By MICHELLE AUAMOROMORO
MICHAEL Philip was in fourth grade at Nangananga Primary School when he made up his mind to be a journalist.
Michael, now 21, from Nangananga village in Kokopo, East New Britain is the youngest in a family of four.
“Being the last born in the family was not the excuse for me to relax and not do well in school. I was matured at a very young age and started to think outside the box about what I wanted to achieve and who I wanted to become in future.”
Michael was 11 when he set his goal to be a journalist one day. He listened to news on radio and imitated reporters reading the news.
He also followed television anchors reading the news after persuading his dad to buy a television set. He studied how they presented the news on radio and television and hoped to be able to do it one day.
In 2013, Michael was selected for Grade Nine at Kokopo Secondary School. When he reached Grade 11 in 2015, he began socialising more with students. Teachers noticed how communicative and confident he had become.
“ I was matured at a very young age and started to think outside the box about what I wanted to achieve and who I wanted to become in future.”
The school board decided to make him the master of ceremony for all events held at the school.
“That same year, a big opportunity arrived for me when two double classrooms for grade 10s were burnt down. I filed the report of the incident and gave it to the local radio station.”
They asked him to read it out on live radio.
“That was the first time my voice hit the airwaves.”
NBC in ENB offered him the opportunity to be a radio announcer and sports news reporter.
He was then a student and a news reporter at the same time.
In 2016, an employee left to join TV WAN crew in Port Moresby. His departure created a space in the commentary section for the Digicel Cup franchiser Rabaul Gurias in Kokopo. The NBC team in Kokopo gave Michael the opportunity to be a commentator.
It started his commentary career and his interest in journalism grew stronger. But he made sure to balance his education with work.
He was not offered space in any tertiary institution after completing Grade 12. But school principal Paul Raia presented him the Best Media award during the graduation.
“After graduating from Kokopo Secondary School, I continued working. I also applied to institutions where I could continue my studies.”
In mid-2016, he was accepted by the IEA College of Tafe in Port Moresby to take up a Diploma in Tourism Management course for two years. He resigned from his job and flew to Port Moresby. He graduated in 2018 with a Diploma in Tourism Management.
Last year, he also attained the National Certificate One and Two in Graphics Design at the Port Moresby Technical College last year. He is now employed as a graphic artist and reporter with a local newspaper.
“Graphics and journalism are connected somehow. I didn’t realise this when I was looking for ways to become a journalist.”
He plans to pursue the National Certificate Three and Diploma in Graphics Design and Multimedia courses next year. Later he will apply to the University of PNG or Divine Word University to study journalism.
“I am happy to be where I am but this is not the end. I still have a long way to go.”