SMR Training 2022 Days 1 and 2: Pacific storytelling and POA review

Joe Faga and Johnson Raela conducting a q & a session with training attendees

In September 2022, Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL) hosted this year’s virtual Strengthening Media Resilience (SMR) training programme over four days. The programme built upon previous training initiatives hosted by PCBL including journalism, production, and media exchange programmes. This year’s programme was attended by 162 participants, an increase on last year of 20%, from 25 Pacific broadcasters.

With the increased attendance, more than half of participants had not taken part in training programmes offered by PCBL in the past, indicating an increasing need and appetite for skills development being met by these programmes.

Day One – Pacific Story Telling

Day one was facilitated by Joe Faga, who focused on the importance of Pacific stories being told by the Pacific, emphasising “if you don’t tell the stories of our Pasifika, someone else will.”

Joe covered the skills needed to create those stories including pre- to post-production and effective team development strategies, while providing his experiences and engaging participants to share their own examples. While the main content was technical and procedural in nature, the overarching message was to reinforce the idea of story sovereignty and that there is no one better than Pacific to share its own stories.

Day one was well received by the attendants with feedback including messages such as “I absolutely loved today’s session,” and, “seeing more broadcasters today makes telling our stories worthwhile.”

Day Two – Pasifika On Air review

The second day was led by Sunpix Managing Director Stephen Stehlin, who were commissioners of PCBL’s inaugural Pasifika On Air (POA) programme and have been instrumental in guiding POA participants through the development of their documentaries.  Stephen’s sessions showed examples from POA episodes, highlighting the success of each one, what was learned, and discussing the storytelling techniques used.

Sunpix’s Stephen Stehlin chatting to Johnson Raela

Additionally, Stephen developed upon Joe’s storytelling sessions by covering the process of scripting and skills needed to build a story, while inviting attendees to share their own experiences.

Day two also resulted in positive feedback saying Stephen provided valuable insights into documentary making and that the sharing of experiences by participants was great.