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Student newspaper wins Ossie awards

Priya Chand
Thursday, December 06, 2012

University of the South Pacific's student newspaper Wansolwara managed to grab two awards at the Journalism Education Association of Australia's annual Ossie award on Tuesday night.

Wansolwara took out the "Best news story of the year" award for their Miss World pageant story written by Edward Tavanavanua and Parijata Gurdayal.

The Dr Charles Stuart prize for best publication was also won by Wansolwara.

Parijata Gurdayal, who is now the media liaison officer at the Attorney-General's chambers, said each award was special in its own way adding this one was really special because it was a story they broke.

"We were the first to report that Andhy Blake had pre-determined Torika as the winner of the Miss World Fiji pageant so a lot of time and patience was devoted to putting this piece together," she said. "It was a controversial issue and it was a great experience working on this piece."

She thanked her family, Edward Tavanavanua (another recipient), and teaching assistant Irene Manueli.

Edward Tavanavanua said he was excited to find out that they had won an award for that article.

"It's also really daunting because now there's a level of expectation — a standard from us, which is going to be challenging but at the same time good for us both."

Mr Tavanavanua said winning something had opened his eyes to the opportunities that journalism could give him and how it was so inter-connected with every aspect of life.

"I couldn't have done this without the help of Parijata, Irene Manueli and Marc Edge.

"They were all really supportive," he added.

USP's journalism lecturer Dr Marc Edge, who was in Melbourne to accept the award, said the Miss World Fiji story was the first that Edward Tavanavanua wrote for Wansolwara.

"As a cadet reporter, we paired him with a third-year student Parijata Gurdayal after he got a tip that the pageant was rigged.

"They did an excellent job in getting the story which made news across the Pacific," he said.





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