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AUT Launches New Pasifika Diploma In Journalism

AUT Launches New Pasifika Graduate Diploma In Journalism

www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/specialreports/081010_PIMAgdpj.shtml

AUCKLAND (AUT/Pacific Media Watch): Support for Pasifika, Maori and diversity media education will be given a big boost with the launch of a new dedicated journalism programme at AUT University. The one-year Graduate Diploma in Pacific Journalism is the first Pasifika media programme in New Zealand for almost two decades - and is also the first at this level. The graduate diploma is expected to help meet the growing demand for Pacific journalists in both the mainstream and niche digital media.

Announcing the new graduate diploma at the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) "Pac2thefuture" annual conference today, Dr Alan Cocker, Acting Head of the School of Communication Studies, said: "It is a really important initiative for AUT and the school as we seek to reach out to diverse communities to serve them better in the future. "Also, this initiative comes at a time when we are developing our educational opportunities to be offered in South Auckland with the new Manukau campus." The new course will build on the successful core journalism education, training and internship opportunities provided by the AUT journalism programme, but will also provide extra specialist content such as papers in the Maori and Pasifika media industry and reporting the South Pacific region. The school plans to recruit a leading Pacific Islands journalist and journalism educator next year to head the programme. The inaugural intake of students is due in 2010. The target for the new course is Pasifika media people who have started in the industry who now seek a qualification, people entering the media industry from another career and journalists from the Pacific region.

AUT's School of Communication Studies has been a strong supporter of PIMA since the media group was launched in 2001. It has sponsored the venue for the past seven years and has also provided two scholarships a year - one undergraduate and one postgraduate - for Pasifika communications and journalism students. Associate professor David Robie, director of the school's Pacific Media Centre, said: "The new programme is a significant milestone in AUT's strategy of positioning itself as the university of diversity choice amid New Zealand's demographic changes."

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