Journalists@Work: Gary Hatigeva in the Solomon Islands
Environmental journalist Gary Scott Hatigeva lives in the Solomon Islands, a remote tropical country in the South Pacific about 2,000 km north-east of Australia. Much of the population of the Solomons lives in rural villages dispersed over hundreds of islands and many people still have little access to the media. For the past four years, Gary has worked as a reporter, photographer, online editor and graphic designer for The Island Sun, one of the two major newspapers in the Solomon Islands. During his day to day work, Gary is involved with the paper’s editing team, and on occasion stands in as assistant editor. He also takes photographs for the paper and edits them for publications. Gary wrote to onMedia about his work and journalism interests.
Do you have a personal motto for your journalistic work?
Be prepared for anything as it can become something.
Is there a situation, interview or story that has changed your life?
Yes, there are many actually but there is one that really moved me and changed my life. It has also changed my perspective on our earth and the people living on it. This was when I covered the issue of climate change and went to interview some of the people who were affected by it. During my trip I realized that truly, climate change is happening right in front of our eyes but we never seemed to notice or care. On an island I traveled to, I discovered first-hand that parts of the island had already gone underwater. But this happened just within a three year span. From then on, I have been reminding myself about how I can help reduce my own environmental impact and how I approach the issue of climate change.
What do you love about your work?
I love that I get to meet new people almost every day, both good and bad. Another awesome thing about my work is that there are always new and mesmerizing people to get connected with and places to discover.
And what do you dislike about your work?
What I hate is when more than 50 percent of our population is media shy, which means in many cases, I don’t get what I want even if it’s only for a soft story.
Your journalistic dream would be…?
To further my study as a journalist and as an environmental reporter.
What’s your most important work tool?
What do you still want to learn? Is there a question about your profession that you keep asking yourself?
How I could utilise the available avenues I’m using to involve our clients and customers but most importantly, the silent majority in our country.
Which websites do you visit every day?
I spend like an hour or two on Facebook almost every day to interview people including sources, while at the same time updating our paper’s Facebook page. I also go on Twitter for tips and Google for updates on the latest and recent news/happenings in and around the Pacific region. But after attending a DW Akademie training in Fiji last year, I also now go online to search relevant photos on Flicker – a highly recommendable site for online writers and journalists.
If you could write a text message to the world, what would it be?
Let’s help make a difference in the lives of our vulnerable people!