Report by Pacific Media Centre
David Robie, Pacific Media Centre
Saturday, August 13, 2016
For two decades, this paper presenter has been an initiator of a series of independent newspapers based in prominent South Pacific journalism programmes hosted in three universities. All of the publications have played an ‘activist’ role in raising issues of social justice and campaigning for more critical and challenging assignments for student media in the context of coups, civil war, climate change, development and neo-colonialism. All of the publications have won awards for their brand of journalism. Starting with the University of Papua New Guinea’s Uni Tavur in 1993 and the Sandline mercenary crisis, the models have progressed through Wansolwara at the University of the South Pacific (award-winning coverage of the 2000 George Speight attempted coup), to Pacific Scoop for six years at Auckland University of Technology with extensive coverage of human rights violations in Fiji and West Papua. The Pacific Scoop venture has now morphed into a new and distinctive independent venture for the digital era, Asia Pacific Report launched in January 2016. This series of case studies will sketch out the evolution of these newspapers and how the collective experience of citizen journalism, digital engagement and an innovative public empowerment journalism course based at AUT’s Pacific Media Centre has developed a unique social change publication. The presentation will traverse some of the region’s thorny political and social issues, and engage with the evolving theory behind the publications (Robie, 2004, 2006, 2012, 2014) such as reflected in deliberative journalism, human rights and other models (Obijiofor & Hanusch, 2011; Romano, 2010).
About the presenter:
Professor David Robie is an expert on Pacific media with experience as head of the journalism programmes at the University of the South Pacific (Fiji), University of Papua New Guinea and at the Auckland University of Technology. He is known for his commitment for using journalism to expose corruption, intransigent political regimes and has played a key role in covering freedom struggles from East Timor to the Free Papua movement. He has written extensively on the media in the Pacific and in 2015 was awarded AMIC’s Asian Communications Award for his contributions to media research and publication in the Asia-Pacific region.