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).
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.
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:
SUVA (Wansolwara / Pacific Media Watch): REVIEW:Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific is being published today while Fiji is voicing the mantra of the free press at the same time as it continues to ban experienced Pacific reporters such as Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field from New Zealand and Sean Dorney of the ABC.
SUVA (Radio New Zealand International / Pacific Media Watch): The University of the South Pacific in Fiji has cancelled a non-government organisation's debate on issues relating to the election because it could be in breach of the Electoral Decree.
Section 115 restricts any group receiving foreign funding from campaigning on election issues, which includes organising debates, panel discussions or publishing information.
SUVA (Pacific Media Watch / Radio Australia): University of the South Pacific journalism academic Pat Craddock says a military decree is "stifling debate" in Fiji.
Craddock spoke to Radio Australia, saying it was highly restrictive to have a decree preventing non-profit organisations - which receive any funding from overseas - from engaging in political debate.
Professor David Robie – Manager Pacific Media Watch project
Alex Perrottet – 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