Pacific Media Watch Project
A Pacific Journalism Review cover featured on Pacific Media Watch. © Malcolm Evans
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 and Freedom House (New York).
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.
The contributing editor selected for 2015 was Alistar Kata, who was part of the Pacific Media Centre’s team covering the Fiji General Election in 2014 and who was awarded the Spasifik Magazine Prize and Storyboard Award for 2014.
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:
- Press for the urgent removal of barriers to press freedom and freedom of expression.
- Protect and support journalists unjustly jailed, assaulted or harassed while performing their professional duty.
- Encourage debate on media ethics, and press for improved professional standards.
- Monitor regional media ownership and other issues affecting freedom of information.
- Provide a digital information database.
- Support the overwhelming desire of Pacific peoples for a free and independent media.
- Background article about Pacific Media Watch
- PMW student wins Dart Asia Pacific Journalism and Trauma Centre award
- Pacific Press Freedom 2011: A status report
- Pacific Development and Communication Trust grant 2010-11
- Phase 3/Web 2: PMW media freedom database (2010 onwards)
- Phase 2: DSpace PMW media freedom database (2007-2010)
- Phase 1: Original PMW media freedom database (1996-2007)
Pacific Media Watch daily news and alerts
GLOBAL: Environmental journalism in an increasingly hostile climate
PARIS (Reporters Without Borders/Pacific Media Watch): As Paris prepares to host the COP21 Climate Change Conference over the next two weeks, Reporters Without Borders has released a report entitled “Hostile climate for environmental journalists” that examines the often tragic difficulties for reporters covering environmental issues.
FIJI: Next generation of journalists faces key challenges
AUCKLAND (Radio NZ International / Pacific Media Watch): Fiji's student journalists have been told they can change the media climate in the country, but face enormous pressures to do so.
As the media industry struggles to fight off claims it is still controlled by the authorities, students at the University of the South Pacific have been praised for their award-winning stories.
But there's a clear message from the students - the government can learn and benefit from the media, and needs to start listening.
FIJI: Student journalists face a 'chilling' industry climate
AUCKLAND (Radio NZ International / Pacific Media Watch): Fiji's student journalists have been told they can challenge the country's heady media climate but face pressures in doing so.
The University of the South Pacific recently held an awards night for student reporters who write for its newspaper Wansolwara.
One story revealed resorts in Fiji causing environmental damage, which had not been reported or followed by the mainstream media.
Professor David Robie – Manager Pacific Media Watch project
Contributing editor PMW project (a new current postgraduate student is appointed each year)
Pacific Media Centre
D-63 School of Communication Studies
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
Private Bag 92006
Governor Fitzroy Place
Pacific Media Watch: + 64 9 921 9999 x9388
Fax: + 64 9 921 9987
Last updated: 16-Sep-2015 2.15pm
The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.