Feature

World News Day, Fiji Sun Presents Jennis Naidu

‘As we are told in the newsroom, ‘Journalism is not an 8-5 job nor a five-day job’ ‘Juggling studies while working full-time is pretty hard. The two semesters that I had left to complete my Bachelor of Arts was not a breeze, but nonetheless, I survived, and am thankful to be graduating, finally!’
25 Sep 2020 17:00
World News Day, Fiji Sun Presents Jennis Naidu
Fiji Sun Digital journalist Jennis Naidu.

 

Jennis Naidu is definitely a go-getter.

After surviving her four-weeks attachment in the newsroom last year, she surprised everyone when she applied for the Digital journalist role.

With full-time work, she managed to juggle studies and everything else in between. She does not back down when the situation demands it. Ms Naidu quickly adapts to the evolving nature of the newsroom and its challenges.

Yesterday she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Psychology from the University of the South Pacific.

But her pursuit to learn and grow does not stop there. Ms Naidu has already started on the Bachelor of Law programme.

Earlier in the year, she was selected to be part of the  World Editors Forum Asia Young Media Leaders Fellowship 2020 Programme – the only participant from the Pacific.

Here is her story:

 

When you started working in a newsroom:

I initially worked in a newsroom in 2018 as an attaché with the Department of Information while studying for my Bachelor of Arts degree since it seemed exciting to get an on-hand experience of what I was studying. The attachment lasted for three months.

As part of the final unit in USP’s Journalism unit, students are sent off to different media organisations for internship for a month. I started at the Fiji Sun newsroom in Suva around August 2019 under that, and have been part of Fiji Sun family since then.

 

Why you do what you do?

I have always have had a passion for writing, travelling, photography and keeping up with the trends. Journalism is one job that combines all of those hobbies of mine into one package. Getting paid for something you love is not a bad deal at all.

I joined the Fiji Sun around August 2019 and was recruited by the Digital team in the newsroom on my second day of attachment.

After one month of my internship, I applied to stay back, and now, one year on, I am still here.

 

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

University of the South Pacific’s Journalism unit does not teach you much about online journalism, but we were given opportunities through workshops to learn about mobile journalism (MOJO), but that did not cover much ground on what Digital Journalism really is.

So, when I began at the Digital desk, I really had no clue at all about anything. I was thrown into the deep, deep blue sea and had to find myself ashore. I have learnt everything I do right now, as I worked, and am still constantly learning.

The lifejacket was thrown at me by the Managing Editor Digital, Rosi Doviverata and the former Deputy Managing Editor, Atama Tamanilo, keeping me afloat as I finally reached the shore.

Working at the Fiji Sun taught me that having a degree amounts to zilch. Many of our journalists do not hold a paper, and what I have learnt from them is much more than what was taught to me at journalism school.

Juggling studies while working full-time is pretty hard. The two semesters that I had left to complete my Bachelor of Arts was not a breeze, but nonetheless, I survived, and am thankful to be graduating, finally!

The key is to stay focused, organised, and ensuring you take mental breaks now and then. Also, always be open to learning, you can never learn too much.

 

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

Being a journalist means long hours, no weekends and public holidays, being at work during a crisis when everybody else is required to stay home.

As we are told in the newsroom, ‘Journalism is not an 8-5 job nor a five-day job. You do not stop being a journalist, once you leave for home.’

During my internship, I had to say buh-bye to my weekends for a month. I was rostered every weekend as I had classes during the week. This caused me to miss out on many landmark events of my friends and family. I am from Lautoka, based in Suva, so that made it impossible for me to be part of many, many functions.

I missed the births of my nephews, my friend’s graduation from medical school.

I handle pressure pretty well, I like working and not being idle, but there are days when I wish it could have been easier.

Right now, there is immense pressure on me from all ends. I am both a full-time journalist and a law student in my second/third year.

I take it a day at a time…

 

Please highlight at least 2 pieces of work that you did that brought about change in policy, community/ or in behaviour?

The Social Media page is my adopted child. It was given to birth by Rosi Doviverata, but somehow slid its way into my iMac. The page enables me to highlight posts which can inspire change or pave the way to change in our community.

I came across a post by Milika Naulumatua on Facebook on July 10, 2020. The post showed some women being stranded at the Nakorotubu Road which led to their village-the village of Navuniivi Navitilevu in Ra. Due to the bad state the road, these women were struggling to make their way to their homes after returning from selling vegetable produce at Vaileka.

These women could not go any further as the truck was not able to take them to their homes. The post depicted the struggle of these women. The pictures showed the bad state of the road.

Upon seeking permission, I shared the post on the Social Media page, that was published the next day.

Months later, on August 12, Ms Naulumatua messaged me; thanking me, and informing me that the road works had started, and she just tagged me once again, on September 12, 2020, updating me on the road’s progress.

The road, now, looks nothing like the one from July. Happy, smiling facing of the residents, who now have a road that is safe and accessible for them to use.

I am just one year in, working as a journalist, and I hope to bring about more smiles in the many years to come!.

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.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 

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