By Gary Hatigeva
STUDENTS of the Journalism School at the Solomon Island National University (SINU) have held their first ever presentation that covers the issue of media advocacy.
As part of their studies on the Media Advocacy topic, students were given the opportunity through groups, where they presented to a gathering on their understanding and findings about the role of media and its importance in any society.
Students through their groups presented selected case studies and issues that have direct impact or are a result of the important role the media play in all aspects of Solomon Islands.
After each group’s presentations, question and answer sessions were held, where members of the audience were given the chances to ask questions and make comments on presentations made.
The topic according to students interviewed, is a very important at the same time, challenging as it covers a lot of areas in the media, which includes the usage and understanding of different forms of mediums to fulfill the purpose of advocating issues affecting the country.
One of the student, Jeremy Gwao, said the advocacy topic is very vital as it gives a clear direction on how different mediums can be used to disseminate information to the public as the consumers of these information.
Gwao, who is hoping to go into print media if completing the course, shared that based on researches and studies they have done under the advocacy topic, there is a huge gap in forms of public and media understanding.
“In this topic, we’re able to understand these things, which create huge challenges for journalists, especially when trying to gain information, even on soft issues. That is because there is little or lack of proper understanding of the role of media as a fourth estate in any democratic society like Solomon Islands, and I’m sure it’s similar in other neighbouring countries.”
The highlight on Media Advocacy’s courses and areas of focus are designed to prepare students to become contributors and leaders in the essential activity of advocacy across cultural, political, social and economic spheres of influence.
The topic according to the module outline, pointed out that students will have the opportunity to gain the ability to become an effective advocate with an introduction to legal reasoning, legal systems, and other persuasive frameworks;
Learn and apply research-driven journalistic and strategic communication techniques, while at the same time, learn and apply advanced multi-media skills in visual, textual and audio formats for online- and social media environments.
Students were also given the opportunities to develop and apply data-driven narratives and issue-driven storytelling; Focus those frameworks and approaches to issues in specific areas, such as health, environment, and other relevant matters impacting the country.
The one day occasion was graced by MASI president, Charles Kadamana and Young Women in Parliament group’s chairlady, Marisa Pepa who were also judges of the presentations. Also part of the programme were selected students from the Betikama Adventist College (BAC), who also expressed acknowledgements to be given the chance to understand media as pupils who aspired to take up the profession as a future career.