An #EqualPlayingField for Women and Sport Planned for Samoa 2019 Pacific Games

Date: Wednesday, June 26, 2019

[Joint Media Release – NUS and UN Women] 

Apia, Samoa – More than twenty journalists, journalism students and athletes are sharing media reporting good practice and social media ideas to further improve coverage of women champion athletes during the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games.

The ‘Equal Playing Field; Reporting for Women and Sport’ workshop is supported by UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) in partnership with the National University of Samoa (NUS) and the Pacific Games Office and organised through the Journalists Association of (Western) Samoa (JAWS)

Champion Samoan women athletes Press Conference in Apia, Samoa. Photo: UN Women/Jacqui Berrell

“We are so excited to support this event and to help prepare our students to be work-ready to report media and social media stories at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games,” said NUS Head of Media and Communication Department, Vicky Lepou.

“This could not come at a better time for students, to be provided with a workshop of this nature as the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games is just around the corner. We hope to provide set of journalistic skills for the students to be able to provide coverage during the Games. Exciting times ahead for the students to help promote success and achievements of women in this great event,” Ms Lepou said.

The workshop is being held from 25-27 June 2019 at the National University of Samoa (NUS), Niule’a Conference Room, with journalists and local media welcome to attend any of the three days.

Country Programme Coordinator for UN Women in Samoa, Papali’i Mele Maualaivao, explained the workshop is about encouraging the use of a gender equal, rights-based approach to media reporting.

“The aim of this workshop aim is to support journalism students, aspiring athletes, and journalists with information, existing guidelines and a knowledge exchange about fair, respectful and equal coverage of women in sport in Samoa, with a focus on the upcoming Pacific Games,” Ms Maualaivao said.

Champion Samoan women athletes Press Conference in Apia, Samoa. Photo: UN Women/Jacqui Berrell

“Evidence indicates that media and social media are powerful channels of influence in Samoa that can help shape public opinion around issues such as gender equality and so, by portraying women and men athletes equally as champion sports people, media can help shift public mindsets to view women and men more equally across all aspects of society, and not just sports.”   

During the workshop the participating women and men journalists and students are discussing the #EqualPlayingField approach to sports reporting, including the challenges and the benefits of ensuring fair reportage of women in sport and also encouraging more Samoan women sports reporters. Internship opportunities will be available to several participants who complete the course with the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games media centre and local news organizations, allowing their newfound skills to be applied professionally.

Media enquiries should be directed to:

  • Vicky Lepou, National University of Samoa (NUS) Head of Media and Communication Department, Tel: +685 7666573
  • Mele Maualaivao, UN Women, Country Programme Coordinator for UN Women in Samoa, Email: Mele .Maualaivao@unwomen.org or
    Jacqui Berrell, Communications Specialist, Email: jacqui.berrell@unwomen.org