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:
NZ: 'Stop civilisation' only chance for survival, says climate change academic
AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch): Humans face extinction within 40 years as a result of abrupt climate change unless we put an immediate stop to the trappings of civilisation as we know it – cars, hot showers, shops and everything else, says an American ecology academic.
NZ: Free press foundation launches global appeal to support Nicky Hager
SAN FRANCISCO (Freedom Of The Press Foundation/Pacific Media Watch): On October 6, New Zealand police raided the house of one of the country’s best independent investigative journalists, Nicky Hager, seizing many of his family’s belongings and his reporting equipment—all in the search for one of his sources.
AUSTRALIA: Hundreds blockade Newcastle in Pacific climate protest
NEWCASTLE, NSW (Climate Change Warriors / Pacific Media Watch): Hundreds of people have blockaded the Newcastle coal port in New South Wales today.
They have attempted to seal off the Australian port since 9am.
Only four of the 12 ships, including two coal tenders, scheduled to pass through the port have broken the blockade, lead by a group of Pacific Climate Warriors representing 12 Pacific Island nations.
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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