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Site updated December 2014

Pacific Journalism Review celebrates 20 years of political reportage

Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of publishing in style last month with a three-day Asia-Pacific political media conference, a tapas and drinks celebration and the unveiling of a mega cartoon featuring editorial characters.

Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack (pictured right) congratulated the research journal’s founding editor, Professor David Robie (far right), and his team for reaching the milestone.

Australian Journalism Review editor Professor Ian Richards also spoke at the birthday celebration, saying how the journal’s unique character for the Asia-Pacific region had been beneficial for the research culture in Australia and New Zealand as well as the Pacific.

Many current and past co-editors and contributors praised the journal, some sending messages from afar, such as Vanuatu-based photojournalist Ben Bohane, communications director for the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, who is featured with a portfolio of “The Black Islands” photographs in the latest edition of PJR.

“Congratulations for all your hard work over 20 years with the journal and all your other initiatives which have contributed hugely to building up Pacific journalism,” said Bohane, one of the editorial personalities featured in the cartoon by Malcolm Evans, who has created many of PJR’s distinctive covers.

Evans, a former NZ cartoonist of the year, had both a digital and print exhibition of his cartoons on display at the conference. (His cartoon commemorating the PJR event and depicting its editorial staff is published below.)

Vice-president of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA), Dr Angela Romano, also congratulated the journal.

“Congratulations to David and everyone else associated with the latest issue of Pacific Journalism Review. It’s another great edition, and a superb achievement to have reached the 20-year milestone,” she said.

Shailendra Singh, of the University of the South Pacific, where PJR was based for five years, praised the journal’s support for emerging Pacific media researchers.

PJR has played a critical role providing opportunities and space for upcoming Pacific Island academics and journalists. For me it was thrilling to see USP’s Eliki Drugunalevu and Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris on the PJR programme this year,” he said.

Speaking about the last two decades, Dr Robie said a research paper about the journal presented to the conference by Dr Lee Duffield of Queensland University of Technology had provided statistics on the achievements.

This would be published as a peer-reviewed document in the special birthday edition of PJR next May. He also spoke about some of the review’s highlights and thanked the many contributors.

A video, The Life of Pacific Journalism Review, was made by Sasya Wreksono for the anniversary and is now available on YouTube.

About 80 people attended the conference, including a journalist from the Antara News Agency who travelled from Jakarta to cover the event.

Keynote speakers included Del Abcede, on the Ampatuan massacre in the Philippines (she replaced ABS-CBN television reporter Ces Drilon who was forced to fly back to Manila for the death of her sister);  Repúblika editor and Fijian Media Association president Ricardo Morris; and celebrated Timor-Leste filmmaker Max Stahl.

Investigative documentaries by AUT’s Jim Marbrook (Cap Bocage) and Alister Barry (Hot Air) of Vanguard Films were also featured.

During the conference, participants held a candlelight vigil at AUT for the 32 journalists and 26 other people killed in the 2009 Ampatuan massacre. The Pacific Media Centre and the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders made a declaration calling on the Philippines government to end the “climate of impunity” and vigorously press the prosecution case for justice.

Reports from the conference:
Livestreaming video links:


JEANZ 2014 - Programme
Journalism educators from around the country will gather in Christchurch next week for the annual conference of the Journalism Education Association of New Zealand.

The conference will be jointly hosted by Aoraki Polytechnic, the New Zealand Broadcasting School and the University of Canterbury.

Download the conference programme here.


WJEC coming to Auckland
AUT’s bid to host the World Journalism Education Congress in 2016 has been successful.

The university’s head of journalism, Associate Professor Verica Rupar (pictured), presented the Auckland proposal to the WJEC council in Montreal this week.

The council took just 15 minutes to decide to award AUT the congress, ahead of a competing bid from Brazil.

Associate Professor Rupar said AUT was congratulated by council members on a focused, well-themed and superbly presented proposal.

Members thought the proposed themes and topics were excellent and the proposal reflected strong enthusiasm and passion for journalism education, she said.

"It feels fantastic to get the international recognition for our programme. Journalism education worldwide is at a crossroads and it is an honour to be the host of a gathering aimed at addressing these challenges."

The 42-page Auckland bid was put together with help from the Ministry of Tourism and the Auckland Convention Bureau, part of Auckland Council. It included letters of support from JEANZ, JEAA, the Pacific Islands Media Association and the Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown.

In his letter, Mr Brown noted that AUT hosting the triennial conference would give New Zealand and Australian journalism schools a great chance to share their research and teaching internationally and funnel their own findings from the conference back into their work.

The 2016 congress will be the fourth held by the WJEC. The first was in Singapore in 2007, the second in South Africa in 2010, and the third in Belgium in 2013.

JEANZ conference 2014

The Journalism Education Association of New Zealand is pleased to announce its 2014 conference will be held at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch.

The conference will be a collaborative affair co-hosted by the three Christchurch-based journalism schools: The University of Canterbury, the New Zealand Broadcasting School (CPIT) and Aoraki Polytechnic.

Papers are invited on a range of topics, including journalism education, journalism innovation, journalism professionalism, new journalism practice, the future of journalism and what journalism educators need to be doing to prepare students for the changing world of new media.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Dale McCord ( by August 31, 2014.

Annual JTO-JEANZ workshop day:University of Canterbury
Wednesday, December 3

Conference and JEANZ AGM:
Thursday, December 4 and Friday, December 5

For further information, please contact conference convener Tara Ross (

Download a conference registration form here.


World council to decide on Auckland conference bid
The World Journalism Education Council will this week decide if AUT University will host the 2016 congress in Auckland.

AUT journalism head Associate Professor Verica Rupar today (August 3) travelled to Montreal to present Auckland’s bid for the world’s pre-eminent journalism education summit.

The council will decide between the Auckland bid and a competing proposal from Brazil.

The 42-page Auckland bid was put together with help from the Ministry of Tourism and the Auckland Convention Bureau, part of Auckland Council. It included letters of support from JEANZ, JEAA, the Pacific Islands Media Association and the Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown.

In his letter, Mr Brown noted that AUT hosting the triennial conference would give New Zealand and Australian journalism schools a great chance to share their research and teaching internationally and funnel their own findings from the conference back into their work.

The 2016 congress will be the fourth held by the WJEC. The first was in Singapore in 2007, the second in Grahamstown, South Africa, in 2010, and the third in Mechelen, Belgium in 2013.


Conference: 20 years of Pacific Journalism Review
The Pacific Media Centre's research journal Pacific Journalism Review is marking its 20th anniversary on November 27-29 with a two and a half-day Asia-Pacific conference and celebration at the state-of-the-art media precinct in the Sir Paul Reeves Building, AUT University.

The PJR2014 Conference website is open for registrations and paper proposals. If you have paper or panel proposals, please get in touch with papers convenor Dr Philip Cass at Unitec asap:

Organisers are especially interested in research on Australia’s asylum seeker and “Pacific solution” issues and themedia; the Indonesian, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Tongan elections; development and resource extraction dilemmas; the politics of climate change in the Asia-Pacific region; a range of cross-cultural media and journalismperspectives; digital media development in the Pacific; Pacific media history (including papers or reflections related to PJR); and popular politics, leadership and corruption. Our interests are not confined to the Asia-Pacific, althoughthis is the major conference theme. There is a more comprehensive list of possible topics on the website.

A selection of papers from this conference will be developed for publication in a book marking 20 years of Pacific Journalism Review. This will be published in May 2015.

Register for the conference here.

PJR website

JTO to move to Auckland
With new JTO chief executive Karyn Scherer based in Auckland, the organisation's meetings will shift there from Wellington.

In other JTO news, Rick Neville has resigned to concentrate on his work with the Newspapers Publishers Association.

A full report by Massey journalism head Grant Hannis on the July 7 JTO meeting can be found under the JTO Reports link on the left of this page.

Fletcher never thought retirement would happen to him
Due to ill health, JTO CEO Mike Fletcher will retire in May. His doctors say with rest and relaxation he should be OK. Mike’s replacement is Karyn Scherer, a journalist of many years’ standing. She will be based in Auckland and will be attending industry liaison committee meetings nationally. The logistics of future JTO meetings is still to be decided.

A ceremony was held at the recent JTO meeting to mark Mike’s departure. Guests included Bob Cotton and Mary Major. Clive Lind said Mike’s experience would be missed: Mike had worked his way up from a junior reporter to a senior executive in the journalism industry, working in newspapers both here and in Australia. He had also spent many years on the JTO. Clive thanked Mike for his great service. Grant Hannis thanked Mike for all his hard work on such matters as unit standards reviews and the Intro book, as well as his unfailing good cheer. Bernie Whelan noted Mike’s commitment to journalism students and journalism training, saying Whitireia’s students were entranced by Mike’s recent speech to them.

Mike thanked everyone for their kind words and remembered, as a young reporter, covering similar events when “some worthy” retired. “I never thought I’d end up being in the same place!” Mike added that journalism was the best job in the world, offering so many opportunities. He said the two key skills for any good journalist were good interviewing technique and good writing. He had greatly enjoyed his career and now looked forward to retiring to Opotiki with his wife, Jane, to enjoy some fishing. Mike was presented with several gifts, including an original New Zealand Herald from 1959 when he began his journalism career.//Grant Hannis

Pictured: Bernie Whelan, Bob Cotton, Grant Hannis, Mike Fletcher and Clive Lind.

AUT bid for World Journalism Education Congress
With support from the Jeanz membership, the journalism team at AUT University has put together a bid to host the World Journalism Education Congress in 2016. The WJEC council is expected to decide on the 2016 host city in August this year.

The 42-page bid document (pictured right) was put together with help from the Ministry of Tourism and the Auckland Convention Bureau, part of Auckland Council. It included letters of support from Jeanz, the JEA, the Pacific Islands Media Association and the Mayor of Auckland. The 2016 congress will be the fourth held by the WJEC. The first was held in Singapore in 2007, the second in Grahamstown, South Africa, in 2010, and the third in Mechelen, Belgium in 2013.

Russel Brown is AUT's Journalist in Residence for 2014. He will be conducting a series of interviews in AUT's Media Centre this year. He will focus on issues of media and democracy, journalism and inclusive society and the media coverage of the elections. The first interview was held last month with New Zealand Herald journalist David Fisher. Russel was the founding host of both Radio New Zealand's Mediawatch and TVNZ 7's Media7 and is preparing a new media TV show for Maori Television. He currently writes for Matters of Substance and Metro and says he still has a few copies of the book he edited, Great New Zealand Argument: Ideas about ourselves.

Mixed picture on 2014 journalism enrolments
A total of 33 trainees are undertaking the JTO’s National Diploma in Applied Journalism programme. Five trainees recently graduated, CEO Mike Fletcher reported to the recent JTO meeting. Greg Taipari, who graduated in 2011, was recently appointed chief reporter of Hawke’s Bay Today – the most senior appointment for a graduate thus far.

The JTO’s survey of J-School enrolments confirms that numbers are down this year. The national figure for 2014 enrolments is 231; in 2013 the number was 281.The 2014 numbers are:

Aoraki: 20 (13 NDJ)
AUT: 70 (20 postgrad, 50 BCS degree)
CPIT: 20
Canterbury: 13
Massey: 21 (17 PGDJ, 4 MJ)
SIT: 11
Waiariki: 0 (in abeyance)
Whitireia: 44 (29 NDJ, 10 Cert, 5 Radio)
Wintec: 24 (12 degree, 12 NDJ)

Mike Fletcher noted that the reasons for the decline included students questioning journalism as a career and the removal of the student allowance for postgraduate students. He argued the J Schools must market their courses to help arrest the decline. Three Fairfax trainees are currently doing the diploma through Fairfax's in-house programme rather than attending a J School. Grant Hannis noted that, should Fairfax expand its cadetship scheme, this will likely reduce student numbers further.

Moderation: Moderation of the J Schools will take place on November 4-5, 2014. The JTO will moderate news writing and news photography. Moderation material has been sent to the J Schools. Although he is retiring, Mike Fletcher will still be involved in moderation at the end of this year.//Grant Hannis

Minutes of the March 27 JTO meeting

Don't Spoil My Beautiful Face - book launch
A new book described by top global investigative journalist John Pilger as an “extraordinary secret history” about South Pacific politics and media will be launched at AUT University this month. In Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific, published by Little Island Press, independent journalist and AUT media educator Professor David Robie reveals many hidden stories in his sweeping overview.

He also calls for a more comprehensive, reflective and in-depth media response to the region’s environmental and political challenges from Tahiti Nui and Polynesian nations in the east to Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste and West Papua in the west. Dr Robie reported on the conflict between France and Kanak activists in New Caledonia that almost ended in civil war. He was harassed by French secret service agents and arrested at gunpoint. He was on board the original Rainbow Warrior on her last voyage that ended with the bombing by French agents in 1985. He has reported on coups in Fiji and the Philippines, and was a media educator in Suva in 2000 when his students provided award-winning coverage of an attempted coup. He has also reported in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

TVNZ Pacific current affairs journalist Barbara Dreaver will launch the book at the AUT University Library on Thursday, April 24 from 4 to 6pm. More information

Order the book online from the publisher.

Call for papers for Media, War and Memory conference

AUT University's Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD) centre is calling for papers for its Media, War and Memory conference, scheduled to run on September 18-19. A century after 1914, it is timely to consider how World War I was started, prosecuted and reported on, from different national perspectives. How does this conflict appear in retrospect? As a prequel to World War II? The ‘beginning’ of the 20th century? Or as an avoidable, stand-alone catastrophe? These questions provoke wider reflection upon the connections between media, war and memory. What are these connections? And, how have they changed over time?

Abstracts are due by June 30, 2014 (400 words maximum). Send them to: / /

JMAD conference poster PDF