After gaining a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney, Australian-born Alex Perrottet worked in law for a few years before pursuing a career in journalism.
He came to AUT and gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism and went on to complete his Master of Communication Studies. Alex decided to come to AUT to embark on his journalism career and combine that with one of his passions - the Pacific.
Growing up, Alex visited Pacific countries through his father's work and volunteer projects. After frequent community service trips, he ended up running projects himself, spending up to three weeks at a time living in a range of remote villages.
Beginning his thesis, Alex began extensively researching the definition of the term ‘Development Journalism’ to create his own definition. He then looked to a Pacific context to test this definition to see whether it was being practiced in various media outlets. He chose five newspapers and analysed their content: The Fiji Sun, The Fiji Times, The Vanuatu Independent and The Vanuatu Daily Post. He also used The New Zealand Herald as a comparison.
Analysing a month of coverage of before, during and after the Pacific Island Forum in Auckland in 2011, Alex found that Development Journalism is a news value in the Pacific. Alex was able to reveal the way this news value was being reported and the way it could be reported in the future.
While he was undertaking his Master's thesis, Alex was the Contributing Editor of Pacific Media Watch at AUT's Pacific Media Centre. During this time he won an award for the best online current affairs report in the Journalism Education of Australia Awards for a series of reports on reconstruction in Samoa one year after the 2009 tsunami.
In 2011, Alex co-authored the Pacific Media Watch and Pacific Journalism Review, Pacific Media Freedom Report 2011, alongside Professor David Robie.
Alex is now a reporter in for RNZ Pacific and says his motivation is just a love for the Islands themselves. After travelling there with youthful enthusiasm, he quickly developed a passion for the various cultures and their development needs.
“I think many people could be switched on to the Islands – not only in a tourism sense – there is so much more they have to offer!”