jason browncurriculum vitaerarotonga, cook islands
Updated Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I have worked within Cook Islands news media since 4 February 1982.
Most of my experience comes from the print sector, but I have also worked in broadcasting, mainly television (CITV), and, more recently, developed my own online identity, including a baby news agency.
Over the last 24 years, I have worked at all levels of the industry, from general reporter to publisher and online editor. I consider my professional strengths to be in writing, editing, photography, design and, online publishing, possibly in that order. Politics, economics, health and governance issues in all sectors of society form the basis for most of my stories.
In the last year or so, I have been prying myself away from the joys of national reporting and begun nibbling at more regional issues. This has been, quite frankly, a mostly overwhelming experience so far. However, I am finding that national issues are beginning to make much more sense when set in a national and indeed international context.
Rather than just a weakness, I also believe that coming from a small island background gives me strong empathy for community-based initiatives exposing themselves to regional programmes.
editor avaiki news agency stringer Islands Business International stringer Spasifik magazine, Aotearoa stringer 531 PI radio station, Aotearoa writer Escape Cook Islands, tourism magazine stringer Radio New Zealand International
jul 2005 Began coverage of nuclear testing legacy issues.
feb 2005 Coverage of February by-elections in French Polynesia that saw the historic election of a pro-independence candidate, Oscar Temaru. IBI cover story.
nov 2004 Completed country researcher duties for the Situational Analysis and Needs Assessment for the 14 country AusAID-funded Pacific Media and Communication Facility.
aug 2004 Volunteer photographer, Calendar Girls Project, Cook Islands Breast Cancer Foundation.
jul 2004 Official Photographer for Tauranga Vananga, the Ministry of Cultural Development at Te Maeva Nui 2004, the 39th Constitution Celebration Cultural Competition.
dec 2002 Editor, Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation founding report. Volunteer / consultant for monthly PIAF bulletins for four months.
jun 2002 Reporter, 14th International AIDS Conference, Barcelona, Spain for Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation.
feb 2002 Chief Reporter, weekly Cook Islands Star. Stories lead to historic inquest into sudden hospital deaths. Paper closed by Lali Media due to group cost constraints.
nov 2000 Editor, Annual Report, Pacific Islands Business Trust, Auckland, New Zealand.
mar 2000 Reporter, Cook Islands News, story on corruption that lead to prosecution of Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister.
aug 1999 Reporter, Islands Business, Cook Islands general elections, cover story.
jul 1997 Helped establish and invite founding membership for Cook Islands Media Council, a public complaints body.
jan 1997 Publisher, Cook Islands Press, assisted with industry and public petition against proposed Media Standards Bill (withdrawn).
oct 1996 Publisher, Cook Islands Press, co-awardee (with then 126 year old Fiji Times) of the Pacific Islands News Association’s Freedom of Information Award.
jul 1996 Press attaché, Cook Islands squad, Atlanta Olympic Games.
mar 1996 Publisher, Cook Islands Press, exposed constitutional amendment (withdrawn) that would have removed high court protection for permanent residents.
mar 1995 Publisher, Cook Islands Press, joint investigation with Television New Zealand on the us$1.1 billion Letters of Guarantee scam. Threatened with deportation by Prime Minister.
jul 1994 Reporter, CITV, Cook Islands general elections.
nov 1990 Best typist award, Pacific Islands Journalism Course.
feb 1989 Public Relations Officer, Government of the Cook Islands. Resigned after 10 months to take journalism course.
oct 1988 Publisher, Cook Islands Press election-only special (seven issues), Cook Islands general elections.
mar 1986 Sacked from state-owned Cook Islands News for “biting the hand that feeds you (Prime Minister Sir Thomas Davis KBE).” Offending story pointed out that Speech from the Throne to mark the ceremonial opening of Parliament was word-for-word the same from the previous year, including the fact that the “outer islands are on the verge of a huge agricultural expansion.”
Aug 1985 Editor, 16 page Sports Section, South Pacific Mini Games, Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
jul 1983 Photographer for daily Cook Islands News coverage of Constitution Celebrations cultural competitions.
feb 1982 My first ever story was on Space Invader machines – are kids stealing money to play? Or are parents giving them money to stay away?
education, training, meetings
My journalistic education would have started much earlier, in the first year of the Pacific Islands Journalism Course in 1983, with the Cooks awarded the first island scholarship. I was first in line for training according to management. However I missed out (and fair enough I felt, even at the time) because I was a papa’a (European).
1981 High school drop-out.
1990 Pacific Island Journalism Course, Manukau Polytechnic, Aotearoa.
1992 Sub-editing workshop, SPC, Fiji.
1993 Pacific Journalists Association inaugural (and nearly only) meeting.
1994 Pacific Islands News Association AGM, Cooks delegate, Samoa.
1998 Pacific Islands News Association AGM, Cooks delegate, Tahiti.
1999 Pacific Islands News Association AGM, Cooks delegate, Fiji.
2000 Strengthening National Media Associations conference, AUSaid, PINA, Fiji.
2003 Pacific Islands News Association AGM, Cooks delegate, Samoa.
2005 Mainstreaming Gender Issues workshop, SPC, PINA and NZAID, Suva, Fiji.
It is hard to separate my job from my private life when its sheer variety leads me down so many interesting paths different from own. But activities outside strictly reportable interests include cycling and discussing faith and spirituality with wandering missionaries.
I have two beautiful children, Jim, 23 and Mikaera, 7. Separated and on even better terms with wife, Barbara.
An earlier (Sunday 1st August 2004) version of this CV can be found here.