'Bearing Witness' – a Pacific climate change journalism research and publication initiative

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Report by Pacific Media Centre

The Pacific Media Centre was awarded a Small Research Grant by the Research Innovations Office (RIO) in late November 2015.

This enabled the Centre to embark on a three-fold initiative under its “Bearing Witness” project by (1) linking with a Baseline 16 Pacific countries media and climate change project in partnership with the University of the South Pacific Journalism Programme, (2) establishing a Climate Change section on the Centre’s new current affairs website Asia Pacific Report, and (3) sending one current student and one honours graduate on a two-week climate change mission to Fiji for two weeks during the mid-semester break.

The first phase of the project was to link with the two-year University of the South Pacific Media and Climate Change baseline research project at the end of 2015. In January 2016, part of the funding was used to establish our climate change platform for regional reporting on the Centre’s new current affairs website.

The third phase was to dispatch Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies (Journalism) student Ami Dhabuwala and BCS (Honours) graduate TJ Aumua (selected after contested selection process and interview) to Suva to be attached to the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD) where they joined masters and PhD students on climate change research projects during the mid-semester break, April 17-30.

Ami and TJ undertook to do a series of reports on climate change in Fiji and the Pacific.

They also visited a remote village (Daku in Tailevu) to research and report on how climate change has impacted on the people’s lives.  Their series of reports, audio and video are now a public resources and can be accessed here on Storify

The future. It is planned that the students work will be linked to a major five-year “Bearing Witness” microsite public resource project in association with Little Island Press.

Collaboration partners:

University of the South Pacific Journalism Programme

Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development (PACE-SD)

Little Island Press community and Pacific publishers

Asia Pacific Report

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