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Auckland transforms into media hub

The annual workshop was hosted by OFC at its headquarters from November 24-27 and was attended by Brian Vitolio (American Samoa), Pauline Dean (Cook Islands), Moiz Munif (Fiji), Seamus Marten (New Zealand), David Kaseng (Papua New Guinea), Joseph Boso (Solomon Islands), Nicolas Vallar (Tahiti), Teaki Heimuli (Tonga) and Harry Atisson (Vanuatu).
The workshop was led by OFC head of media and communications Daniel Markham and head of OFC TV Olivier Huc, who were joined by media and communications coordinators Xavier Audu and Jacqueline Tran Van, along with OFC TV director Tia Soakai and technical director Billy Kapoor.
Markham says the benefits of hosting such a gathering are two-fold.
“It is a good opportunity for all the media officers from across the OFC member associations to come together and share some of their experiences, as well as learn some new skills and receive advice from experienced professionals who are leaders in their field. We were fortunate to have some excellent guest speakers who all gave outstanding presentations and we are very grateful to them for giving up their time.
“It also gives us the chance to hear about the progress of the media officers in their respective countries and learn some of the challenges facing them. We can then look at ways of overcoming those challenges and providing them with anything they might need to do their jobs as professionally as possible.”
Among those giving presentations during the workshop were media consultant Gordon Glen Watson, radio host Miles Davis, freelance photographer Shane Wenzlick and New Zealand Golf media and PR manager Peter Thornton.
Amongst this year’s participants was Nicolas Vallar, who works in the media department for the Fédération Tahitienne de Football and is also captain of the Tahiti national team. He says he was able to learn a lot from the presenters and other participants.
“From a footballer’s perspective, it has been interesting to see what happens on the other side of the barrier, which is to say from the journalists’ side,” Vallar says.
“It has been very interesting and I think it is going to be beneficial, especially for me going to the FIFA Confederations Cup with the Tahiti team, learning what we can say and what not to say as players.”
Also in attendance was Papua New Guinea Football Association media officer David Kaseng, who says he is looking forward to applying what he learned upon his return to his home country.
“I found the television and writing skills very useful as those are two things I spend a lot of time on in my role with the PNGFA,” he says.
As well as writing articles for the PNGFA website, Kaseng also produces and presents Soka Xtra, a short magazine-style football show with the latest news and results from around Papua New Guinea.
The first OFC media officer workshop was held in 2010 in Auckland and great improvements in the coverage of football across the Pacific have taken place since then. Each of the 11 OFC member associations now have their own websites while print, television and radio coverage has also increased greatly.

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