Misa Vicky Lepou, a former multimedia journalist and current journalism lecturer has been appointed as Head of Media and Communication Department at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S).
Misa will be responsible for providing strong academic leadership within the Department and the Faculty of Arts in which the Media and Communication Department is housed under.
Her appointment has also received numerous congratulatory messages from the media and education industries in the region.
“Congratulations Misa, a long overdue appointment,” Founder of Avaiki Nius and Editor of Pacific Freedom Forum Jason Brown said. “Big congratulations and best wishes at the top.”
Forum Fisheries Agency Media Officer, Lisa Williams whom Misa have worked together in various workshops in the region said: “Malo and congrats on the next level.”
“Congratulations Vicky. An opportunity to lead and put in place the things you've always had in your heart for Journalism students and N.U.S,” said Website Coordinator for Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (P.A.C.M.A.S) Ellenson Taurakoto.
Misa’s former Broadcast Lecturer during her university years at U.S.P. Dr. Mark Hayes also sent a congratulatory message: “Very well done, Misa Vicky. Excellent news indeed. Every success in your new and challenging role.”
Even from N.U.S. Pro Chancellor who was also Misa’s former Principal at the then Catholic Senior School had this to say: “Congrats and well deserved Misa”.
The former television producer and news reporter has a lot on her plate now to lead and manage the department’s limited resources especially the Media and Journalism Programme.
Following the news of another budget cut this year from the newly appointed Director of N.U.S Finance, Misa is optimistic that there is hope out there for media and communication development. “There is funding opportunities available to anyone anywhere and anytime if we set our goals and priorities right,” Misa told N.U.S. Media. “Even if we set (those) to take us to the right path, if donors see it that we cannot deliver, we can’t be choosers in the end.”
“We are grateful of our established partners like UNESCO and PACMAS for always assisting us in the development of this programme,” Misa added. “There is more to it than media work; as an institution we need the support of the public to respect the role of the media and how we communicate development in simple messages.”
“It was never a dream to hold a higher position for any personal reasons as I have always been supporting and do the ground work of ensuring that we do produce at least the much needed graduates to fill in the industry.”
“There is still a lot of work to be done in this area to ensure that the industry gets the number expected to fill in those newsrooms.”
“I have been in the institution for so long that I began to feel it is time to step up and take the lead. It is also about time that the (media and journalism) studies to advance its qualifications. Given that, we need more qualified lecturers and personnel to assist the programme in delivering its multi-outputs.”
When asked what those mulit-ouputs were, Misa added that the Media and Journalism Programme is currently delivering two media outlets which is the N.U.S. Media and Journalism School Facebook Page that delivers immediate news events daily as well as the Campus Radio Station. The Programme also needs to look at having a real campus newspaper that serves the purpose of disseminating information across all sectors of the university especially having the students feel what a real newspaper is like.”
“There is more than just teaching, you are required as a lecturer to research and contribute to the community.”
Author of the Samoan Chapter in the World Press Freedom Report in 2012 titled: Punitive media laws vs. rhetoric of free speech, Misa is currently co-authoring a research paper along with Journalism educators from James Cook University in Townsville titled “Journalism Education in the Tropics of the Oceania (Indo-Pacific) Region”.
Media HOD, Misa Vicky Lepou