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Monday, August 20, 2007

Young Solomons Print Journalist accepted for Sasakawa Fellowship in Japan

A young Solomon Islands print journalist, Mr Moffat Ghala Mamu has been chosen as one of the three incoming class of the 2007 Sasakawa Pacific Islands Journalism Fellowship.

The Fellowship gives regional journalists the opportunity to develop a series of stories focused on Japan while based in that country and working one-on-one with a senior professional.

Mr Mamu, a reporter with the Solomon Star in Honiara was chosen along with Suzanne Chutaro, a reporter with the Marshall Islands Journal in Majuro, Marshall Islands; and Agnes Donato, a reporter with the Saipan Tribune in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands.

Another Solomon Islander, Ian Aujare (Projects Officer with the Island Sun in Honiara) was also selected as one of the two alternates. The First Alternate is Jacqueline Hernandez, a photojournalist with the Saipan Tribune.

This year’s Sasakawa Pacific Islands Journalism Fellowship will take place in Japan in late October. Fellows will develop stories around the theme of “Japanese Tourism,” both outbound and domestic, and link those stories to their home markets. The Fellows will conduct interviews and write their stories in Japan, while working with Pacific Magazine Publisher Floyd K. Takeuchi, who has more than 30 years of regional journalism experience, including working in Tokyo.

The Sasakawa Pacific Islands Journalism Fellowship is a partnership between the Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund of Tokyo, Japan, part of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and Pacific Magazine of Honolulu, Hawaii.

“Competition for this year’s incoming class was particularly rigorous,” said Takeuchi, who is the Fellowship’s organizer and trainer. Regional journalists from five Pacific Islands nations and territories applied for the program. All of this year’s applicants were senior journalists, and had to submit detailed story proposals, examples of their best professional work, a resume and recommendation from a senior manager in their news organization. The Sasakawa Pacific Islands Journalism Fellowship is one of the few Pacific Islands-focused professional development opportunities that require participants to apply for the program.

A Selection Committee comprised of senior journalists, a journalism educator and a senior executive and manager of the Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund reviewed the applications and chose the Fellows.

Mamu who is a graduate from USP started working with the Solomon Star since 2004 and covers the health and education beats for the paper. He is also the newspaper's feature writer for TOK TAEM and the Weekend Magazine.

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