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Pacific Media Watch

Pacific Journalism Review, the Pacific and New Zealand’s only specialist media research journal, is celebrating 30 years of publishing this year — and it will mark the occasion at the Pacific Media International Conference in Fiji in July.

Founded at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1994, PJR also published for five years at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji before moving on to AUT’s Pacific Media Centre (PMC).  It is currently being published by the Auckland-based Asia Pacific Media Network (APMN).

Founding editor Dr David Robie, formerly director of the PMC before he retired from academic life three years ago, said: “This is a huge milestone — three decades of Pacific media research, more than 1000 peer-reviewed articles and an open access database thanks to Tuwhera.


“These days the global research publishing model often denies people access to research if they don’t have access to libraries, so open access is critically important in a Pacific context.”

Current editor Dr Philip Cass told Asia Pacific Report: “For us to return to USP will be like coming home.

“For 30 years PJR has been the only journal focusing exclusively on media and journalism in the Pacific region.

“Our next edition will feature articles on the Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and Southeast Asia.

“We are maintaining our commitment to the Islands while expanding our coverage of the region.”

Both Dr Cass and Dr Robie are former academic staff at USP; Dr Cass was one of the founding lecturers of the degree journalism programme and launched the student journalist newspaper Wansolwara and Dr Robie was head of journalism 1998-2002.

The 20th anniversary of the journal was celebrated with a conference at AUT University. At the time, an Indonesian-New Zealand television student, Sasya Wreksono, made a short documentary about PJR and Dr Lee Duffield of Queensland University of Technology wrote an article about the journal’s history.

The Life of Pacific Journalism Review.  Video: PMC/Sasya Wreksono

Many journalism researchers from the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) and other networks have been strong contributors to PJR, including professors Chris Nash and Wendy Bacon, who pioneered the Frontline section devoted to investigative journalism and innovative research.

The launch of the 30th anniversary edition of PJR will be held at the conference on July 4-6 with Professor Vijay Naidu, who is adjunct professor in the disciplines of development studies and governance at USP’s School of Law and Social Sciences.

Several of the PJR team will be present at USP, including longtime designer Del Abcede.

A panel on research journalism publication will also be held at the conference with several editors and former editors taking part, including former editor Professor Mark Pearson of the Australian Journalism Review. This is being sponsored by the APMN, one of the conference partners.

Conference chair Associate Professor Shailendra Singh, head of journalism at USP, is also on the editorial board of PJR and a key contributor.

Three PJR covers and three countries
Three PJR covers and three countries . . . volume 4 (1997, PNG), volume 8 (2002, Fiji), and volume 29 (2023, NZ). Montage: PJR
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