Feature

World News Day: Fiji Sun Presents Our Interns

Some interns excel and now play a vital role in newsrooms here and the region.
20 Sep 2020 09:59
World News Day: Fiji Sun Presents Our Interns
Fiji Sun interns, Sanjeshni Shivyeshni Kumar (left) and Sheenal Sharlin Charan. Photo: Ronald Kumar

For budding journalists, their first test in the industry is surviving a loud, demanding and personality driven newsroom.

It may seem like a piece of cake, but the task can be daunting for some.

In the past years, we’ve had the pleasure of facilitating attachment programmes for the University of the South Pacific and Fiji National University journalism programmes.

Some interns excel and now play a vital role in newsrooms here and the region.

Some however find it more comfortable in the communications and public relations field.

For the past month Sanjeshni Shivyeshni Kumar and Sheenal Sharlin Charan have shown that they have the instincts to thrive in the profession. Their dedication and diction are a rare find.

Here is their story:

SANJESHNI SHIVYESHNI KUMAR

When did you start working in a newsroom?

I started working in Wansolwara (USP campus newspaper) newsroom during my Journalism studies at the University of the South Pacific. I joined the Fiji Sun as an intern in August this year as a trainee.

Why do you do what you do??

I have always dreamt of becoming a photojournalist but due to photojournalism not being a single course, I had to take journalism as a study.

However, along the way I started getting passionate about my work as a news journalist and providing individuals with news on time so that they are aware of what is happening around them.

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

I personally believe that my role is to provide individuals with the phenomenon around them which motivates me to meet the deadlines at work.

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

My biggest challenge was to get a timely response from interviewees.

Being a student and a journalist puts a double responsibility on me as I have to keep up with the academic load and work on a timely basis to meet the deadlines. However, my supervisors’ understanding and support enabled me to meet the deadlines at work and handle academic work.

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

To highlight my piece of work let me start with the first piece which was on WOWS Kids Fiji Market Day. At this event, the team leader highlighted the number of children who have lost their lives to cancer. Knowing that 14 children have lost their lives between January and July, this story inspired many Fijians to take part in the future Market Day events to support the children fighting with cancer.

The second piece of work was a feature story on stay at home mom finds a business niche. This inspired many mothers out there to take initiative in doing what they love so that they are satisfied with their work.

SHEENAL SHARLIN CHARAN

When did you start working in a newsroom?

I began working in a newsroom in the year 2017 at USP Wansolwara Newsroom which was part of my Bachelor of Arts programme. However, the Wansolwara newsroom experience was different from the experience I am having here during my internship at the Fiji Sun.

Why you do what you do?

I wanted to do something extraordinary and Journalism is something unique to me. It gives me the opportunity to raise my voice and at the same time I wanted to be the voice of the voiceless people. When I chose to pursue a degree in Journalism, I knew it was more of a choice and not a career and today I can proudly say I made the right choice.

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

One of the very important elements to becoming a successful journalist is time management because news is something new – a recent happening around us and we are in competition with other media organisations and citizen journalists in disseminating news. People believe in mainstream media for accurate and timely news so meeting deadlines is very crucial in the field of journalism.

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

Some of the challenges I faced so far were verbal abuse on social media, attending two events scheduled at the same time, and not receiving response from my interviewees on time.

I understand that these challenges are part and parcel of journalism, not all people will be happy with the work I do because different people have different perceptions and opinions. I understood that having a thick skin is very important and I should not get carried away with negativity passed on to me because at the end of the day I work for positive changes.

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

The first one is titled Drugs Sold at USP – this has brought change in USP’s policy, as USP is a private university. I was told that Police could not enter the premises without approval, however, after this article was published, there was a change in USP’s policy to report any case or suspicion of dealing with drugs on the campus immediately to the Police. It has also created fear amongst the peddlers and buyers of drugs to think twice before engaging into an illegal act.

The other piece of work was titled 10-Year-Old Ayush Dedicates Time to Backyard Gardening. After this article was published, I received many positive feedbacks. Some of the feedback was regarding parents who showed the article to their children so that they could be inspired. All in all, I was happy to inspire many youths to engage them in backyard vegetable gardening to overcome the financial problems that many of us are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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