I am Yumi Talaave from the beautiful village of Tanugamanono in Apia, Samoa. I’m currently studying Journalism and Marketing at the National University of Samoa (NUS).
Although I enjoyed writing throughout my years at primary and high school, there were no media or journalism-related subjects. I was more into business studies and convinced that I was heading into the corporate world after uni. In my first year at NUS, I enrolled as a commerce student and managed to graduate in my foundation programme. When I became an undergraduate student, I decided to pursue a different programme for various reasons; continuing with commerce meant I had to take maths papers. I knew that numbers were one of my biggest weaknesses.
I initially enrolled into media and journalism courses because I noticed there weren’t a lot of students. This meant I wouldn’t get distracted. Looking back, I know it wasn’t a genuine reason as I’ve grown to love and respect journalism and what it represents. I also noticed my personal growth started to take off and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m in the right place.
As far as I’m concerned, climate change is the top issue that our Pacific region is actively addressing. If I become a journalist, I will specialise in environmental issues, reporting for those who feel ‘unheard’, especially our small island nations whom the powerful nations tend to forget about.
A journalist I admire here in Samoa is Savea Sano Malifa, the Founder and Chief Editor of Samoa Observer, the country’s main newspaper. When challenges and difficulties come my way, I look up to him and remind myself, “I want to be just like him”. He’s one of Samoa’s greatest journalists, which motivates me to follow in his footsteps.
Through the PCF media internship, I met a lot of media professionals who helped me set steps to get my ‘foot in the door’ in the journalism industry. My most memorable host agency was Radio New Zealand (RNZ), which gave me the chance to write a story without feeling stressed and, if I did feel stressed, it was manageable. The most exciting part of being with RNZ was that they published my story. It’s one of my proudest moments.
I highly recommend this PCF internship to other Pacific-based journalism students. It is empowering and gives our Pacific students an insight into working in the industry. I wish all the future interns the best of luck.