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Site updated July 2013

Mobile is theme for AUT University Jeanz conference
The Journalism Education Association of New Zealand annual conference will be held at AUT University, November 28-29, 2013.

Conference theme: The Mobile Age or #journalism that won’t sit still.

The ongoing disruption of ‘traditional’ journalism practice by digital technologies is encapsulated nowhere more succinctly than in the touch-screen mobile device still quaintly called a ‘telephone’. Growth in mobile consumption is strong as both consumers and journalists adjust to an age where no one needs to sit down for the news. Meanwhile, within the increasingly wireless network, participatory media continue to blur the lines around journalism. How should journalism educators respond?

Presenters are invited to submit abstracts for either papers addressing the conference theme or non-themed papers by August 31, 2013. Papers requiring blind peer review must be with conference convenors by September 30, 2013. For all inquiries, please contact Greg Treadwell ( or Dr Allison Oosterman ( Call for papers (PDF)

Conference registration form: Word document or PDF

Photo: The opening of AUT's Sir Paul Reeves Building in March (Daniel Drageset/Pacific Media Centre)

JTO raises concerns over media standards regulators
The JTO has prepared a report analysing the Law Commission’s proposed reform of news media standards bodies. The JTO’s report identified three areas of concern:

First, potential for rule cross-infection; ie tight restrictions that exist on some news media may be applied to all media. For instance, the BSA’s complex and rigid rules on privacy and children’s interests could be applied to other media.
Second, an over-representation of public representatives on the proposed News Media Standards Authority (NMSA) and its constituent bodies, which could neuter the media.
Third, the exclusion of currently serving editors on the NMSA’s key bodies, thereby excluding those with current, practical journalistic experience.

The Newspaper Publishers Association's Rick Neville also expressed industry concerns about the proposals. For instance, the BSA is a relatively expensive organisation to run, and if it were used as the model for the NMSA this could see significant additional expense incurred by the print industry.

Rick Neville and Clive Lind told a recent JTO meeting in Wellington that there was an argument for the Press Council to remain in existence and be given stronger powers, such as the ability to impose fines. Full minutes of the JTO Council meeting, held on July 16. /GH

Whelan heads Whitireia journalism programme
The new Head of Journalism at Whitireia is Bernie Whelan. Following three years teaching journalism at Whitireia, he takes over from Jim Tucker, who retires from teaching on August 2 after 27 years in journalism education. Jim is headed back to Taranaki where he will be working on various book projects with his photographer brother, Rob. His book on the state of the water environment in Taranaki – a followup to an investigation he published in 1972 – is nearly finished and will be published early in 2014.

Photo: Jim cutting the cake at a farewell lunch staged by the Journalists Training Organisation (CMITO) in Wellington this month. From left: Grant Hannis, Mary Major (Press Council), Jim Tucker, Mike Fletcher (JTO) and Clive Lind (JTO chair and FairfaxNZ).

Journalism textbook progressing well
Work on the new introductory journalism textbook for Kiwi journalism schools is on target for a November launch. “Our overriding principle has been to include both educators and journalists as contributors,” editor Dr Grant Hannis said. “This has worked well, and I’m now deep into the editing.”

The plan is to launch the book at this year’s Jeanz conference at AUT University. The book can then be used by journalism schools, starting in semester one, 2014. “There’ll also be a website where educators can find exercises and additional resources to use in class,” Dr Hannis said.

Dr Hannis heads the journalism programme at Massey University. The editorial committee supporting Grant comprises Dr Cathy Strong (also of Massey), Allan Lee and Greg Treadwell (AUT) and Charles Riddle (Wintec). /GH

Journo student appeals against driving licence rule
Attempts to get students to obtain a driver’s licence during the national Diploma in Journalism programme by saying they could not do an internship without one backfired this year when a student successfully appealed to the Whitireia academic administration, which said we (Whitireia) did not have the right to do that (even though it was plainly spelled out in the student handbook and had been advised to students from the time they were first interviewed for enrolment). It seems journalism schools are now back to merely “advising” students get a licence. /JT

Journalists in Residence at AUT
AUT has introduced a Journalists in Residence programme as a first step in reinvigorating its links with the industry. Last semester, the first Journalist in Residence, Finlay MacDonald, ran weekly interviews for staff and students with prominent journalists including Rachel Smalley, Julian Wilcox, Sido Kitchin, Dominique Schwartz, Simon Collins, Melanie Reid, Bill Ralston and Duncan Garner.

This semester, the Journalists in Residence are Sara Vui-Talitu, Damian Christie, Kirsty Cameron, David Hastings and Catherine Masters. They will work as writing tutors in Specialists Writing, Advanced News Reporting and News Production courses, while a group of from the Herald on Sunday, Jonathan Milne, Edward Rooney, Bevan Hurley and Kathryn Powley, will support students’ work in the Investigative Journalism course.

“Bringing professionals to the class provides students with an opportunity to learn about best journalism practice,” says Verica Rupar, the AUT journalism curriculum leader. “Our strategic goals in the next three years are connecting with the rest of the university,  engaging with the community and developing a curriculum aimed to advancing knowledge and innovating industry. The Journalists in Residence programme is one step towards that goal.”

Photo: Catherine Masters, Jonathan Milne, Sara Vui-Talitu, Damian Christie, Kirsty Cameron, David Hastings, Anne Beston and Edward Rooney.

Massey teaching ideas to be presented in the US
Two teaching ideas from Massey journalism lecturers are to be presented at the United States’ leading journalism education conference, to be held in August.

The ideas - one on ways to enhance students’ reporting on diversity and the other on teaching web-based reporting fast and efficiently - were jointly submitted by Dr Cathy Strong and Dr Grant Hannis. The ideas were selected in the “Great ideas for teachers” competition, run by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Dr Strong will be travelling to Washington, DC, to present the ideas at the association’s conference, which attracts thousands of delegates annually. /GH

Whitireia radio diploma attracts 30 students
Whitireia’s newly expanded level 5 Diploma in Radio kicked off on July 15 with about 30 students, with two thirds of the class enrolling in the commercial radio stream and the rest in journalism. The diploma is multimedia in flavour, offering students standard radio material complemented with modules in video, web content, social media, still photography, blogging, podcasting, presenting to camera and creative broadcasting, which allows them to develop an original broadcasting idea and trial it. The programme runs a year and includes two-month workplace internships over summer. /JT

PMC presents at UK, Fiji and Indonesia conferences
Pacific Media Centre students and staff have presented research papers at conferences in three countries in the past few weeks – Britain, Fiji and Indonesia.  Papua New Guinea journalist and masters researcher Henry Yamo was invited by the major US organisers of the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress in Fiji during July to present his findings on the use of mobile telephones in the health sector in a development communication case study. Yamo’s paper, titled Mobile phones in rural Papua New Guinea: A transformation in health communication and delivery services in Western Highlands Province, was a remarkable insight into the cellphone revolution in the Pacific that has outstripped conventional media in countries such as PNG. He was among seven Auckland University of Technology postgraduate students to present at the international science congress.

Professor David Robie, director of the PMC, also presented a keynote media address at the parallel humanities conference in Fiji, Islands and Nations: ‘Failed States’ and the environment in the Pacific, and was a media panellist on media challenges for global climate change. His paper was entitled “Deliberative journalism, environmental risk and media credibility”, and he also gave extensive interviews to Radio Pasifik and Radio 88.6FM on environmental issues reporting in Fiji, and also on NZ’s Newztalk ZB Total Recall programme.

David gave two papers in the last few weeks on Pacific media freedom at the Protest and the Media conference at the University of Westminster, London, and the 22nd Asian Media Information and Communication (AMIC) conference in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He is now on sabbatical until the end of the year while completing his 10th media and politics book, delivering guest lectures in Scandinavia and acting as a voluntary media consultant for the La’o Hamutuk civil rights and sustainable development non-government organisation and Independente newspaper in Timor-Leste. 

Daniel Drageset, a Norwegian radio journalist who is doing his masters in AUT’s School of Communication Studies, is editing Pacific Media Watch and Pacific Scoop media and educational news services while David is away, and Dr Allison Oosterman is acting editor of Pacific Journalism Review.

Photo: David Robie talking to Fiji journalists at the Fiji National University’s Radio 88.6FM station (Varanisese Nasilasila)

New PJR challenges Pacific censorship, political ‘shackles’
Fiji’s brand of post-coup media censorship and other Pacific political curbs have been challenged in the latest Pacific Journalism Review. “Even if the Fiji media are shackled, conferences in 2010 and 2012 provided opportunity and space to engage in some open dialogue, including criticism of the regime authorities,” the AUT-published international journal says. “The proceedings were not confined to the Suva conference venue or within Fiji’s borders – this is the digital age after all.”

Articles in the edition, co-edited by the University of the South Pacific’s Shailendra Singh and AUT’s Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie, feature New Caledonia, West Papua and climate change reporting in the region. The articles are:
• Canadian communications professor and author Robert A. Hackett warns of ‘significant democratic shortcomings’ in the Fijian media’s watchdog, public sphere, community-building and communication equity roles.
• Shazia Usman’s study on the Fiji print media’s coverage of female candidates in the country’s 2006 elections. Reflecting international trends, the Fiji daily newspapers “lavished attention” on male candidates while “cold-shouldering” female candidates.
• Shailendra Singh’s article on conflict reporting in Fiji. His article discusses the preliminary findings of a national media survey conducted in 2012 and content analysis of coverage of Fiji’s 2006 elections.
• David Robie advocates greater media visibly for indigenous, ethnic and other minorities marginalised in the “monocultural Western news model”.
• Mosmi Bhim writes of media self-censorship, government warnings of a harsh crackdown on ‘trouble-makers’, and state promises of free, fair, and transparent elections - “all in the same breath”.
• American television professor Robert A. Hooper, who has been training Pacific (and other global South) journalists frequently for the past 20 years, paints a grim picture of Fiji.
• Marie M’Bala-Ndi also has some serious questions about public interest journalism and democratic empowerment in New Caledonia as the French-ruled Pacific territory, which faces a referendum over independence between 2014 and 2019.

Also in this edition is the new Frontline investigative journalism section, edited by Professor Wendy Bacon. It deals with links between theory and practice in journalism research and features Bridget Fitzgerald from Monash University. She discusses how she approached three substantial features on climate change in local Australian contexts. Unthemed articles in the edition explore online journalism case studies over the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (Jing Xin, Donald Matheson and Dianne Jones), conflicted attitudes over writing style for online news media in Australia and New Zealand (Allan Lee and Greg Treadwell), and the training preparation of young journalists in New Zealand for reporting traumatic incidents (Lyn Barnes).

The next edition on celebrity and scandal is being co-edited by AUT’s Professor Barry King, Dr Rosser Johnson and Dr Allison Oosterman. Details on PJR website