Pacific Media Centre focuses on reporting wars and dangers for journalists, aid workers


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David Robie has played a key role in establishing the Pacific Media Centre as part of the Creative Industries Research Institute (CIRI) with a commitment in 2007 to boosting Māori, Pasifika, ethnic and other New Zealand media research and publication.

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The Pacific Journalism Review, the only journal to investigate media issues in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, is expanding its interest to the broader impact of contemporary media practice and education.

The peer-reviewed journal which is published twice-yearly is a primary research output of the Pacific Media Centre (PMC) and is edited by the centre’s founding director Associate Professor David Robie.

Dr Robie says while one objective of the journal is research into Pacific journalism theory and practice, it is also expanding its interest into new areas of research and inquiry that reflect the broader impact of contemporary media practice and education.

The May 2010 issue of the journal, with the theme “Reporting Wars”, includes articles on trends in war reporting, the relationship between journalists and aid workers and the experiences of New Zealand journalists covering overseas conflicts.

Spotlight on war reporting safety.     Video: Pacific Media Centre

Previous issues have focused on “The Public Right to Know” (October 2009) and “Diversity, Identity and the Media” (May 2009).

Another of the PMC’s activities is maintaining Pacific Media Watch, a digital archive of dispatches about Pacific journalism and media, which has been run by centre staff and postgraduate students since 2008.

It also jointly publishes the high profile independent Pacific Scoop news website with Scoop Media, with contributions from postgraduate students and analysis from respected regional academics.

The Pacific Media Centre (Te Amokura) was established in 2007 as part of the university’s Creative Industries Research Institute. The centre focuses on Māori, Pasifika and ethnic diversity media as well as community development.

It also collaborates with other Asia-Pacific media centres, including the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism and the University of the South Pacific regional journalism programme.

The PMC has about a dozen researchers and research associates, who include leading media academics from the Pacific, and working journalists. Among them is Jon Stephenson, who has reported on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and natural disasters including the 2004 Asia-Pacific tsunami.

Another working journalist associated with the PMC, is masters in communication studies scholar and journalist  Selwyn Manning, co-editor of Pacific Scoop. The PMC will stage an inaugural conference in December that looks at a number of issues central to the media in this region and internationally.

Conference chair Associate Professor David Robie says the three-day Media, Investigative Journalism & Technology event will have a multidisciplinary programme aimed at attendees from around the world.

“This international conference is dedicated to bringing together the diverse aspects of media in an open forum for interdisciplinary collaboration and networking,” says Associate Professor Robie.

The event is intended to advance the centre’s mission of promoting informed journalism and media research to contribute to economic, political and social development in the region.

Keynote speakers will include Nepali journalist Kunda Dixit, who worked for the BBC in New York and reported in the Pacific as Asia-Pacific director of Inter Press Service, and Professor Wendy Bacon, an Australian investigative journalist and media lawyer with a long history of campaigning on free speech issues.

Bacon is a director of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at Sydney’s University of Technology which, along with the University of the South Pacific regional journalism programme, is a PMC collaboration partner.

She has contributed to the Pacific Journalism Review.

Republished from The New Zealand Herald under the title “Promoting informed journalism”.

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