — and improve
21 Sep 2020 14:48
World News Day, Fiji Sun Presents Caroline Delaivoni-Ratucadra

World News Day aims to raise public awareness of the critical role that journalists play in providing credible and reliable news, to help people make sense of — and improve — the rapidly changing world around them.

 

Growing up, Caroline Delaivoni-Ratucadra always wanted to become a writer.

She was a bookworm and would somehow find a secluded spot somewhere just to finish reading another book.

Despite attempts by her late father Metui Delaivoni to follow in his footsteps as a senior agricultural officer,  this Nagigi woman of Savusavu had different aspirations.

Even after graduating from the Fiji College of Agriculture in 2004 and having spent a few months interning under her late father’s supervision, she applied for the cadet reporter position advertised at the Fiji Daily Post.  She wanted to focus on agriculture reporting. That only lasted a few months before she was thrown into the deep end of court, business, sports, politics and general news reporting.

Her new found passion in writing drove her to enrol as one of the pioneering students for the Media and Journalism programme at what was then Fiji Institute of Technology. She graduated in 2007.

Mrs Ratucadra has had international exposure. She was sent by the Fiji Sun on a training programme on Reporting International Trade and Economic Affairs at the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre in Australia. Her skills were sharpened having spent two weeks interning at The Age newsroom in Melbourne.

She has also been on a study visit to China with a focus on The Belt and Road Trade and Development Initiative.

Mrs Ratucadra now oversees the international news pages as a Senior Subeditor as well as editing stories by reporters.

She is married to Tevita Ratucadra, a teacher, and they have four children.

 

When you started working in a newsroom:

I walked into the Daily Post newsroom along Greig St in Suva for an interview in June 2005.

After the interview, I was welcomed to immediately start work by renowned journalist/editor Mesake Koroi.

I guess he believed in me and with the support of senior journalists and subeditors back then, I learned the ropes of the profession. This is my twelfth year at the Fiji Sun and the experiences have helped mould me into the journalist I am today. Above all, I thank the Lord for instilling in me the patience and determination to continue what I do with honesty and integrity.

 

Why do you do what you do?

Personally, for me, journalism is all about telling the untold stories. I love what I do because this career makes my life meaningful. Working in the print media, I am proud to say that our work reaches thousands of people. That in itself is satisfactory.

And as a journalist, we experience new things every day because today you may be interviewing a beggar on the street and the next day you could be talking with the Prime Minister. This job too has given me the opportunity to visit places around the country and even abroad.

Everyone has an interesting story to tell and over the years it’s a privilege to help some of them tell that story – and in some cases bring about change.

As I progressed over the years, I moved out of the field to the engine room – subediting.

Here we are the last line of defence before the newspaper is published. While I miss writing, I am now tasked with a bigger role that works on perfecting copies from journalists before our readers get to read the next day.

 

Why do you put up with deadline pressures at work and from outside?

I guess it’s in our blood – like the words of famous poet T.S. Eliot: “The job of the writer is to turn blood into ink”.

So meeting very strict deadlines is a norm for us and it is quite simple – master the art of planning, organising and time management. You will never go wrong.

Back when I was in the field reporting, we were given a list of assignments to work on in a day and timelines of when this was due.

It can be stressful, but not as tough as where I am today – the Subs Department.

Here we not only copy edit, work on headlines, but also layout the pages that you read daily. I’d say, we could be called the ‘jack of all trades’ in the newsroom. Deadlines are vital and to make sure that we get our newspaper out on the streets and shops on time.

 

In your journalism career, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced and how were these addressed?       

The challenges in my career come in many forms – working in the field as a woman, wife and mother.

In my experience on the ground as a journalist over the years, the language was a barrier while interviewing Indo-Fijians at the grassroots level. What I did was hang out more with farmers, market vendors, and street dwellers during my stint in the North office and learned the basics of conversational Hindi.

As a journalist, you quickly learn to be humble and interact with just about everybody. This is the only way to earn the people’s trust and establish contacts.

On the home front, I’m truly blessed to have the support and understanding of a wonderful husband, who supports me in every way and especially the care of our four beautiful children.

 

Other comments

As a field journalist many years back, I covered many stories including a hobby for photography – from human interests, politics, policy issues, governance and more.

My years in our North Bureau office were the best time because we helped be the voice of the voiceless.

So many human interest stories that I’ve written included struggling families, widows, or those with special needs that had caught the attention of civil society, Fijians overseas and other good Samaritans who have assisted.

The positive responses to these stories make me smile at the end of the day, knowing that I have helped influenced something positive.

And that is exactly what the role of a good journalist is – to report the truth, responsibly, accurately without fear of discrimination or attack and make a difference in your community.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 

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