AUCKLAND (Radio New Zealand International/Pacific Media Watch): A Cook Islands Māori journalist says she is honoured to be recognised for diverse reporting and Pacific issues, as that kind of journalism is sometimes lacking in mainstream media.
Alistar Kata was presented last night with two awards at the Auckland University of Technology's School of Communications Studies annual awards ceremony.
She won the Spasifik Magazine Prize and Storyboard Award for Diversity Reporting, as well as the Radio New Zealand International Award for Asia-Pacific Journalism.
The Diversity Award, featuring an East Sepik traditional storyboard, was donated in 2006 by Pacific Media Centre coordinator Professor David Robie.
Alistar Kata said she hoped to see more students strive for inclusive and diverse reporting.
"It's something that, especially issues in the Pacific region, we don't see enough of in our mainstream media. It's really important for us, especially Pacific journalism students, but just Pacific people in general, to get those unheard stories, and raise the profile of those voices in mainstream media."
Alistar Kata said reporting on the elections in Fiji had been a career highlight for her.
She is now working with the Pacific Media Centre's Pacific Media Watch freedom project and Tagata Pasifika.
The director of AUT's Pacific Media Centre, Professor David Robie, said Alistar Kata had a strong portfolio on Pacific stories, both in Auckland and around the region.
He said she was in Fiji for two weeks to cover the elections last September and her coverage received a lot of positive feedback.
"So she wasn't part of the mass that arrived just a couple of days before the elections. That sort of exposure, and that sort of experience, is really building a foundation for good, solid reporting for around the region."
David Robie said that as an educator it was thrilling to see students have an interest in the Pacific because the region needed much better coverage.
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