Pacific Media Watch – The Genesis


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Reported and presented by Sri Krishnamurthi

“It’s a bit of a lighthouse” for vital regional news and information, says Alex Perrottet, a former contributing editor summing up the value of the Pacific Media Centre’s Pacific Media Watch freedom project for New Zealand and Pacific journalism.

Pacific Media Watch – The Genesis is a 15-minute mini documentary that tells the story of this project launched by two people at the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Papua New Guinea in 1996 and adopted by Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Media Centre in 2007.

The project has become a challenging professional development opportunity for AUT postgraduate students seeking to develop specialist skills in Asia-Pacific journalism.

It is was launched by Professor David Robie, then head of the UPNG journalism programme in Port Moresby and Peter Cronau, editor of Reportage investigative magazine at UTS.

Now Dr Robie is director of the Auckland-based PMC and Cronau is an award-winning senior producer of the ABC’s flagship Four Corners investigative journalism programme.

The catalyst for Pacific Media Watch was the jailing of the “Tongan Three” – founding editor of the Taimi ‘o Tonga Kalafi Moala, his deputy Filokalafi Akau’ola, pro-democracy MP ‘Akilisi Pohiva, now Prime Minister of Tonga – for contempt of Parliament in 1996.

So far nine postgraduate student contributing editors and two reporters have been trained on the PMW project, and between them at least 11 awards have been won at the annual Ossie Awards for the cream of student journalism in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

Documentary makers Blessen Tom and Sri Krishnamurthi tell their story.

Camera/Editor/Producer: Blessen Tom
Reporter/Interviewer: Sri Krishnamurthi
Executive producer: Dr David Robie

Kalafi Moala, founding editor/publisher of Taimi ‘o Tonga
Alex Perrottet, Radio New Zealand
Alistar Kata, Tagata Pasifika
Daniel Drageset, National Police Immigration Service, Norway
Michael Andrew, current PMW contributing editor
Peter Cronau, ABC Four Corners, co-founder of PMW
Dr David Robie, director of PMC and co-founder of PMW

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