Starting new Newspaper

It’s been almost a month since the end of the fellowship program we attended at the Asia Pacific Journalism Center in Melbourne.

All the fellows who participated in the five weeks (six for Indonesian colleagues) program are back at work and I suppose implementing what learned from the fellowship.

This may be a shock to some. But I haven’t been back to my place of work since being back in Port Vila, the Vanuatu capital where I am.

Instead, I’ve ventured into media business. A colleague and myself, both used to work for Capitol FM107 radio and the company’s weekly Vanuatu Times newspaper, have started our own newspaper.  (Tried to affix a pix of the front page of issue 1 on this space, but internet connection keeps being interrupted).

Reasons for my leaving were briefly mentioned at the sessions with Torrey Orton, but I’d rather not go back there.

Anyhow, my business partner is Moses Stevens, who’s currently the President of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).

We’ve decided to revive a newspaper called ‘The ni-Vanuatu” he published for a year in 2004/5 but suspended work due to other increased work commitments.

The word ‘ni-Vanuatu’ is the nationality name of a citizen of the Republic of Vanuatu.

As a start, we’ve decided to do 16 pages for the mid-week paper, the first issue   came out on Wednesday, June 08 and the second this morning.

Our focus for the paper is to empower ni-Vanuatu to take up challenges, to find opportunities, to work, to make a better living.

To try and implement some of the things learned at the fellowship, we’ve included a business page to start things off.

It would be good to hear from everyone and we’d welcome any ideas or moral support as we venture into this road we know will be full of challenges.

5 thoughts on “Starting new Newspaper

  1. luther

    Hi Jonas, how are you?
    Glad to read this story from your country. Why The ni Vanuatu suspend before? Is newspaper politic content or general?
    I hear that to published newspaper need to much capital? It’s true?
    Hope you work will exist again and as you said, make better living with better future ….ha..ha..haa

    Luther Kembaren

    1. Jonas Cullwick

      Hai Luther!! It’s been a while hasn’t it? hehe! I believe I haven’t answered your questions from
      your last response to my blog on Starting New Newspaper. You asked why The ni-Vanuatu was
      suspended publishing before?… well, the man who was doing the paper was tied up in a lot of
      other things like being elected to head our Media Association of Vanuatu (MAV) and being
      busy setting up and strengthening the association and becoming a Board member of the Pacific
      Islands News Association (PINA), of which he is now the President.

      The main focus of the paper is empowering ni-Vanuatu (Vanuatu citizens) either to go into
      business or the youth to become good citizens or have a voice and all that sort of stuff.. you’d
      probably say mostly general stuff. But, yes, the focus is empowering ni-Vanuatu.

      Yes, you’re right…it’s incedibly expensive to start a new newspaper but we were luck because
      most of the furniture, computor, office space and the such from the first volume of the paper
      were still in place. So we just got down and got started from where the paper last left off.

      Luther, it is quite a challenge taking off on our own like this, and we’re taking each week as it
      comes. This week we’re publishing the 7th issue of the paper.

      There you are Luther, thankyou for your interest.

      Please pass on my Beeeeeeeeest wishes to Maria! hahaha!! bye!


  3. jtoposona

    Hi Jonas I am glad to hear that you are already implementing what you have learnt. Well I would pleased in anyway should you request. We are all here to support each other. Story ideas are welcomed should you need any. Keep up the good working spirit!

    1. Jonas Cullwick

      Hey Sam. Wow! thank you so much for your encouraging comments. I’ll arm myself with them as
      we face up to the daily challenges we face with this business. You’re a good friend and
      colleague in this most interesting of industries…. a bit of bias there for you.. haha!!!
      Cheers and have a great week! bye!

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