Fijian-Samoan journalist awarded for diversity reporting

TJ Aumua was presented with the SPASIFIK Magazine Prize and Storyboard Award for Diversity Reporting at AUT’s School of Communications Studies’ annual awards ceremony on April 12th.

TJ Aumua with her proud parents.


Aumua, who has a passion for the Pacific and raising the presence of indigenous and minority voices in the media, made a stirring speech about the importance of Pacific issues being raised in the media.

“When people hear the word Pacific they think of sandy beaches and holiday destinations, but when I mention Pacific Islanders or Pacific people the mood changes,” she said, recalling how peoples’ eyes roll as they conjure up images of stereotypes.

In 2013 she completed an internship at Oceania Media, where she talked about letting these kinds of stereotypes get to her  - before shaking them off to strive for excellence no matter what.

In 2015 she was in Suva on a two-week Pacific Cooperation Foundation-funded exchange with Fiji news media and Fiji National University, while completing her Honours degree in Communications.


TJ is currently the Contributing Editor for the Pacific Media Watch Freedom Project, and will be returning to Fiji in late April on a climate change project with the University of the South Pacific journalism programme.

Fellow AUT Communications Studies’ award winner Joshua Iosefo has also featured in SPASIFIK Magazine before. Iosefo took home the MediaWorks Award for Television and Screen Production Graduate of the Year with his short film Forgotten Dawn Children on the Dawn Raids. 

 Joshua Iosefo