Feature

World News Day: Fiji Sun Presents Nicolette Chambers

‘I like to keep busy. I work well under pressure, therefore, I put up with it. It helps mould me into the person I am today. It’s a challenge that I like to take on every time which makes me aware of how to actually navigate through a highly stressful situation when needed’
10 Sep 2020 14:21
World News Day: Fiji Sun Presents Nicolette Chambers
Fiji Sun Lautoka bureau journalist Nicolette Chambers.

In the lead up to World News Day on September 28, we will be featuring some of the key people in the Fiji Sun newsroom.

Meet NICOLETTE CHAMBERS.

Her passion for journalism drives her. Seeing how her work has stirred the kindness and goodness in people is rewarding enough.

The University of the South Pacific journalism graduate has the advantage of being assisted by her father – seasoned journalist and editor, Charles Chambers.

But that does not protect Ms Chambers from being sworn at while doing her job.

This has only made her tough and thick-skinned – ready to take on whatever is thrown at her.

Being a journalist is not easy. But passion is a powerful force in accomplishing anything one sets their mind to

When you started working in a newsroom?

I started working in a newsroom in 2014 during my semester breaks from the University of the South Pacific. It was only temporary because then after my breaks I had to return and complete my studies. I was always encouraged by my dad, a senior business journalist with the Fiji Sun to be in the newsroom and work with journalists to slowly gain experience of what is expected when I eventually start work.

I started as a full-time employee with the Fiji Sun soon after I graduated in 2018.

Why you do what you do?

I always had a passion to be in the field of journalism since secondary school. I especially enjoy travelling to rural areas and to bring stories to our readers.

It reminds me to be grateful for the many things we often take for granted. Life in rural Fiji can be tough when compared to us in the urban areas who have the opportunity to almost everything.

Although work can be challenging and at times risky, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to cover stories that have brought about some change to families.

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

I like to keep busy. I work well under pressure, therefore, I put up with it. It helps mould me into the person I am today. It’s a challenge that I like to take on every time which makes me aware of how to actually navigate through a highly stressful situation when needed.

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

With only a few years into my journalism career, I have experienced a lot of challenges, especially being a female journalist. I have been embarrassed and at times sworn at – only because I was doing my job. It’s tough, but the only thing to do is turn a deaf ear and carry on. It has definitely made me stronger as a person and professionally.

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

Family home for single mother and sons.

– An article that I wrote last year, ‘single mum builds own shed to shelter her two children’ brought about change for the family of three. I was on my way to Dratabu Village in Nadi, the area where the family was residing for an assignment when I came across this same woman who was just returning from the river with her two sons. I stopped and thought to ask her neighbour to give me some background in about the family. Then I went over to speak to them.

After the woman agreed to go ahead with the article, her story was published the following day. On that same day, I received numerous calls, text messages, emails and people showing up at our Nadi office willing to offer assistance to the family. People from all walks of life, from Fiji and abroad, came forward to assist this family. A group that deserves special mention is ‘Circle of Friends.’ They worked with various overseas and local donors and coordinated plans that a proper home is built for the family.

The home was constructed and I’m just grateful to have had a small part to play in making it happen.

Kids return to school

– After writing a number of articles of families who unfortunately lost their homes as a result of fires, I decided to focus on the children who were studying and how they would be affected.

As a result, children were assisted and returned to classes a few days after.

In July, a house fire destroyed a home at Matawalu Village, Lautoka. The family of 10 lost everything. Five children were attending school. Through the kind assistance and collaboration from the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Rosy Akbar and her team, the students were assisted with their immediate school items and basic items for home. They managed to return to school within days after the fire.

  • 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.

Screenshot 2020-09-03 at 11.46.40 AM
Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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