Pacific Media Watch is an Asia-Pacific media digital repository gathered and published by staff and postgraduate students at AUT University’s Pacific Media Centre and contributing journalists. The monitoring and research project began at AUT in 2007.
Originally launched in Sydney in October 1996, Pacific Media Watch was the Pacific's first regional media website. It has links with the Journalism Programme at the University of the South Pacific, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG) and the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) and collaborates with the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontières.
Independent and watchful, Pacific Media Watch was founded as an independent, non-profit non-government network by journalists Peter Cronau (left - then director of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, University of Technology, Sydney) and David Robie (right - based then in Port Moresby as coordinator of Journalism Studies at the University of Papua New Guinea).
After being initially established at the ACIJ, the archive was hosted by the Association of Progressive Communications (APC) in Sydney and the original website can be visited here.
Its genesis was the jailing of two Taimi ‘o Tonga journalists, Kalafi Moala and Filokalafi ‘Akau'ola, and a ‘whistleblowing’ pro-democracy member of Parliament in Ton ga, ‘Akilisi Pohiva, for alleged contempt in September 1996.
They were later freed by the Supreme Court in Tonga which ruled their imprisonment was unconstitutional. PMW played an important role in the campaign to free the three men, including organising a petition of more than 100 media signatures from the region.
Late in 2007, masters student Taberannang Korauaba, of Kiribati (left), himself once a cause célèbre for media freedom organisations, joined the PMC to prepare PMW files for the new DSpace database. He is now publishing his own Auckland-based newspaper, Kiribati Independent.
Tongan journalist and AUT masters student Josephine Latu joined the PMC as contributing editor of Pacific Media Watch in August 2008 and has covered several media events and is contributing many articles.
Former contributing editor Alex Perrottet (right) is from Australia with a long interest and experience in the Pacific. He has a law degree and is completing both a masters degree and postgraduate diploma in communication studies and journalism at AUT. He is now working on Pacific stories with Radio New Zealand International.
During 2013, Daniel Drageset of Norway was the contributing editor and he was awarded with the annual Dart Asia Pacific Journalism and Trauma Centre prize for his PMW reportage on torture in Fiji.
In 2014, Anna Majavu, a Zimbabwe-born journalist from South Africa with a keen interest in the Pacific, took over the role and has been editor since.
The Pacific Media Watch project received a $15,000 grant from the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust in 2009/10 for its web-based development work.
Pacific Media Watch's objectives are to:
FIJI: MIDA accuses Al Jazeera and RNZ of racist reporting
GENEVA (Radio New Zealand International / Pacific Media Watch): Fiji's Media Industry Development Authority has accused Al Jazeera and Radio New Zealand of racism in their reporting of last month's election in Fiji, reports RNZI.
Al-Jazeera and Radio New Zealand were among several foreign media organisations covering the event.
The allegation of racism was made by the head of MIDA, Ashwin Raj, in an address to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
SAMOA: Tuilaepa slams 'tabloid' local media ahead of new regulatory law
APIA (Talamua / Radio New Zealand / Pacific Media Watch): The Prime Minister of Samoa has slammed some of his country's media outlets, likening them to the worst British tabloids, just as Parliament debates a controversial new law aimed at government regulation of the media.
BURMA: Military secretly shoot journalist - bury body, say reports
RANGOON (Democratic Voice of Burma / Radio Australia / BBC / The Irrawaddy / Pacific Media Watch): An experienced Burmese journalist, Aung Kyaw Naing, also known as Par Gyi, has been shot dead by a soldier under mysterious circumstances, reports The Irrawaddy news magazine.
Naing was killed 24 days ago by the Burmese military but news of his death only emerged last week after the media and Naing's wife, Than Dar, demanded that the military explain what they had done with Naing, who was seen on September 30 being arrested by the army.
Professor David Robie – Manager Pacific Media Watch project
Anna Majavu – Contributing editor PMW project
Pacific Media Centre
D-63 School of Communication Studies
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
Private Bag 92006
Governor Fitzroy Place
Fax: (649) 921 9987
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