Cook Islands News appoints new editor and senior journalists

Friday August 28, 2020 Written by Published in Local
New editor Rashneel Kumar, with journalists Melina Etches, Losirene Lacanivalu, Katrina Tanirau and Emmanuel Samoglou. 20082705 New editor Rashneel Kumar, with journalists Melina Etches, Losirene Lacanivalu, Katrina Tanirau and Emmanuel Samoglou. 20082705

Cook Islands News has appointed senior journalist Rashneel Kumar to lead the paper through a challenging time for the country and the world.

He will be supported by an experienced team: Katrina Tanirau, herself a former newspaper editor, is stepping up to the role of associate editor.

Long-serving Cook Islands journalist Melina Etches has taken up new responsibilities reporting on the villages and puna; Losirene Lacanivalu will be both reporting and editing the website. Emmanuel Samoglou rejoined the paper this week, as senior journalist and online director responsible for the roll-out of a new website this coming month.

Together, the five have nearly 19 years’ experience reporting at Cook Islands News.

Kumar said the paper had a long legacy of producing robust, high-quality journalism at community and national level. “The newspaper is guided by principles that promote fair, accurate and balanced reporting.

“I am excited to lead a talented group of journalists and looking forward to working with them in maintaining the high standard of journalism that my predecessors have produced over the years.

“I would like to thank departing editor Jonathan Milne for his guidance and the quality and professional journalism he brought to this newspaper. He has set a high standard.

“I would also like to thank owners John and Liz Woods for having faith in me and trusting me with this opportunity.”

Tanirau said working at Cook Islands News had reinvigorated her passion for journalism, “especially in a community where looking out for one another is authentic and what is most important. The privilege of telling people's stories is one I don't take for granted and I’m grateful to those who have already shared their worlds with me and I look forward to getting to know more of the iti tangata who make Cook Islands the magical place it is.”

Samoglou said: “I have always had fond memories of working as a journalist in Rarotonga, and it's a unique twist of fate that this pandemic has brought me back. I’m looking forward to playing a part in rolling out the new website, as well as building and enhancing the paper's digital offerings.”

Publisher John Woods acknowledged the new appointees. Kumar had given the company exemplary service for five years  – his second stint after first volunteering to help report the Pacific Mini Games in 2009.

Tanirau brought a strong background in te Reo and tikanga Maori in New Zealand.  And Samoglou had previously served as the paper’s political reporter before going to the United Arab Emirates where he specialised in digital news media.

Kumar succeeds Jonathan Milne, who is moving with his family to New Zealand, to take up a role as editor of Newsroom Pro. “One of my enduring memories of my time with this team at Cook Islands News will be their principled journalism and their deep engagement with this community,” Milne said.


  • Comment Link Tibwere Bobo Friday, 04 September 2020 02:11 posted by Tibwere Bobo

    Mauri mai Kiribati

    Congratulations to the team. I always keep a fresh memory of a former editor of this very popular paper, Alex Short, when we were among a group of Pacific islands reporters getting together at USP In Suva where we took over the news reporting jobs for the USP Bulletin in the late 1980s. If Mr Short is around there please pass on my best regards to him. May God bless Cook Islands News and news team. Tekeraoi to all.

  • Comment Link Sheila Lasibori Monday, 31 August 2020 02:40 posted by Sheila Lasibori

    Congrats Rashneel,
    I knew him at USP Laucala campus, Suva, 2018.
    And congrats to the rest of the team.


  • Comment Link Elenoa Friday, 28 August 2020 15:26 posted by Elenoa

    Congratulations Rash and Losirene and team.

  • Comment Link Tori Friday, 28 August 2020 14:59 posted by Tori

    Well done, my friend!

  • Comment Link Richard Moore Friday, 28 August 2020 13:20 posted by Richard Moore

    Terrific news. Well done to Rashneel. He is an excellent journalist.

  • Comment Link Tony Jamieson Friday, 28 August 2020 12:37 posted by Tony Jamieson

    Brilliant. Thoroughly deserved.
    Keep up the great work Rush.

  • Comment Link Roger. Dieudonne Friday, 28 August 2020 12:07 posted by Roger. Dieudonne

    Kia orana. Love you all
    Very please to be able to see a face behind the news
    Been to raro four time in two years I never imagined it would be so hard to come back a
    Fifth time
    On my last trip I stop by the office and I think I talk to Katrina few minutes.
    I think it was about a young lady who died on the road
    Anyway I would like to come back one more time before I kike the backet
    Just an expression from California when you reach the point past the 80
    Love you guys
    See you soon

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