Pacific-first coverage of COP28 wins ABU award

(L) Deborah Steele, Director of News for ABU, and (R) Tia Soakai, Content Manager for Pasifika TV, at the AVN Coordinators Meeting. Source: ABU

Held in Kuala Lumpur last week, the annual Asiavision Coordinators meeting saw members of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) come together to discuss the media landscape, what challenges are on the horizon in 2024, and how to overcome them.

The annual meeting saw 96% of Asiavision members in attendance discussing the various upcoming elections across the Asia-Pacific region, navigation of generative AI in the media landscape, and how to fully take advantage of social media.

Director of News at ABU, Deborah Steele, said the event was about “bringing everyone together, focusing on the year ahead, and looking at what we can do to improve our video news exchange.”

As part of Pasifika TV’s membership with the ABU, content from Pasifika TV and our wider broadcasting village can be uploaded to ABU’s Asiavision news exchange portal which is accessible by all members for rebroadcast as well as sister unions in Europe and the Middle East.

Steele says the sharing of Pacific news is important, in particular climate change and its impact. “We want to get more Pacific going through that channel, so there is a broader understanding of vital issues in the Pacific.”

Chief Operations Officer for Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL), Junior Hunter, led the first Pasifika TV regional news team for COP28 and is grateful that the team received the award for comprehensive daily coverage of the event.

“Relevant stories from COP28 were shared across this exchange service and we’re all really proud of what we achieved with our coverage,” says Hunter. “It was a lot of hard work for the team and to have their work recognised in this way means a lot.”

Pacific journalists Jone Tomuse, Amelia Rigsby, Mareva Cameron, and Sinivar Kasimani were selected from PCBL’s network of Pacific broadcasters to represent Pasifika TV at COP28.

The Pasifika TV COP28 team from L to R: Jone Tomuse, Sinivar Kasimani, Amelia Rigsby, Mareva Cameron, Karl Schodt, and Junior Hunter.

“What we saw from Pasifika TV was Pacific storytelling. We saw stories that would otherwise not have been available to our membership,” says Steele. “We got the amplification of Pacific issues on climate change.”

Ahmed Afruh Rasheed, Senior Editor of ABU News, echoed Steele’s sentiment. “It gives us a much-needed voice in the Aisia-Pacific community of the Asiavision News Exchange.”

Natasha Meleisea, Chief Executive Officer, PCBL says, “This award represents the culmination of months of journalism training and planning specifically for events of significance to the Pacific.  PCBL is committed to ensuring a Pacific lens is used in news and storytelling, but more importantly that those stories reach other parts of the world.  The ABU partnership enables us to amplify the Pacific voice to a wider broadcasting community.”