AUT - Pacific Journalism Review


Pacific Journalism Review

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Media and cultural diversity
New investigative journalism strategies

PJR- image one
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:


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.

Main sections:

  • Research: Academic research and analysis papers (3000-6000 words)
  • Research: Academic research and analysis papers (3000-6000 words)
  • Commentary: Industry insights, developments and practice (1500-3000 words)
  • Reviews: Books, online developments, multimedia, video (500-1000 words)
    Reviews editor: Dr Evangelia Papoutsaki
  • Forum: Letters, brief commentaries (up to 800 words)
  • Content and inquiries:

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Frontline: Journalism practice and critical reflexivity: A death in custody interview


Critical reflexivity is a relatively recent strand in journalism studies. It has its advocates, but there are few models. This article offers one possible model, of one moment of practice: an interview with the mother-in-law of an Australian Indigenous woman who died an avoidable death in prison. The critically reflexive approach taken in this research accommodates the individual, social, objective and subjective elements in a practice, and uses the tools provided by Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Donald Schön’s work on reflective practice and the reflective practitioner. Together, these approaches provide different but complementary conceptual, ana­lytical, practice-based and narrative tools for making journalism practice, and journalists in the practice, an object of study. Critical reflexivity, by adding an inside perspective, is a valid method by which to add to the range of journalism studies that examine journalism from the outside. Such research allows for an inter-weaving of context, self, relationships, others, theory, history, facts, values and experiences, expanding and enriching our understanding of journalism practice and its place in society. Caption: Figure 1: 'The girl in Cell 4' article opening page of HQ, March/April 1997.

Big news in a small country—developing independent public interest journalism in NZ


As pared-down newsrooms across the United States increasingly gener­ate content for pay-walled online platforms, some of the country’s best journalists are instead joining public interest start-ups in the hope of pur­suing the type of investigative journalism projects the mainstream media is increasingly struggling to fund. The likes of Propublica, the Center for Public Integrity and the International Consortium of Investigative Journal­ists have found a viable niche in the US media ecosystem, one built on innovation, collaboration, and philanthropic support. Could the success of these foundations be mirrored in a small country like New Zealand, where the media faces the same resourcing pressure but little philanthropic money goes into media-related ventures? This article is based on the author’s Fulbright Harkness Fellowship-funded research trip to the US, visiting the organisations mentioned above and others, and suggests that while the US model of public interest journalism is unlikely to work in New Zealand, aspects of it coupled with clever use of technology and crowdfunding platforms could be harnessed to create a viable nationally focused public interest journalism venture.

Reviews for the 20(1) May 2014 edition


BOOK REVIEWS in the October 2013 edition of Pacific Journalism Review: INTRO: A Beginner’s Guide to Journalism in 21st-century Aotearoa/New Zealand Edited by Grant Hannis Reviewed by Louise Matthews     p235 The Great Adventure Ends: New Zealand and France on the Western Front Edited by Nathalie Phillippe, Chris Puglsey, John Crawford & Matthias Strohn Reviewed by Peter Hoar      p239 Stop Press: The Last Days of Newspapers By Rachel Buchanan The New Front Page: New Media and The Rise of the Audience By Tim Dunlop Reviewed by David Robie      p242 Social Media and Minority Languages: Convergence and the Creative Industries Edited by Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones and Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed Reviewed by Philippa Smith      p247 Tragedy at Pike River Mine: How and why 29 men died By Rebecca Macfie Reviewed by Amanda Gearing      p251 Peace, Power & Politics: How New Zealand became nuclear free By Maire Leadbeater Reviewed by Margie Comrie      p253 Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis Edited by Max Rushbrooke Reviewed by Wayne Hope      p256 Promotional Cultures: The Rise and Spread of Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing and Branding By Aeron Davis Reviewed by Averill Gordon      p260      NOTED: The News: A user’s manual • Understanding Micronesia: A cultural guide for researchers and visitors Allison Oosterman and David Robie      p263

HRECs and journalism research: The uneven playing field


This article continues an ongoing investigation into the problems that contemporary researchers in Australia using journalism as a methodology face in meeting the bureaucratic requirements of Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs). This discussion in the peer-reviewed literature includes Richards (2009), Turner (2011), Lindgren and Phillips (2011), Romano (2012) and two articles by the author (Davies 2011a, 2011b). These two articles explored the flexibility built into the HREC’s guiding document, the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research, in 2007 in order to make it possible for research that does not fit the standard scientific model to gain timely approval. The professional discussion has also included public conversations at the Journalism Education Association of Australia (JEAA) annual conferences and on the organisation’s online discussion list. It is evident from these discussions that some researchers find the ethics application process sufficiently arduous that research using journalism as a methodology is effectively not possible for them. Meanwhile, others find the approval process to be painless and beneficial to their work. This raises the question of whether these differences are due to the researchers’ competence in lodging applications for approvals, or differences in the approach taken by the various university-based HRECs. The novel contribution of this article to the discussion is quantitative data illustrating the diversity of approaches taken by HRECs to applications regarding research using journalism as a methodology and reflection on the implications for investigative journalism.

PJR 20(1) Advert: AMIC conference



Managing Editor David Robie
Pacific Journalism Review
D-63 School of Communication Studies
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
AUT University

Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

Level 10,
WG Precinct, Gate 4,
Governor Fitzroy Place

Fax: (649) 921 9987

Last updated: 24 Jan 2013 10:00am

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