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June 2008 Media Newsletter

Media e-newsletter

Kia ora and welcome to the June issue of the Asia New Zealand Foundation media newsletter. There’s plenty of media news as well as information about opportunities for New Zealand journalists in Asia. Radio New Zealand has a new Asian affairs producer, a New Zealand author gets a prestigious residency in Japan and an Asia:NZ Young Leader gets a special honour from the Chinese government.

In this issue:
• Asia:NZ media update
• Media travel grants
• Chennai opportunity for a journalist
• New Asian Report presenter
• Asia Aware Forum for Canterbury principals
• Asia:NZ appointments
• Special honour for Chinese PhD student
• Writer returns to Japan for residency
• Kiwis dig deep for quake victims
• Smile China
• New Zealand aid for Burma


Asia:NZ media update

Photographer Mark Dwyer lists two of his Indian assignment highlights as fighting his way through a media scrum to get to an aspiring Bollywood actress and watching Black Caps batsman Brendon McCullum score a century in the first IPL 20/20 cricket match.

Both assignments were in the Indian city of Bangalore where Mr Dwyer was attached to the news photography team at the Deccan Herald newspaper in Bangalore on a month long posting. The opportunity was organised and supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s media programme.

He reports how the growing literacy rate in India is spurring an unprecedented rise in the number and readership of newspapers: a common trend in Asia, in contrast to observed readership decline in Western countries.

While he was working at the Deccan Herald, the oldest and most respected newspaper in the city, a new masthead - the Deccan Chronicle - was being launched, and reporters and photographers were being headhunted and tempted away with big salary increases.

As a result, he says the Herald's emphasis on quality was paramount. Here are some of Mark Dwyer's photos taken in the streets of Bangalore, the third most populous city in India, with over 6 million inhabitants - http://www.asianz.org.nz/media/coveringasia/fieldnotes-bangalore

Other reports from New Zealand journalists who travelled to Asia supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation can be found here:

In other news, an AUT University journalism graduate, Marc Checkley, has been offered a role at the China Daily Online for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Mr Checkley who is currently based in Singapore, worked at the China Daily on a two month posting in Beijing last year on an Asia:NZ scholarship. He will be employed as a senior editor and presenter on a two month contract beginning in July.

You can also read about other Asia:NZ media scholarships for AUT University journalism graduates in this online article by Natasha Burling.

The article is the result of an Asia-Pacific Journalism assignment: http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/globalwatch/080609_ForeignCorr.shtml

Ms Burling is a graduate diploma in journalism student in AUT’s School of Communication Studies.

Meanwhile another AUT journalism graduate Emma Moore who is based in Beijing will be testing the temperature in the Chinese capital as the Games approach.

Ms Moore is writing for Public Address and her latest blog can be read here: http://www.publicaddress.net/default,5071.sm

Reuters’ journalist Gillian Murdoch has sent in a link to a photoblog that she has compiled of the ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic stadium in Beijing.

Ms Murdoch, a New Zealander, will be based in Beijing for the duration of the Games. You can see her photos here: http://blogs.reuters.com/blog/2008/05/30/five-days-in-beijing.

More photographs: Taranaki photographer Ross Nolly has just returned from three weeks in East Timor where he says he spent a lot of time in an internally displaced people’s camp.

“My trip also coincided with the repatriation of the people back to their homes. This caused many conflicting emotions, some were happy to return, others had great trepidation about returning.”

You can see his Timor images here: www.rossnolly.com/timor.htm


Media travel grants

The North Asia media travel awards for 2008 will go to Karyn Scherer of the New Zealand Herald and Gerard Campbell of The Press.

Both candidates have applied to go on assignment in Japan in the coming months. The North Asia media travel award deadline closed on May 16.

Applications for Southeast Asia media travel awards are now being sought. The deadline for Southeast Asia is July 16. For more information, visit http://www.asianz.org.nz/grants/media-travel


Chennai opportunity for a journalist

The Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, India, is seeking a journalism tutor who can teach new media or print journalism on a short term placement.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation is taking applications for the placement which can be for at least a month or as long as a trimester but the successful applicant will need to be ready to travel soon.

Previous New Zealanders who have been on work placement at the ACJ are Fairfax NZ journalist Michael Field and former TVNZ journalist Chris Harrington.

Timing varies but it is likely that the successful candidate would have to be in Chennai before the first trimester ends at the end of October.

The Asian College of Journalism website is at www.asianmedia.org.in/index.asp. For more information, contact Asia:NZ media adviser Charles Mabbett at cmabbett[at]asianz.org.nz.


New Asian Report presenter

Beginning on July 14, Chinese New Zealander Jason Moon will be the new voice of Asian Report on Radio New Zealand National.

Mr Moon, a third generation New Zealander, replaces Suzanne Schokman who left after four years at RNZ to join family in Australia.

Jason Moon worked as a director and presenter for Asia Downunder and as a freelance director on Maori Television's A Native Affair programme. Asian Report is broadcast weekly on Tuesdays at 3.30pm.


Asia Aware Forum for Canterbury principals

As New Zealand’s future becomes increasingly influenced by the Asian region, the Asia New Zealand Foundation has identified school principals as having a key role to play in preparing young New Zealanders for a changing world.

To meet the challenges posed by a future with Asia, Asia:NZ is holding the latest of a series of Asia Aware Principals’ Forums in Christchurch on June 19.

The aim is to give principals the latest Asia-related information and resources for their locality, and the chance to talk together about easy ways to bring an Asian dimension to their students learning experience.

There will be a keynote speech by business journalist Rod Oram and a demonstration of the Asia Knowledge Website. A specially commissioned research report on the current Asia engagement in each area and future trends entitled Asia and Canterbury will also be released.

For more information on the Christchurch Asia Aware Principals’ Forum, contact Asia:NZ schools coordinator Janine Chin on 021 479 678 or at jchin[at]asianz.org.nz.


Asia:NZ appointments

A former deputy director of the British Council in Singapore has been appointed as the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s new education director.

Vanessa Lee recently immigrated to New Zealand from Singapore. Prior to her role at the British Council, she was deputy director for English Language Services.

She has also worked as a project manager in the education field in Brunei and as a teacher in Bhutan. She is originally from the United Kingdom.

The foundation also has a new web content manager, Antonia Kokalova-Gray, who like Ms Lee is based at the foundation’s Wellington office.

Ms Kokalova-Gray previously worked as an editor on the HR and accounting portfolio of Thomson Reuters (formerly Thomson Brookers) and as a research manager for Adcorp Marketing Communications.

Prior to that, she lived in London where she completed a Certificate in International Relations at Birkbeck College and freelanced for the BBC World Service former Bulgarian section.

Ms Kokalova-Gray, who was born in Bulgaria and has been in New Zealand since 2004, has a Master’s in English Studies from the University of Paris-Sorbonne.

Finally, Asia:NZ also has a new business director. James Penn previously worked for Jetro, the Japanese equivalent of NZTE.

As Jetro’s trade and investment promotion manager in Auckland, Mr Penn provided consultancy advice and services to New Zealand and Japanese businesses.

He also spent six years at the Japanese Consulate in Auckland working in a public relations role.

James Penn has also worked as a researcher for market research companies and is a graduate of Otago University. He is based in Auckland together with Asia:NZ’s Auckland office manager Ezra Low.


Think-tank diplomacy in Viet Nam

Viet Nam’s economy is experiencing extraordinary growth and vibrancy and is emerging as a major player in Southeast Asia.

For that reason, and following an announcement by New Zealand’s Prime Minister and Viet Nam’s President last year, the Asia New Zealand Foundation led the delegation for New Zealand’s first ever quasi government bilateral dialogue with the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam in Hanoi in early June.

The Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam (DAV) is the training organisation for Viet Nam’s Foreign Service and some of their leading current and emerging diplomats participated in the dialogue, including a significant number of young people.

Notable for its free-flowing conversation and informality, the dialogue was a resounding success and there is an intention for a New Zealand-based dialogue to occur with the DAV in 18 months’ time.

Viet Nam is currently at the beginning of its term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a seat that New Zealand had in the 1990s. Members of the New Zealand delegation shared their own experiences of New Zealand’s time on the Security Council and both countries talked extensively about UN reform and participation by emerging economies in regional and global organisations.

Other topics covered included new political and security architecture in East Asia, including the roles of China, India, the United States and Australia in the region; East Asia economic cooperation; the prospects for East Asian integration; and Viet Nam and New Zealand relations.

Led by Asia:NZ’s executive director Dr Richard Grant, the delegation also included Asia:NZ’s research director Dr Andrew Butcher, Asia:NZ young leader Wook Jin Lee, Victoria University international relations lecturer Dr David Capie, New Zealand ambassador Dr James Kember and retired diplomats Brian Lynch and Terrence O’Brien.


Special honour for Chinese PhD student

An Asia:NZ Young Leader has won a rare honour in becoming the first student in New Zealand to be awarded a special China government scholarship for Chinese students studying abroad.

The China Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad has been awarded to Fujun Shen, a PhD student at Lincoln University, to support his research on the development of sustainable tourism in China’s rural areas.

The award was among 10 applications submitted by Chinese students studying in New Zealand universities but was the only one put forward by the Chinese Embassy for consideration.

Mr Shen will receive US$5000 from the scholarship to support his studies.

Fujun Shen studied for a bachelor's degree at Henan Agricultural University, in central China, and completed a Masters degree in The Netherlands.

His research at Lincoln University has re-examined the predominant framework for poverty reduction – the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) – which has been used extensively by development agencies and NGOs.

The research includes an assessment of using a modified Sustainable Livelihoods Approach for Tourism model in villages where tourism is new. It will also produce guidelines for rural areas seeking to develop their visitor industry.

Dr Stefanie Rixecker, director of Lincoln’s Environment, Society and Design Division, says the scholarship is an example of postgraduate students applying international best practice in developing regions.

“We really value this type of exchange, and we’re delighted that Fujun Shen’s work has been honoured in this way,” she said.


Writer returns to Japan for residency

A New Zealand writer has won a prestigious artists’ residency in Japan.

Carl Shuker, a former Wellingtonian, says he intends to use the opportunity to work on his next novel which will be set in Meiji-era Japan.

The Meiji Period from 1868 to 1912 represented a time of social, political and industrial revolution in Japan that saw the country transformed into a modern power.

The JENESYS residency that he has been awarded will allow him to return to Japan where he lived for 18 months during when he researched his 2005 novel The Method Actors. The book won the Prize in Modern Letters in 2006.

The JENESYS (Japan East Asia Network of Exchange of Students and Youths) programme invites applications from young and emerging art professionals under the age of 35 for a three month long residency in Japan.

The JENESYS initiative is offered by the Japan Foundation in 13 Asia-Pacific countries including New Zealand. The application process for New Zealand art professionals is facilitated by the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The programme includes round-trip airfares between Japan and New Zealand as well as accommodation and other expenses.

Carl Shuker who is a graduate of Victoria University says he has been living and writing in London since May 2006. He published his second novel The Lazy Boys that year and is currently working on a screenplay of the book with funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.

His Three Novellas for a Novel, a book-length work of new fiction was published online in June 2008. You can see it at www.threenovellasforanovel.com


Kiwis dig deep for quake victims

New Zealand’s Chinese communities and individuals have raised more than $1.8 million to help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, says the New Zealand Chinese Association.

Over ten million people have been made homeless by the massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake which caused 80,000 deaths and injured thousands more when it struck on May 12. A large proportion of those killed were children who were in their classrooms at the time.

The president of New Zealand Chinese Association’s Auckland branch, Kai Luey, says the heavy loss of young lives had had a great impact because of China’s one child family planning policy.

He says efforts to raise money were ongoing with several Auckland Chinese community groups pooling their resources to hold a charity dinner on June 21. Money raised would go to the New Zealand Red Cross for relief work in Sichuan.

Other examples of fundraising include a group of Chinese students at Wintec in Hamilton who have contributed $3000 for students of Chengdu University’s Dujianyan campus where 12 campus students died. The quake devastated parts of Dujianyan, forcing 2,500 students to leave for other universities.

Chief executive Mark Flowers says Wintec has a strong relationship with Chengdu University in Sichuan. Fifteen teachers from the Chinese university will begin a trainers’ programme at Wintec in July.

The funds raised will be sent to Chengdu University to support the displaced students from Dujianyan.

The Wellington Phoenix football club also played a charity match with a Christchurch Chinese social club team in Wellington on June 1. Among the 1500 strong crowd watching were Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast and Chinese ambassador Zhang Yuanyuan.

The match was arranged at the instigation of the Phoenix’s new Chinese player Leilei Gao who expressed a desire to help the victims.

The New Zealand government has also donated $850,000 to the Red Cross Society of China and the International Red Cross Movement.


Smile China

On Monday June 9, a group of young Chinese New Zealanders embarked on an artistic installation in Auckland’s Aotea Square as an expression of support for the people of Sichuan.

By the end of the day, on a three metre by seven metre wall, they had collected 700 photos of passers-by which were made into the shape of China.

You can see how it was done: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U775Wvr77q8

Read about it here: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0806/S00110.htm


New Zealand aid for Burma

New Zealand has contributed $1.85 million to efforts to help Burma recover from the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis, which left 134,000 dead or missing and 2.4 million destitute. It is estimated that percent of those affected are children.

One million dollars of NZAID’s contribution has gone to UNICEF to focus on caring for the injured, preventing the spread of disease and ensuring children have access to clean water and food.

Despite the access difficulties due to international aid workers being refused entry visas, UNICEF has been able to mobilise on the ground and to coordinate quickly to help the young victims of this disaster.

NZAID also provided $850,000 to New Zealand NGOs to assist with the disaster response and continues to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, two AUT University graduate journalists Spike Mountjoy and Joseph Barratt made a self funded side trip to Burma while on an Asia:NZ supported assignment to Thailand.

Their reports on Scoop can be found here: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0806/S00181.htm



The next Asia:NZ media newsletter will be available in July. The views expressed by various contributors to the newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asia New Zealand Foundation. If you are interested in contributing to the newsletter, contact Asia New Zealand Foundation media adviser Charles Mabbett at cmabbett[at]asianz.org.nz


To find out more about Asia New Zealand Foundation please visit our website: www.asianz.org.nz
Asia New Zealand Foundation is grateful to its key sponsors - Fonterra, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - for their commitment to the Foundation's activities. .


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