Learning the fundamentals of journalism as a biology and chemistry student

By Paea Halatanu Nawaqatabu

Be open minded and flexible because things don’t always go as planned. Relax and don’t panic because we’re working as a team. We have great mentors and professionals that are guiding us well. Have a companion to accompany you during your interviews for safety precautions. 

Avoid procrastination by asking as many questions as possible to see if you’re actually doing the right thing, instead of thinking you’re doing the right thing and it ends up being the wrong thing. 😂

After uploading audio to Trint, clean the whole script then edit audio. You will thank yourself for correcting the one-hour script because the software has some errors. It saves you time and hassle from being confused. Bonus: It will help your mentor, audio engineer and editor find a better quote when you make your first and final submissions.

Research for two to three days using textbooks, history records and science articles then review questions about five times.

I’m lacking a bridge between scientific writing and journalism writing. I need to build that bridge as a science journalist. I panic when I’m only dealing with my subject’s personal observations and opinions. In science we always need to state published scientific journal articles to support our hypothesis. If you say something, what is your source? Some of the courses I took were in marine science and they are very strict, so I’m always reflecting back. I’m not a perfect student but it’s hard to unlearn what I’ve been taught so I’m constantly thinking, “Hold on please, let me refer to published scientific journal articles first.” I don’t want my science lecturers to be disappointed if they read my work, I will be very embarrassed. And since I’m the only science student doing this, I’m indirectly representing the Faculty of Science. Stories always find their way back to our lecturers, one way or another. 

Please watch this video. Neil deGrasse Tyson makes very important points. 

By Paea Halatanu Nawaqatabu

Paea Halatanu Nawaqatabu is a biology and chemistry student at the University of the South Pacific. She was born and raised in Suva, Fiji Islands. She also takes intermediate French at Alliance Française de Suva. She is a social networking services supporter for the Embassy of Korea in Fiji. During her spare time, she enjoys enhancing her Japanese and Korean language skills as well as designing Fijian fans. She is free-spirited.

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