David Robie on The News Manual and The Pacific Journalist books for the region


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By David Ingram

Over the years, one of the Pacific region’s most respected journalism educators, Professor David Robie, has said some very kind things about The News Manual.

Our association goes back a long way. He was supportive of our work at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and later headed the journalism programme there. It might, therefore, be thought that his praise has been coloured by friendship.

However, anyone who knows Professor Robie knows him to be a long-time proponent of objective journalism, so we have always accepted his comments in that spirit of objectivity.

We do, however, take advantage of that friendship to give the following extracts from some of his references to The News Manual in books and conference papers over the years.

In 2001 he published The Pacific Journalist: A practical guide at the University of the South Pacific, in which he quoted from several sections of The News Manual.

In his acknowledgments he wrote: “I thank UPNG’s late journalism co-ordinator Peter Henshall and David Ingram … for the example set by The News Manual in 1991. This has served the region well. It inspired me to produce a ‘millennium generation’ book as a successor.”

More recently, in a 2007 paper presented at the 16th AMIC Annual Conference/1st World Journalism Education Congress titled “Foreign aid in Pacific media education: Panacea or Pandora’s box?“, he set the advent of The News Manual in the context of a period when journalism education in the Pacific flourished.

He wrote: “For three years, until 1991, UPNG became the hub for regional industry short-course media training as well as formal journalism education while the university hosted the US$1 million PACJOURN project.

“This was a productive and cooperative era for Pacific journalism education with a series of short courses being conducted in the region.

“The period climaxed with publication of a three-volume Pacific journalism textbook, The News Manual (Henshall & Ingram, 1992), which became the key training publication in the region for a decade.”

Republished with permission from The News Manual website.

Cafe Pacific Publisher
Cafe Pacific Publisher
Café Pacific's duty editor.
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