Cover picture from May edition 2011 from the Kunda Dixit exhibition 'Frames of War'.
The Pacific Journalism Review, founded at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1994, is a peer-reviewed journal covering media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. It is now published by the Pacific Media Centre, AUT University, and has links with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism and the University of the South Pacific.
Call for papers for the next edition: www.pjreview.info/submissions
While one objective is research into Pacific journalism theory and practice, the journal is also expanding its interest into new areas of research and inquiry that reflect the broader impact of contemporary media practice and education.
A particular focus will be on the cultural politics of the media, including the following issues – new media and social movements, indigenous cultures in the age of globalisation, the politics of tourism and development, the role of the media and the formation of national identity and the cultural influence of New Zealand as a branch of the global economy within the Pacific region. It also has a special interest in environmental and development studies in the media and communication – and vernacular media in the region.
This article reviews recent debate about the performance and impact of the Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) evaluations in 2010 and 2012 on the field of journalism research, in particular discussion of the relationship between research in journalism and that in the fields of communication, media and cultural studies. In response to that discussion and the initiation of the Frontline section in this journal (Bacon, 2012; Abplanalp, 2012; Gooch, 2012; Fitzgerald, 2013) it strongly argues that journalism is a distinct field of academic research practice. It identifies and briefly canvasses a range of methodological issues arising from Stuart Adam’s (1994) characterisation of journalism research as addressing the real, the present and the public (p. 13), and issues arising from shifting technologies and editorial/peer review processes. It indicates a range of methodological literature in cognate disciplines that can be used to ground journalism as a distinct research practice among the humanities and arts disciplines.
This article reports New Zealand’s performance in the latest, 2010 round of the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) covering 108 countries. Using quantitative and qualitative content analysis the GMMP measures the representation and participation of women in the news media. The findings demonstrate that gender inequality remains a defining characteristic of daily news content around the world. It is concerning that in 15 years of the GMMP, New Zealand has generally stood still while overall GMMP results show a continuing steady increase in the number of women featuring as news subjects and reporters. Indeed, despite more women working as reporters in New Zealand, the lack of progress was evident in the number of female news subjects. The picture emerging from data in 2010 is of increasingly feminised newsrooms in which women’s experiences and views are still seen and heard much less frequently than male voices in almost all news topics. Worse, women are virtually absent in sports and politics, areas dominating the Kiwi news agenda. We ask why women remain so consistently under-represented in mainstream news and review some suggested solutions to that under-representation.
Fighting to Choose is a fascinating, meticulously researched history of the struggle to liberalise New Zealand’s abortion laws. It examines why there is still no right to have an abortion in a progressive country like New Zealand, which has a strong record of promoting women’s rights, and why it is that an unsatisfactory abortion law, that was passed 35 years ago, is still on the statute books.
This article argues that Rena Owen’s star persona has been constrained, and ultimately undermined, by essentialist definitions of her status as Māori on the part of print media, in particular women’s magazines, in response to her role as Beth in Once Were Warriors (Lee Tamahori, 1994), a role that thrust her into the international limelight. These ancillary texts served to emphasise two stereotypes, positioning her either in relation to the traditional Pacific Island female type of the ‘dusky maiden’ or focusing on her criminal past and current scandalous behaviour. These representations of the actress detracted from her considerable talents and were undoubtedly a factor in determining a career trajectory that failed to fulfil its early promise. The scandal mongering of the tabloids expressed the uneasiness with which Aotearoa/New Zealand viewed public personalities that embraced a cultural past that included both Māori and European identities. Unlike the international press, which compared Owen’s performance to that of a range of film stars noted for their dramatic and charismatic capacities and presence, from Bette Davis to Anna Magnani, the New Zealand press portrayed her as ‘Beth’—as a social victim rather than an accomplished thespian. Image: A ‘dusky maiden’. Source: New Zealand Listener, July 30-August 5, 1994, extract from front cover. Hocken Collections, Uare Taoka o Hākena, University of Otago.
According to this collection of essays, Australian journalism is in a parlous state, beset by public mistrust, new demands of technology, the insidious influence of public relations and the greed and short-sightedness of newspaper proprietors. We have been here before, of course, and journalists and good reporting have managed to survive, but the challenges are bigger than they have been in the past. Neither have journalists had to contend with quite such a lack of acknowledgement of their professional status.
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