HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Maria Tanner spends 5 minutes with ... Arrun Soma

Visiting One News reporter Arrun Soma on his recent holiday break in Rarotonga dropped into CITV and where we stole away to Salsa Cafe so the self described "softie" could share with me how he broke into the thick skinned world of lights, cameras and action.

Cutting his teeth at only 16 it was Arruns next door neighbor and family friend that had suggested to the young student that he gain some work experience and accompany her to work, taking up the offer Arrun landed "star struck" in the middle of the TVNZ studios and would spend the next two years observing and familiarizing himself with the break neck speed of the media industry. "I pretty much fell in love," Arrun tells me, "While I thought it would be a great career, I never really thought that I would do it, my parents just had different plans for me."
Studying Psychology for a year in Wellington and failing miserably," yeah it’s true, I got an E," he laughs in disbelief, "what is that!” Arrun wanted to avoid the mistake of continuing to study a profession of which he had no real interest so to set his goals high and applied to the New Zealand Broadcasting School notorious for churning out a number of New Zealand journalist and reporters. Culling an intake of 16 from the hundred odd that applied Arrun was amongst the small few accepted which was the cause of many family arguments for the aspiring journalist.
"Being Indian and growing up in New Zealand here was definitely that cultural pressure, my father didn’t agree with what I was doing and was concerned that I wouldn’t have a job, or I wouldn’t be paid well, but I just had to put my foot down," say the big softie, "it (journalism) was my passion and so I had to pursue it and not let anyone hold me back."
Arrun, a Wellingotnian through and true, completed his two years of study and in due course and fulfilled the goal of landing an internship giving him a well placed foot in the door with one of New Zealand’s leading television networks, TVNZ.
When the 2011 Christchurch earthquake hit its effects resonated throughout the world, it not only shook the Canterbury plains but the very heart of an emotional Arrun, “something very serious had just happened in my country and my generation,” he says furrowing his brow, “being able to document on what’s happening at the time, and in a way history, well that’s really quite special.”

“Meeting people, that’s the best part of what I do,” Arrun shares with me, “it's a real privilege just being able to cover some of the stories,” he lights up. Throughout his years the wellington based, self prescribed emotional reporter has grown accustomed to his work environment rolling with the punches, “there are times when people will tell you “You’re a journalist oh I hate you, go away” or covering things like murder cases I always really struggle with those.” Being culturally reserved and of an ethnic minority helps shape the way Arrun views certain values, what’s true in Asian culture is true for the Pacific, “Everyone looks after everyone, you know what I mean, and if I wasn’t to get caught up emotionally well then I just wouldn’t be human.”

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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