Pacific Journalism Review 2014 conference - abstracts and profiles

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Keynotes, papers, presentations and documentary film screenings for the Pacific Journalism Review 2014 conference:


Aslam, Rukhsana: Media, politics and the threats to Asia-Pacific journalists

The media plays a central role in national and international affairs and people are dependent on it to provide timely, credible information of events (Ross, 2007). Journalists act as the communication agents to provide this information (Peleg, 2007). But while the present age, marked by globalization and technological advancement, has opened new platforms of communication and information gathering for the journalists, their fundamental right of the freedom of expression continues to be threatened both by the governments and conflicting parties – an issue that is compounded by the threat to journalists’ safety and survival. This paper examines the various kinds of dangers and threats that are faced by the journalists across the Asia-Pacific region, including Pakistan, Fiji and Solomon Islands, who report on political conflicts. The paper focuses on the role of political journalists in the light of the social responsibility theory. Drawing examples from countries like Pakistan, Fiji and Solomon Islands, it demonstrates how the political journalists continue to pay the price for their investigations. It also explores the various initiatives across the world, including in the Pacific region, to help the journalists’ deal with the matters of training, safety and survival along with the government censorship and access to credible information. The study highlights the existing disparity of resources and training in the developed and developing countries and concludes on the importance of the community support and trust for the journalists to help them engage in responsible and ethical political reporting.

Rukhsana Aslam is a journalist-turned-academic from Pakistan with extensive experience in journalism in the national and international media. She has recently completed her PhD on the role of media in conflict, with a focus on integrating peace journalism in journalism curriculum, from the Auckland University of Technology, Auckland. Prior to coming to New Zealand in 2010 for her research, she was the Chair at the Centre for Media and Communication Studies, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan. At AUT, she has been affiliated with the Pacific Media Centre and was the recipient of Asia-New Zealand Foundation’s Asian Journalism Fellowship Award in 2011. She has presented her research on peace journalism at several international forums and conferences, and has published articles in journals including a chapter in  Peace Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution (Keeble, Tulloch & Zollman, 2010).

Bacon, Wendy: Covering intelligence in Australia - journalism as handmaiden of the state?

The research explores Australian media's coverage of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden's revelations about Australia's role in foreign policy and intelligence activities and its coverage of Australia's security law debates It explores the implications of the findings for Australian democracy. While the Australian media industry professes to play a Fourth Estate role in relation to the state, the evidence shows that large sections of the Australian media play the role of handmaiden in relation to state power. The paper will also discuss the impact of the entry of The Guardian into Australia's media market on security and intelligence reporting and the role of smaller independent media. 

Professor Wendy Bacon is a professorial fellow, journalist and researcher at the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, contributing editor at and Frontline editor at Pacific Journalism Review and on the advisory board of the Pacific Media Centre.

Bahfen, Nasya & Alex Wake: Tweeting, friending , reporting: social media use among journalism academics, students and graduates in the Asia-Pacific region

In   2014,   a   media   school   at   a   Melbourne   university   established   a   Facebook    presence   five   years   after   two   of   its   academics   actively   began   using   social   media    to   connect   students   and graduates   with   media   job   vacancies   and   publishing    opportunities   in   Australia   and   the   Asia-Pacific.   The   academics   were   early    adopters   of   Facebook   and   Twitter   communication   with   students,   telling    university   administrators   who   warned   against   such   interactions   on   social   media    that   young   people   who   plan   to   work   in   journalism   must   learn   to   engage   with    social   in   a   professional   manner.   This   reflective   paper   describes   and   analyses   the    use   of   Facebook   and   Twitter   over   a   five-year   timeframe   by   young   people    studying   journalism   and   those   two   journalism   academics   in   Australia,   whose    industry   and   research   expertise   are   in   the   Asian   and   Pacific   regions.   Taking   an    ethnographic   approach   to   the   analysis   and   using   active   participant   observation    as   a   reflective   methodology,   the   researchers   argue   that   social   media   can   be   used    to   develop   and   retain   links   with   their   students   and   alumni,   by   making   use   of    global   social   connectedness   characterising   online   communication.    The   use   of   social   media   has   permitted   journalism   educators   to   engage   in   an    active   electronic   space   to   conduct   discourse   on   development,   publication,    networking   and   career   opportunities   with   students   and   alumni.   This   discourse    and   the   educators,   students   or   alumni   who   engage   in   it   reflect   the   nature   of   the    media   industry   as   inherently   network-based.   Because   it   operates   using    electronic   communication,   such   discourse   also   reflects   the   industry   which    journalism   graduates   seek   to   enter   as   not   being   geographically   confined   to   one    city   or   state   within   Australia   -   instead,   reflecting   a   rapid   rate   of   movement    between   cities   and   states,   or   between   Australia   and   neighbouring   countries,   or    between   urban   and   rural   locations.  

Dr Nasya Bahfen is a senior lecturer in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University, and a community ambassador with the 2015 Asian Cup and AFL Multicultural Programs. She has taught at the Journalism and Media Centre at UNSW, the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University and the School of Management and Marketing at Deakin University; and was previously a radio and online journalist and producer for ABC Radio Australia, ABC Radio National, and SBS. Nasya has a doctorate in the sociology of the media, and extensive media and communications teaching and research experience.

Alexandra Wake is a lecturer in journalism at RMIT University. She has almost 30 years experience working as a journalist across all mediums but specialising in radio in international settings. She also more than a decade experience as an educator. Alex holds a Masters of Arts (Research)  and  is currently working on her PhD in journalism education.

Barnes, Lyn & Elesha Edmonds: If it bleeds, it leads?: Changing death coverage in The New Zealand Herald

The prominence of death has become more visible in the news in the past four decades. Articles about a murder or accident, which in the past may have featured on page five or seven of daily newspapers, now often take up all the front page of The New Zealand Herald. New categories have also emerged, including the threat of death or near death. This is evident from the increase in human interest stories which not only report the details of the incident but also capture emotion. This article follows the increased visibility of death stories on the front page of New Zealand’s largest newspaper, The New Zealand Herald, and investigates how that coverage has changed over time. International scholars have examined the visibility of death in the media closely. However research is sparse in exactly how this large body of work correlates with New Zealand print media. Therefore this study aims to close this gap by using content analysis to discuss the prominence of death in the New Zealand Herald over four decades from the 1970s, and the reasons for increased coverage of threats of death or near death.

Lyn Barnes is a senior lecturer in journalism at AUT University, New Zealand. She was awarded a fellowship to the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University in 2012. She is a contributor to Pacific Journalism Review.

Elesha Edmonds is an Honours student in the Communication Studies programme at AUT University. Following the completion of her Bachelor of Communication Studies in 2013, Elesha studied for six months at the Danish School of Media and Journalism as part of the Inclusive Journalism Initiative (IJI) Scholarship.

Barry, Alister and Abi King-Jones: Hot Air:
Climate Change politics in New Zealand (91min)

Hot AirIn the years since New Zealand politicians began to grapple with climate change, the country’s greenhouse gas emissions have burgeoned. Alister Barry’s doco draws on TV archives and interviews with key participants to find out why. Since 1990, when the National government set a target of 20 percent reduction within 10 years, our greenhouse gas emissions have burgeoned. Alister Barry’s film identifies the forces arrayed against the scientists, activists and successive ministers for environment and climate change who tried, over the next two decades, to reduce New Zealand’s contribution to the global crisis. This documentary premiered in the NZ International Film Festival in 2014. No one in New Zealand makes more judicious use of the TV archive than Alister Barry, separating the news and current affairs footage from the clutter of broadcast and reasserting its value as permanent record. The parade of climate change deniers he unearths, claiming and being granted their ‘equal time’, may engender tears of rage in rational viewers. And, as any lobbyist knows, a bunch of riled-up farmers protesting a ‘fart tax’ on Queen Street or running a tractor up the steps of Parliament House will not be deflected by mere science. In new interviews, scientists, activists and officials add their commentaries. Three former ministers – Simon Upton, David Parker and a forthright, embattled Pete Hodgson – provide incisive, illuminating accounts. The truth is more inconvenient than ever.

Alister Barry remains one of that rare breed of New Zealand documentary filmmakers: one whose work has regularly won showings on Kiwi cinema screens. Barry's documentaries reflect his interest in how decisions made by policy-makers and employers have affected ordinary New Zealanders' lives. Barry got involved in many of the issues bubbling in the first half of the 1970s — including opposing the Vietnam War, nuclear testing, and All Black tours of South Africa. He decided to put his growing interest in documentary filmmaking to service ‘as a useful contribution to the debates and campaigns’ of the times. In 1973, Barry and his camera joined the crew of a protest boat to Moruroa atoll, where the French government continued to test nuclear weapons. Barry edited the footage into a film in his bedroom, after getting advice from an editor. Moruroa 1973 proved an auspicious beginning, winning a primetime screening on Kiwi television, and sales to Europe (he would return to the topic in 1988, producing and researching Nuklia Fri Pasifik, which examined the role played by the South Pacific in the nuclear arms race.) In 2008, Barry unveiled arguably his most high profile documentary to date. While researching the techniques used by the National Party during the 2005 election campaign, he discovered investigative author Nicky Hager was working on similar material, for his book The Hollow Men. The two then collaborated on a film of the same title.

Bhim, Mosmi: Stifled aspirations – Fiji’s 2014 elections under restrictive laws

Eight years after the 5 December 2006 coup, Fiji is having general elections on 17 September 2014 under repressive laws curtailing Freedom of Expression and the media, government accountability and the judiciary. A notable number of candidates aspire for parliamentary seats under the imposed 2013 Constitution and an Electoral Decree released a few months prior to elections. In an atmosphere of lavish campaign advertisements on billboards, public transport vehicles and the daily media by the coup-installed Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s political party Fiji First, political parties struggle to have their voice heard amidst the limitations. Two daily media companies – the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation and the Fiji Sun – display blatant bias towards the Fiji First party by providing them excessive and preferential coverage and portraying other parties in a negative light; other media organisations attempt to give a fairer coverage. As the debate heats up amidst harsh crackdowns by police on ‘trouble-makers’ vandalising Fiji First posters, it remains to be seen if the elections will be ‘free and fair’. This paper, through analysis of media materials, campaigning, polling and results calculations, will find out if citizens were able to participate freely and fully in the 2014 ‘democratic’ elections.

Mosmi Bhim has been a lecturer in ethics and governance at the Fiji National University since 2011. In the aftermath of the 2006 coup in Fiji, she worked as a communications and advocacy officer at the civil society organisation Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) where she actively advocated for human rights, good governance and return to parliamentary democracy. She has an MA in Governance from the University of the South Pacific (USP) and a BA in Journalism and History/Politics from USP. She has research interests in freedom of expression, media freedom and government accountability, human rights and authoritarian regimes.

Callaghan, Ruth: Classroom curation — using<> as a participatory journalism teaching tool

The use of the news curation tool<> as a publication platform for journalism and news has accelerated.  The service is now used by diverse mainstream news publishers, (including ABC news, the Times, New York Post and Washington Post), news wire services (Associated Press, Agence France Presse), and news generators (the Whitehouse, United Nations and World Bank, to name a few) to collect and publish ‘social stories’ comprising social media content and framing statements.  Within the classroom, storify has been recognized as having value in enabling students to produce with speed and ease news stories based on social content, but likewise challenges them to assess content, consider agendas and frames, and develop storytelling skills (Mihialdis & Cohen, 2013). Indeed, the tool can reposition journalists (or journalism students) in the traditional gatekeeper role (Bakker, 2014) of a wire desk editor, requiring educators to revisit the need for skill development in the selection and verification of content. This paper examines the use of<> in a journalism class-based newsroom as a tool to curate breaking news, including the search for the MH370, and lessons learned about teaching skills in content selection and verification.

Ruth Callaghan is a journalist, media strategist and journalism educator based at Edith Cowan University in Perth. An award-winning writer, she has spent two decades as a working and freelance reporter with newspapers and magazines, and works with corporates, educators and government to improve awareness of how the media operates. She has lectured in journalism, broadcasting and public relations for almost 10 years and specialises in the teaching of new and digital media practices, media law and ethics, entrepreneurial journalism and feature writing.

Chesterfield, Nick: Re-framing the guerrillas in the mist, avoiding a media abyss: Overcoming media mythmaking, malignancies, and dangerous conduct in West Papua reportage

With the recent Presidential election of Joko Widowi, a populist wayang puppet mastered by deeply undemocratic military forces in Indonesia, many observers of the ongoing and brutal Indonesian colonisation of West Papua are expressing a long held, but erroneous hope that this will signal a change and usher in a new transparency in the universally-condemned ban on Foreign journalists entering West Papua. This paper examines the current state of media freedom in Papua, historical perspectives and changes in media freedom for both clandestine and independent media capabilities, and safety for qualified and citizen journalists.  It argues that far from opening up the occupied territory to international scrutiny, the security forces are in fact tightening their grip on freedom of expression and the ability for independent media to operate freely in West Papua – and as a result calls on international journalists to do more. The arrest in August of two French journalists, the unprecedented harassment of sources and contacts,  attempted extradition and security threats to the author on espionage charges, highlight the reality of the alleged opening of Papua’s media environment.  With only two foreign journalist permits issued to visit to West Papua in two years, West Papua Media uses its position as the only credible independent media network organisation to ‘fix’ clandestine reportage missions inside West Papua.  Journalistic ethics and failures of accessing Papua according to the ‘legal’ official channels, versus the successes of working underground with clandestine methods, ‘illegal entry’, and secure digital and physical Safe Witness Broadcasting techniques are examined.

Nick Chesterfield is a human rights journalist and Safe Witness Journalism trainer who co-founded the clandestine West Papua Media network (partners to the Pacific Media Centre) network in 2007.  A former human rights and refugee protection field worker, environmental, human security investigator and activist with 18 years of experience across indigenous Melanesia, Chesterfield is one the few non-Papuan journalists dedicated to breaking the media blackout of West Papua despite lack of funding.  He is still currently facing Indonesian espionage and subversion charges for journalist activities in West Papua, connected to the arrest of French journalists in August 2014, and ongoing smuggling of international journalists into West Papua.

Craddock, Pat: University journalism casualties: A Fiji media freedom case study

This paper is a case study analysis of an attack on academic and media freedom at the Pacific’s regional university in the months in 2014 preceeding the first general election since the 2006 military coup. The University of the South Pacific in Suva employed expatriate lecturers Patrick Craddock of New Zealand and Matthew Thompson of Australia to teach journalism during the first Semester of 2014. By the end of the term both lecturers were in conflict with both the university and the military government.  It began with a media release (MR) from Craddock and Thompson criticising the army for defending their use of torture on civilians.  A second story in the MR said that two respected senior Fiji journalists had been denied accreditation at a meeting held in Nadi. Both journalists asked for a clarification for this action by the military government.  Neither received an explanation.   Radio, TV and the Fijian national newspapers reported this MR as front-page news. The USP senior administration took offence and issued a statement querying the accuracy and propriety of the MR, saying that an internal investigation would take place and that the USP would consider appropriate action against the two academics.  Craddock and Thompson were interviewed. By the Acting Vice-Chancellor who said there has been an internal complaint about the MR but declined to name the complainant. Both lecturers were sent a letter saying that they had to sign a statement acknowledging that they would obey the code of behavior expected of USP staff. The letter implied that the MR was inaccurate and the action of the two journalists could affect work permits for future staff.  Craddock and Thompson denied any inaccuracy in their MR and refused to sign the letters. Both staff left the university and declined to work there under a self-censorship regime.

Pat Craddock began his radio career with Radio New Zealand and worked as a producer for Morning Report, the documentary programme Insight and Radio New Zealand International.  He was then appointed as the first manager for the newly formed Radio New Zealand Continuing Education Unit. The skills of journalism and media education then merged and he became a media trainer in Papua New Guinea, Fiji Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, Kenya and Mozambique. He has worked for the University  of the South Pacific (USP) on four different occasions over a time frame of 20 years that covered the Speight coup of 2000 and the Bainimarama coup of 2006. His last appointment at USP was from March to July of this year. Craddock is on the editorial board of Pacific Journalism Review.

Cullen, Trevor: Health reporting in the Pacific: New challenges ahead.

Health is a topic that affects everyone, either through their own personal experiences or those of their family, friends or work colleagues. Indeed, people are more interested in what hits closest to home, and they want information that is accurate and they can trust. Yet, for a long time, reporting health consisted largely of statistics on the number of deaths and cases of disease, or reporting on epidemiological data that affect people we do not know. While this is important for health officials, it is of little interest to audiences who demand information that is useful to their daily lives.  Researchhas shown that if effectively used, the media can lessen fear and stigma which are the biggest obstacles to seeking information and treatment about diseases. But the reality is that with the 24/7 news cycle, journalists are more reactive than proactive in terms of news gathering, and often rely on receiving news and information in pre-packaged media releases or videos. Besides, journalists are seldom experts in the field they report on and depend on people and experts to share their stories.  Yet, the media have a significant role to play by informing the public and holding governments to account. An added problem that journalists in many Pacific countries face is that they rely heavily on a diet of press releases, workshop invitations and event launches to drive their health news. In an article on health journalism in the Pacific, Gooch and Williams-Lahari (2008) argue that health is much more than drugs and doctors, and they list a series of factors that influence health such as gender inequality, good governance, human rights legislation, the changing role of culture, traditional taboos around sexuality, the influence of faith-based organisations, migration and national development. This perspective on health provides a new and extensive list of news and feature stories for print, online and broadcast journalists. But this wider focus on the social determinants of health is not what drives health journalism in many Pacific countries.

Dr Trevor Cullen is associate professor of journalism and coordinates the journalism programme at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. His doctoral thesis focused on press coverage of HIV/AIDS and he is the author of several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, workshops and conference papers on the topic. As the leading specialist in his field, he has been awarded several major research grants in Australia and internationally. In recent years, he has conducted courses and lectures in China. Dr Cullen is on the editorial board of Pacific Journalism Review.

Davies, Kayt:  The logging of ‘cloud forest’on the island of Kolombangara: An investigative case study

This paper presents a case study of the process of creating a piece of journalism about an indigenous-run legal bid to challenge potentially corrupt government approvals, in order to save a rare cloud-forest in the Solomon Islands. In addition to documenting the process of researching and writing a story for an international audience about an issue that is so slow moving that it does not conform with the usual criteria for gaining media attention, the paper will discuss the process of creating an exegesis about the story.  Pacific Journalism Review's Frontline section is pioneering the research format that comprises pieces of journalism accompanied by exegeses. This format has been discussed in several papers and presentations over recent years and yet there is still a relatively low level of use of this methodology among journalism scholars, suggesting that the exegesis writing process is not well understood. This paper builds on the work of Nash (2014) and Bacon (2012) and points to how the guidelines they proscribed were applied in this case. Specific points this exegesis covers include a discussion about seeking impartiality when using sources known through family and social networks and the challenges of reporting complex legal issues and balancing technical accuracy with the need for succinct writing. The case study article about the Kolombangara Cloud Forest has been accepted for publication by the UK-based, globally-distributed publication New Internationalist. The article and exegesis will be submitted to PJR’s Frontline section later this year.

Bacon, W. (2012) An innovative direction in academic journalism. Pacific Journalism Review, 18(2), 153-165.
Nash, C. (2014) Research degrees in journalism: what is an exegesis?, Pacific Journalism Review, 20 (1), 76-98.

Dr Kayt Davies is a senior lecturer in journalism at Edith Cowan University. Initially trained as a cadet journalist in business news, she has worked for The West Australian, Visnews (London), and edited community newspapers, magazines and online news services. She has a BA (Psych) Honours, an MPhil in English and Comparative Literature and her PhD was an ethnographic study of women's magazine editors. She has been awarded two Vice-Chancellor's citations for teaching and an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation. She is the founding editor of Research Journalism, an academic journal dedicated to enabling journalism scholars to practise journalism.

Dreaver, Barbara: TVNZ Pacific affairs correspondent

Barbara DreaverAs Pacific correspondent for ONE News, Barbara Dreaver's coverage of stories have included Fiji's cursed "cannibal village" and the sinking islands of Tuvalu. She has broken many stories including New Zealand businessman Mark Lyon's activities in the Cook Islands and the discovery of live chemical weapons lying at the side of the road in the Solomon Islands. As well as international stories Barbara has also concentrated on issues facing Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand. She has exposed a scam targeting Pacific Islands pensioners and other concerns facing the community. Barbara says she is passionate about her job because of her cultural heritage. She was born and brought up in her mother's home country of Kiribati and also spent eight years working in the Cook Islands. After graduating from Auckland University with a BA, Barbara began her career in journalism in 1990 as a reporter with the Rarotonga-based Cook Islands News. From there she co-owned and edited a weekly newspaper Cook Islands Press that won a regional Freedom of the Press award. She also worked for international news organisations such as AFP and Radio New Zealand International.

Barbara Dreaver's TVNZ web page

Drugunalevu, Eliki and Irene Manueli: Media freedom in Fiji: Journalism challenges facing an  independent, campus-based, student newspaper

This paper examines how the University of the South Pacific (USP) journalism training newspaper,  Wansolwara, has skirted around media censorship in Fiji to report on some major national issues as part of student learning. This includes having to contend with punitive legislation such as the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) and later the Media Industry Development Decree 2010. When PER was replaced by the Media Decree, no significant change was witnessed in Fiji's mainstream journalism. Restraint was exercised by both the national daily newspapers, Fiji Sun and The Fiji Times, especially related to criticism of government policies.Wansolwara fell somewhat under the radar, possibly because it was a journalism training publication with limited circulation at the time. In spite of claims by a former USP Vice-Chancellor that journalism students should only practise 'simulated' journalism,Wansolwara, which has won several Journalism Education Association (JEA) awards in its 16-year existence, has always considered itself as a serious newspaper tackling major national and regional issues to prepare students for life as a journalist. It was awarded the Dr Charles Stuart Best Publication award for coverage of the 2000 George Speight attempted coup, underlining that students were practising real rather than simulated journalism (Robie, 2010). In the May 2014 issue, under student editor Tevita Vuibau, Wansolwara focused on media freedom and the impending 2014 elections, with some in the mainstream media accused of being forced into producing 'churnalism' by strict legislation. Vuibau works at the Fiji Times, but found space in Wansolwara to truly express himself as a journalist. This illustrates the importance of an independent campus-based newspaper unencumbered by commercial and other forms of pressure emanating from owners, advertisers and the State. This paper will draw from in-depth interviews with the student editors and other stakeholders, and document research of past issues ofWansolwara.

Eliki Drugunalevu and Irene Manueli are journalism assistant lecturers in the Pacific Regional Journalism programme at the University of the South Pacific and supervisors of the award-winning student newspaper Wansolwara.

Duffield, Lee: Twenty Years of Pacific Journalism Review

The Pacific Journalism Review has consistently, at a good standard, honoured its founding goal from 1994: to be a credible peer-reviewed journal in the Asia-Pacific region, probing new developments in journalism and media, and supporting journalism education. Universalistic, it considers new media and social movements; ‘regional’, it respects and follows vernacular media, concerned for human freedoms and sustainable development. This article asks how this was achieved; for its method, to read through the archive, noting the authorship, subject matter and themes. It concludes that one first answer is the strong demand for this forum; hundreds, whether academics, journalists or others, have contributed. Secondly has been the dedication of its one principal editor, Professor David Robie, always providing resources - at Port Moresby, Suva, now Auckland - and a consistent editorial stance.Too eclectic to be partisan, it has been vigilant nevertheless over rights, e.g. through coups d’etat in Fiji. Watching the Pacific through a media lens, it follows a ‘Pacific way’, handling hard information through understanding and consensus. It has 237 subscriptions indexed to seven databases. Open source, it receives more than 1000 site visits weekly. With ‘clientele’ mostly in Australia, New Zealand and ‘Oceania’, a wider following includes 12.5 percent online in Europe. From 1994 to 2012, 727 articles and reviews were published, expanding to more than 24 scholarly articles a year.

Dr Lee Duffield is a senior lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, where he is postgraduate journalism coordinator  and is engaged in postgraduate teaching, supervision and assessment. He runs an international journalism programme in both European Union countries and the Pacific. This year he took a team of students to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Pacific Media Centre in New Zealand on a Pacific Affairs reporting mission. He is on the editorial board of Pacific Journalism Review and is a research associate of the PMC.

Elers, Phoebe: Online news representations of New Zealand e-health strategies

In the modern day, there is a widespread belief that e-health (electronic health) will play a vital role in reshaping health systems and contribute to providing safer, higher quality healthcare, in an environment facing increasing pressures (Rinaldi, 2014).  The term ‘e-health’ encapsulates the transfer of health resources and healthcare by electronic means (World Health Organization, 2014), and it is promoted with sediments of ‘self-management’ and ‘patient-centric’ healthcare (Ministry of Health, 2013).  This year the Ministry of Health and the IT Health Board have featured in a number of news articles endorsing e-health innovations and encouraging its uptake among patients and health providers (see: IT Health Board, 2014).  However, the concept of self-management in healthcare has been criticised as disguising health resource rationing and emphasising the citizen’s responsibility to maintain their health, while absolving liability from the state (Bury, 2008; Savard, 2013). Furthermore, the promotion of e-health commodities may be of particular benefit for commercial interests, and despite significant investments in the last decade, progress in integrating e-health systems has hindered (Gauld, 2004).  This has contributed to a growing debate about whether e-health strategies can achieve its speculated benefits (OECD, 2010).  This study applies qualitative content analysis toa series of online news articles concerning government commissionede-health strategies to undercover the values and assumptions underpinning these initiatives.  The findings are significant in considering the national development of e-health; which is of consequence to the government, healthcare providers and citizens of New Zealand.

Phoebe Elers is a PhD candidate in the School of Communication Studies at the Auckland University of Technology. She obtained a masters degree in health management from Queensland University of Technology with a specific focus on health communication. Her doctoral research explores the national implementation of the patient portal services in New Zealand, which is an online platform that facilitates digital communication between patients and their healthcare providers. She is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship.

Elers, Steve: Conducting research with Māori: Experiences, reflections and lessons from a Communication Studies PhD

This paper describes the experiences of researching among Māori for a doctoral thesis concerning media depictions of Māori, namely government-driven public information campaigns targeted at Māori.  The author conducted focus groups with 63 Māori participants and interviews with five Māori leaders in order to gain perspectives of the constructed identities of Māori that are portrayed in public information television advertisements.  The philosophical stance was influenced by critical theory and postcolonial criticism but an overarching kaupapa Māori approach to research was taken. The crux of this paper is a self-reflective cognitive examination of the experiences gained through research design, implementation and analysis.  This includes the rationale for choosing the research topic, the initial design of a kaupapa Māori approach, establishing contact and interactions with Māori organisations, through to the intricacies of actual research among Māori communities such as the ethical issues and interactions with one’s own iwi and hapū.  The importance of being a Māori researcher, as opposed to being a researcher who happens to be Māori, is also discussed as positioning of the self in relation to indigenous research is pertinent in order to develop theory and knowledge that benefits Māori rather than contributing only to the western academy.  Being situated within a particular embodied standpoint is explored in relation to how that affects the objectivity and validity of research among Māori.  This paper may be useful for researchers who are contemplating qualitative research with Māori participants and may contribute to the growing corpus of literature pertaining to kaupapa Māori approach.

Steve Elers is a Ph.D candidate and lecturer in the School of Communication Studies at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand. His masters degree was in public relations and he is a former police officer. His doctoral research is a qualitative study of Māori perspectives of the constructed identities of Māori that are portrayed in public information advertisements on television. He is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship and the Waikato-Tainui Doctoral Scholarship.

Ellmers, Steve: A tale of two statues: Contemporary conflict reporting constraints and the Battle of Baghdad

Although television conflict reporting has usually been limited by risks to journalists’ safety, the death throes of Baathist Iraq in April 2003 provided viewers with a unique opportunity to vicariously witness the fall of a large modern city. Yet if the iconic moment of the Second Gulf War came when Saddam Hussein’s statue in Firdos Square was toppled, then it was at the expense of another image event which unfolded earlier a short distance away. Because the U.S. military’s violent destruction of the equestrian statue close to the ‘Hands of Victory’ monument better encapsulates the conflict than the sterile bloodless ‘cakewalk’ description it’s usually labelled with. This article shows how the tale of these two statues is also in some ways the tale of two Fox News correspondents; and how an alienation from military service conditions and methods can leave reporters and their audiences with no sense of what the participants on their screens endured in order to reach Baghdad; or what they had also inflicted upon others. In retrospect, the circumstances which allowed one Fox reporter to provide the world with what might have been its first taste of live, unedited combat footage seem more like an accidental success than the result of systemic best practices. Especially when this network and even its most credible host remain committed to ensuring a particular partisan perspective dominates all their broadcasts.

Steve Ellmers is fascinated by conflict reporting and how military affairs are framed. He is currently a part-time Lecturer with UNITEC's Department of Communication Studies.

Evans, Malcolm:
Challenges for political cartooning

Malcolm Evans by Malcolm Evans

Always happiest with a pencil in his hand, Malcolm Evans has been a profes­sional cartoonist since the 1960s. Evans first cartooned for the Bay of Plenty Times in his hometown of Tauranga Evans and then, after cartooning for the Express and Star in England, he joined The New Zealand Herald in 1970.  Evans succeeded Sir Gordon Minhinnick in 1976 and then left the Herald in 1978 but continued to supply his popular Edna cartoons to New Zealand's Rural News. Evans returned to full time cartoon­ing with The New Zealand Herald in 1996 and was judged NZ cartoonist of the year in 1999 and again in 2003, the same year the Herald fired him for refusing to stop drawing anti-Zionist/Israeli cartoons. Since then he has supplied the Fairfax papers with daily cartoons and has also published two editions of a collection of political cartoons drawn from all of New Zealand's cartoonists.  And Evans has been the lead cartoonist for Pacific Journalism Review since it began publishing in New Zealand.

A display of political cartoons by Malcolm Evans will be on display in the WG128 foyer and also on a video screen.

Fernandez, Joseph:The confidential sources and shield law highwire: View from the journalist’s perch

The formal consideration of protection for Australian journalists’ confidential sources began at least two decades ago. Australian journalists have since fought for effective source protection against a backdrop of the sweeping powers of the courts to demand disclosure, and the oppressive powers of investigating authorities and inquiry bodies. Journalists have sought stronger source protection (shield law) through concerted campaigns, including one that attracted more than 38,000 signatures to a petition; and by tending to prefer penalty for contempt of court to source disclosure. Is the current shield law regime working? According to the peak journalists’ organisation, the Media Alliance, Australia’s recent record in this area ‘clearly demonstrate Australia’s patchy and disparate shields fails to do their job’. Recent court experiences for journalists exposed particular shield law inadequacies. Other inadequacies include the absence of definitive statutory protection in some jurisdictions; and the lack of uniform shield law across the jurisdictions where such law is available. While journalists demand effective shield law, a nagging question remains – what scope should such a law should have? Should the protection be ‘absolute’? Should it be qualified? Are journalists unanimous on their preference? Are journalists sufficiently aware of how shield law works? How do they negotiate work involving confidential sources? These and related questions are examined. This study will report on insights gained from an online survey and follow-up one-on-one interviews with journalists, on their experiences in working with confidential sources. The study’s objectives are to: (a) to better understand how Australian journalists operate when it involves obtaining information for publication through undertakings of confidentiality to their sources; (b) to better understand how legal and ethical rules and other considerations impact on journalists’ work when it involves reliance on confidential sources; and (c) to apply the understanding gained from this study towards efforts, including law reform efforts, aimed at addressing the issues identified.

Dr Joseph M. Fernandez is Associate Professor and head of Curtin University’s journalism department. His main teaching area is media law and he is the author of a peer-reviewed book – Media Law in Australia: Principles, Pitfalls and Potentials2013. He was chief editor of a Malaysian daily newspaper for 14 years and has been active in the Australian shield law area for more than a decade. His research focuses on the areas in which the law and journalism intersect. He graduated from Australian universities with a BA majoring in journalism and three law degrees – LLB, LLM and PhD in defamation law. His PhD thesis proposed a loosening of the defence of truth for media defendants in defined circumstances.

Forbes, Amy:  Marcos and censorship: Fairy tales of the martial law years

When then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972, press freedom became the first casualty. Filipinos woke up to silence and fear as television and radio stations were raided and then padlocked. Newspaper printing presses ground to a halt as journalists, editors, publishers and other so-called 'enemies of the state' were 'invited' for questioning in what became known as the ABC of military camps - Aguinaldo, Bonifacio and Camp Crame. Marcos was specially fearful of the press at the time and ordered the arrest of journalists who were charged with conspiring with the ‘Left’.  A handful of female journalists, particularly from the Daily Bulletin, among them  Arlene Babst, Ninez Cacho Olivares, Domini Torrevillas, and Melinda de Jesus, appeared to get away with writing about Marcos and the human  rights violations committed by his regime in the name of 'saving the republic.' In this paper, I interview Ninez Cacho-Olivares who recounts how she used humour and fairy tales in her popular column for the Daily Bulletin (formerly Manila Bulletin) to criticise Marcos, his wife, Imelda, their cronies and even the very military who would occasionally 'invite' her for questioning if Marcos found her columns overstepping the false freedom of the press he claimed to have restored following pressure from the US government in the 1980s. Using examples of her writing at the time, I show how effective Olivares' writing was in animating discussions in cafés and social gatherings using her unique brand of humour and biting sarcasm directed against the dictator. She explains an unwritten code between. Marcos and the female journalists of her time that she says is still observed by succeeding Philippine presidents as she continues her more than 50 years of oppositional political journalism in a country that once boasted of being the 'freest in Asia'.

Dr Amy Forbes is a senior lecturer in journalism and communication at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. She is also a journalist who has worked across television, print and online platforms. She was co-publisher and columnist of the Philippines' first daily online newspaper, Balitang Kababayan, in 1995 while an academic at De La Salle University Manila where she was associate professor in communication. She received a 2014 Office for Learning & Teaching award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for leadership and excellence in developing and delivering a pioneering WIL-based curriculum in Multimedia Journalism at JCU.

Goldson, Annie: Caught in the web: Issues from the Dotcom case

This presentation will explore the methodological design of a trans-media project currently underway. The project combines two related outputs—a feature documentary and an online journal—both hosted on a Creative Commons site. The project as a whole uses tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, or more accurately, issues arising from the ‘Dotcom case’ as its starting point. The battle between Dotcom and the US Government and entertainment industry – being fought in New Zealand – is one that goes to the heart of ownership, privacy, and ‘piracy’ in the digital age, also raising issues about New Zealand’s independence and sovereignty. The first of the two outputs will be a major feature documentary, which, given the colourful character at its centre, should attract a large popular audience. Whereas the film will engage with the underlying issues, the second output, a peer-reviewed edited collection written by journalists and scholars who provide commentary within the film, will offer a more in-depth analysis. The choice to register it through a Creative Commons license gives the project a methodological elegance, given the content at its heart. Finally, having a live “hub” during the process of production will allow us to present works-in-progress, encourage dialogue, and actively promote the project, and the debate, worldwide.

Professor Annie Goldson is a documentary film-maker whose films have won over 60 awards at international film festivals, have opened theatrically in the US, Australia and New Zealand and sold to major broadcasters worldwide. Her films include Punitive Damage, Georgie Girl, Sheilas: 28 Years On, Pacific Solution, Elgar’s Enigma, An Island Calling, Brother Number One and He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan. Annie also regularly publishes academic articles and book chapters in a range of scholarly collections and journals. She holds an ONZM for services to film and received her PhD at the University of Auckland where she current teaches.

Gooch, Nicole: Investigating violent environmental protests in New Caledonia’s south against the Vale nickel refinery, using a political ecology framework

This paper presents a case study of the motivations driving the latest wave of violent protests against a nickel refinery in the south of New Caledonia, and how political ecology, as a conceptual framework, can be used hand in hand with journalism to provide in-depth reporting on environmental conflicts, which will result in the truth claims that define journalism as research (Nash 2013, 2014). Earlier this year the government of New Caledonia ordered Brazilian nickel mining company Vale to shut down its US$6 billion nickel facility at Goro, after an estimated 100,000 litres of acid-tainted effluent ended up in a creek, killing thousands of fish (Jamasmie). The mine and its refinery have been plagued by a string of similar incidents since construction begun a little over ten years ago, each time raising the ire of indigenous and environmental rights’ protesters (Gooch, 2012).  However, many of the protesters also work at the mine, which serves to highlight the complexity of the issues at stake. The mine is indeed deeply embedded in a specific political, economic, social and cultural context, including decolonisation and questions over legitimacy of power (Horowitz, 2009; van Vuuren, 2008).  While political ecology helps to decipher the ‘social forms of access and control over resources’ (Peet and Watts, 2004), journalism as research ‘requires a conceptual framework specific to the field of empirical focus, and that can only be supplied from the relevant field and associated discipline(s)’ (Nash, 2014).  Investigating an environmental conflict such as this one is therefore a good example of how a political ecology framework can help to make better sense of the processes and motivations at play and hence help to produce journalism that provides better answers to the questions of ‘how’ and ‘why’ identified by James Carey (1996) as frequently left unanswered by our profession.

Nicole Gooch is a freelance journalist from New Caledonia who covers environmental, maritime and health issues. She previously worked in public health at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). She is also an associate of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at UTS and is a contributor to Pacific Journalism Review.

Hoeta, Ayla: Social media supports rangatahi online whānau identity

Social media in adolescent life today is a new historical phenomenon. During the last decade social media became a significant part of daily life for majority of adolescents. This paper explores a lineage of research to provide understanding of how Māori adolescents (rangatahi) are influenced by this phenomenon. Literature revealed significant socioeconomic gaps between Māori and non-Māori adolescents in New Zealand which contributed to a history of inferior rangatahi digital and educational development. Today however, rangatahi social media use has increased significantly, showing great possibilities by which rangatahi online communities have appropriated social media technology to serve cultural, educational and social visions. This paper will discuss the key finding, rangatahi online whānau identity. The inclusion of whānau in education has proven to be an effective method for rangatahi success in education. Focusing on this method, this study investigates how whānau is being utilised for/by rangatahi in the context of social media. Fifteen discourses from three different rangatahi Facebook communities were analysed. The overarching methodology used in this study is kaupapa Māori (practices based on Māori customs and values) and the additional method used during data collection is content analysis. Content analysis was used quantitatively to draw samples of discourses, and used qualitatively to analyse texts. Kaupapa Māori remained the guiding paradigm throughout the entire study. Māori customs and values such as tapu (restriction and respect), koha (reciprocity and acknowledgement) and aroha (compassion and empathy) are some examples of the underlying kaupapa Māori values exercised throughout this research. This paper concludes with in-depth knowledge of social media and its usefulness for rangatahi today.

Ayla Hoeta is an Honour's degree student in the School of Communication Studies at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.  She has recently completed her dissertation which is a qualitative study of social media's contribution to rangatahi (Māori youth) formation of Māori identity. She is a recipient of the Graduate Teaching Assistant Scholarship, Waikato-Tainui Postgraduate Scholarship and is also a part of the Hāpai programme, which offers additional part-time employment, career pathway support and professional development opportunities to Māori postgraduate students.

Leadbeater, Maire:  Conflict in West Papua: The contrast between historic and contemporary media coverage in New Zealand

Many New Zealanders, even in politically aware circles have a limited understanding of West Papua and frequently confuse the Indonesian-controlled territory with its neighbour, Papua New Guinea.  This reflects the very limited mainstream media coverage of the territory and of the ongoing conflict that is taking place there. However, in 1962 and again in 1969 the New Zealand media gave considerable attention to the crises that enveloped West Papua and determined its subsequent destiny. The territory’s Pacific location was often highlighted and the statements of West Papuan leaders were reported. 1962 saw escalating Indonesian military intervention in the territory and subsequently the signing of the controversial US-brokered New York Agreement between the Netherlands and Indonesia. In 1969, Indonesia conducted an ‘Act of Free Choice’ which was widely seen by external observers as a fraudulent act of self-determination. This paper will give examples of this historic coverage and consider what might be done to bring about change and to bring West Papua back into the frame as a Pacific neighbour.

Maire Leadbeater was active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and in the mass peace movement of the 1980s that successfully advocated for a Nuclear Free New Zealand. She has also been involved in a number of human rights and solidarity NGOs and is currently active in West Papua Action Auckland. Her research focus at present is about New Zealand’s foreign policy concerning West Papua from 1949 to the present.  Maire is a regular contributor to newspapers and journals on the topic of New Zealand’s foreign and human rights policies.  Leadbeater is the author of Negligent Neighbour: New Zealand’s complicity in the invasion and occupation of Timor Leste(2006) and holds an Amnesty International New Zealand life-time award for her work in human rights.

Marbrook, Jim: Cap Bocage: When a Mountain fell into the Sea


Cap Bocage
Cap Bocage

"At Cap Bocage in New Caledonia in early January 2008, heavy rains washed toxic sludge from the hilltop nickel mines into Kanak customary fishing grounds below. Coastal village people testify that it’s the dramatic culmination of a slow and steady pollution that’s been going on for 30 years. Aucklander Jim Marbrook’s documentary follows independence activist Florent Eurisouké as he and the environmental organisation Mèè Rhaari take on the mining company, Ballande. Refusing any compromise, Mèè Rhaari demands repair and restitution. It’s a drawn out struggle, punctuated with judicial interventions and court-appointed environmental reports. Every delay favours Ballande as time and tide gradually disperse the spill into the ocean; meanwhile, Mèè Rhaari can act only with the endorsement of the traditional council leaders. Divisions grow between Eurisouké and the ‘realists’ among the elders. Their pragmatic accommodation to life with Ballande is openly admitted, but the details are, significantly, kept off camera. The charismatic Eurisouké constitutes a dynamic force field in Marbrook’s telling picture of a French Pacific territory deeply divided on the issue of independence." - Bill Gosden's NZ International Film Festival Notes. This film was the first creative project assisted by the Pacific Media Centre when it was established in 2007. More substantial grants followed from Creative New Zealand and NZ Film.

Director Jim Marbrook is best known for his documentary work, which has screened on television and at the NZ round of film festivals. Auckland born and bred, Marbrook began making and studying films in the 90s, while at Concordia University in Montreal. His first short after returning home, dark drama Jumbo, debuted at the NZ round of film festivals in 1998. It also played in a number of international festivals. Since 2007 he has lectured in Television and Screen at Auckland University of Technology, where his research topics include health and the disabled. Around 2001, Marbrook met Gisborne speed chess maestro Genesis Potini, who was living with a bipolar disorder. Marbrook’s film Dark Horse about Potini  won Best Feature at the 2005 DOCNZ International Documentary Festival. Potini’s life would later inspire the 2014 Cliff Curtis feature The Dark Horse, which Marbrook co-produced, and was screened at the NZ International Film Festival this year, as was Cap Bocage.

Morris, Ricardo: Friday Keynote Address

Ricardo MorrisFiji journalist and publisher Ricardo Morris is fighting two battles. As journalist, editor and publisher of Repúblika Magazine in Fiji, he works tirelessly to publish and promote his publication. And as president of the Fijian Media Association, he works to promote freedom and liberties in a media landscape where military censorship prevailed until 2012. View the profile of Morris made by a Pacific Media Centre student at the time of the Fiji general election in September:

Guest speaker Ricardo Morris is sponsored for the New Zealand trip to the conference by AUT’s Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies.

Repúblika Magazine

Nash, Chris: ‘Atolls in the ocean/ canaries in the mine: Australian journalism about the impact of climate change in the Pacific.’

This paper examines in close detail the journalism over the period 2009 to 2011 by two leading Australian journalists about the impact of climate change in the Pacific, and broadly contextualises it in the subsequent coverage since that time to the present.  The global political context was the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2009 COP15 Conference in Copenhagen at which the Association of Small Island States under the leadership at the time of Tuvalu achieved a very high profile for the looming plight of Pacific island states.  The two journalists whose work is examined were the two most prolific over the period: Adam Morton, then Environmental Editor for The Age newspaper in Melbourne, and Rowan Callick, then Asia-Pacific editor for The Australian national broadsheet.  The two took diametrically opposed positions on the threat posed by climate change to low-lying island states and littoral areas.  The paper deploys a theoretical framework drawing on the field theory of Pierre Bourdieu and the spatio-temporality theory of David Harvey and Henri Lefebvre to produce a highly textured analysis, which it suggests might offer a model for the production of reflexive and rigorous journalism on other topics more broadly.

Dr Chris Nash is Professor of Journalism at Monash University. He has a professional award-winning background in radio and television current affairs, and film and web documentary. His current research interests focus on journalism as a scholarly research methodology, journalism and the environment and journalism and aesthetics. He is on the editorial board of Pacific Journalism Review and has been a guest editor.

Oreña-Drilon, Ces: Thursday Keynote address:
Impunity in the Philippines: Losing the Maguindanao massacre case

This keynote talk will sound the alarm about developments in the trial of the Maguindanao massacre in the Southern Philippines in 2009 that could lead to a potential loss by the prosecution in this landmark case. Thirty four journalists were murdered by a local warlord’s militia is the worst ever death toll of news people in a single attack.  The case also has implications for political journalism in the Asia-Pacific region. Ces Oreña-Drilon says: “A series of stories I did on allegations of bribery of government prosecutors by the accused has triggered an investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation. A corruption complaint has been filed against the number two man in the Department of Justice and several prosecutors. Private prosecutors and state prosecutors no longer work in unison. Media  in the last three court hearings, have been barred from entering the police camp. Because of these worrisome developments as we approach the sixth anniversary of the murders, I would like to appeal for international organisations to continue their monitoring of the case. We need international eyes to help us in the fight against a miscarriage of justice. 

Ces Oreña-DrilonCes Oreña-Drilon is an award-winning Filipino broadcast and investigative journalist. She graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication research and has presented news and current affairs for the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation since 1989. After presenting the programme The Correspondents, since the 2000s she has been a co-anchor of the ABS-CBN flagship nightly news programmes Insider and Bandila. In 2008, she was abducted with two cameramen by al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants. She was held prisoner in the Sulu jungle for nine days for ransom. She made a documentary about this experience called Kidnap. She has investigated and reported on many other high profile stories.

Guest speaker Ces Oreña-Drilon’s visit to New Zealand for the conference is sponsored by the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

ABS-CBN Bandila

Paul, Jessica:The dangerous meme: Exploring representations of Māori on Facebook

Race relations in Aotearoa/New Zealand are somewhat complex and multifaceted. Since colonisation, Māori have experienced some of the most negative social, political and economic outcomes in the country and have done so progressively compared with their Pākehā counterparts (Bell, 2009; Durie, 2000; Humpage, 2006; Knox, 2004; Sibley, Hoverd & Liu, 2011). Explanations for social disparities between Māoriand Pākehāin everyday discourse have evoked genetic or cultural characteristics of marginalised populations without recognition given to the social, political and economic environments within which they arise (Borell at al., 2009, p. 30). Furthermore, there is a substantial body of work in media studies and social commentary which suggests Māori have been historically and contemporarily misrepresented by the New Zealand media, and that these misrepresentations have had a significant effect on Māori wellbeing (Abel, 1997; Durie, 2003; Loto, Hodgetts, Chamberlain, Nikora, Karapu and Barnetti, 2006; Nairn, 2006; Spoonley, 1990; Walker, 1990; Walker 2002). There are few studies to date which investigate Māori representation on the Internet, and none which focus specifically on Māori representations on social media.  Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore how Maori are represented on the social networking website Facebook.  It will entail using Dryzek’s (1997) discourse analysis to examine a meme and its accompanying posts. 

Jessica Paul is a masters degree student and lecturer in the School of Communication Studies and with the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Development at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand.  She recently completed an honours dissertation in communication studies, which was a qualitative study of Māori representation in the form of memes on Facebook.   She is a recipient of the School of Communication Studies Postgraduate Scholarship and is also a part of the Hapai programme, which offers additional part-time employment, career pathway support and professional development opportunities to Māori postgraduate students.

Nur-Muhammad, Rizwangul, Giles Dodson, Evangelia Papoutsaki and Heather Horst: The art of symbolic resistance

 Living far from homeland, yet making ethnic culture alive online. This paper explores how the Uyghur diaspora represent their culture online and how this cultural representation contributes the articulation of their cultural identity. This paper presents original research and findings from an exploratory empirical examination of cultural identity construction of the Uyghur diaspora through their daily communication on Facebook. Based on systematic quantitative and qualitative content analysis of Uyghur Facebook usage, the research examines how cultural identity among the Uyghur diaspora is represented and is undergoing construction in everyday online communicative settings. The research finds that Uyghur cultural symbols are being actively shared and are represented among the Uyghur diaspora members on Facebook, which in turn, stands for the very process of constructing cultural identity of this diaspora. Meanwhile, this cultural representation online expresses alliance with the discontent towards prohibitions related to cultural practices in China and reveals a feeling of anxiety of loosing identity as well as hope of preserving and continuing Uyghur culture among the diaspora Uyghurs.

Rizwangul Nur-Muhammad, prior to completing her postgraduate studies at Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, was involved in media news production as editor and interpreter. She received her Master’s degree in International Communication at Department of Communication Studies, Unitec. Her research interests focus on social media, diaspora community development and identity construction. Her thesis “Identity Construction Online: The use of Facebook by the Uyghur diaspora” has received international attention by diaspora, online social media and academic individuals and institutions signalling the merit of this research topic, signalling its high academic merit.

Papoutsaki, Evangelia, Sandra Kailahi and Usha Harris: Communicating climate change, disaster and crisis in the Pacific

The Pacific Islands region has been on the focus of the climate change debate in the last few years.  Several islands are already experiencing the impact of climate change on their small economies, cultures and fragile natural habitat. This has brought to attention the need to establish stronger communication mechanisms and install a range of media and communication platforms to provide access to early warning systems before a disaster and communication during disaster response. As the complexity of the media and communication environment of this region increases with the arrival of new technologies, questions remain about the appropriateness of ICTs for use during emergencies and disasters. There is also a greater need for understanding the possibilities of integrating ICTs like mobile phones into media and communication plans for disaster response technologies like radio. This research presentation is based on the PACMAS State of Media and Communication Baseline research project (2013), undertaken across 14 Pacific Island nations and through a partnership between RMIT University (Australia), the University of Goroka (Papua New Guinea) and UNITEC (New Zealand). The paper focuses on aspects of climate change and emergency and crisis communication systems through the research’s key components (media policy, systems, capacity building and content). It gives some key findings that highlight the urgency of developing and sustaining systems of communication vital for these island nations.

Dr Evangelia Papoutsaki is an associate professor at the Department of Communication Studies, Unitec Institute of Technology, in Auckland, New Zealand, Research Associate at the Pacific Media Centre, AUT and editor-in-chief of Unitec ePress. Her professional background and academic interests are on development and communication for social change in developing countries. She has extensive experience in the Pacific and involvement in major research projects, including the PACMAS State of the Media report in 2013. She is a former reviews editor of Pacific Journalism Review.

Sandra Kailahi is a researcher and media professional and has worked in mainstream and Pacific media in New Zealand and the Pacific.  She was one of the main researchers on the PACMAS State of the Media report in 2013. She is working with RMIT in Melbourne on ‘The Gender of Money’ project looking at the way Tongan people living in New Zealand send money back to the kingdom. She is a published author and playwright and her research interests include media and communication in New Zealand and the Pacific and participatory video methods. Sandra is a founder and current Chair of the Pacific Islands Media Association in NZ.

Dr Usha S. Harris is an academic in the Department of Media Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. She has a keen interest in participatory approaches to communication planning. D Harris' current research uses participatory media to better understand climate change impacts on culture and heritage in the Pacific. In 2012 she led a participatory media-training project for the Pacific Gender Climate Coalition whose facilitators work with climatic-vulnerable communities in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Niue, and Papua New Guinea.

Pearson, Mark:  Suppression, sentences, surveillance, security and cynical spin: Is Australia an emerging Secret State?

Australia's reputation as a Western democracy valuing free expression has been eroded significantly by a raft of new laws and policies. The conservative Abbott government has placed its stamp on media law and free and open public commentary with several changes in both legislation and policy.In the course of its first year in office it has:

- blocked the media from information on the important human rights issue of the fate of asylum seekers

- initiated major budget cuts on the publicly funded ABC

- used anti-terror laws to win a 'super injunction' on court proceedings that might damage its international relations

- proposed ramped up surveillance powers of national security agencies and banning reporting of security operations

- proposed increased jail terms for leaks about security matters

- mooted a new gag on 'incitement to terrorism'

- moved to stop not-for-profits advocating against government policy in their service agreements

- slated the Office of the Information Commissioner for abolition, promising tardy FOI appeals

- proposed the taxing of telcos to pay for its new surveillance measures, potentially a modern version of licensing the press.

The initiatives follow in the steps of the prior Labor government that had proposed a new media regulatory regime with potentially crippling obligations under the Privacy Act. Over the same period the judiciary has presided over the jailing of a journalist for breaching a suppression order, the conviction of a blogger for another breach, and several instances of journalists facing contempt charges over refusal to reveal their sources. This paper reviews these measures and questions whether, in a regional context, Australia still has the authority to mentor smaller neighbouring nations in free expression and transparency issues.

Dr Mark Pearson is professor of journalism and social media at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. He is co-author (with Mark Polden) of The Journalist's Guide to Media Law (5th ed., Allen and Unwin, 2014) and is on the editorial board of Pacific Journalism Review. He is also the Australian representative of the Paris-based global media freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders.

Rahman, Khairiah: Dialogue and persuasion in the Islamic tradition: Implications for journalism

The media today faces constant ethical challenges. The Rupert Murdoch News of the World debacle reinforces the idea of that the media is controlled and mismanaged, potentially damaging and serves a propagandist role. Western media that represents a dominant group has also been criticised for unbalanced, prejudicial and unfair reporting, particularly when presenting non-western or non-white cultural groups. Negative stereotyping and internal attributions often characterise such reporting, revealing more about the cultural bias of the reporter than the inaccurate cultural representation of those tarnished. The legacy of the fourth estate seems set to be put to rest with exposed manipulation of news stories through unethical conduct. According to the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer report of 27 surveyed nations, “nearly 80 percent of countries reported trusting media less over the last year” (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2014).  In a fast-paced, fast-changing world post 9/11, Western media have also been accused of misrepresenting Islam and Muslims through biased reporting and misinformation. Muslims are often depicted as a homogenous group prone to acts of terrorism. With globalisation and rising interests in the Arab world, media stories and sources will continue to be cited from a largely Muslim population. In addition, the world’s Muslim population of 1.6 billion people in 2010 is projected to increase by 35 percentin the next 20 years (DeSilver, 2013), making Muslims a significant global consumer of the media. However, it would not be surprising to learn that Muslims worldwide are cautious, if not resentful, of Western media that create Islamaphobia – a culture of fear of Islam and Muslims. There needs to be more discussion on intercultural expectations of ethical communication if journalists and media outlets are serious about building trust and upholding ethical standards in reporting. This paper explores dialogic and persuasive communication in the Islamic tradition and discusses their similarities and differences with the Western perspective, offering an insight into this untapped area. This paper analyses some critical reviews of ethical communication practice by religious scholars based on the Quran (Book of God) and Hadith (recorded teachings of the prophet). The findings will prove useful for journalists working in Muslim environments.

Khairiah A. Rahman is a senior lecturer in the School of Communication Studies, AUT University, in Auckland, where she lectures in intercultural communication and public relations. She is national director (New Zealand) for Asian Congress for Media and Communication and has served as an educational ambassador for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiative in Singapore, training government officials of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. She has also served in the Singapore International Foundation as a volunteer tutor for third world countries.

Rajkhowa, Arjun: Popular politics and divergent claims of national unity

In the contemporary context, nationalism and national identity in Western societies are highly contested conceptions. Both academia and the public sphere are characterised by intersecting and divergent claims of national identity. Competing notions of authenticity and ‘belonging’ pervade discussions of national identity in the media and in political spheres. In many quarters, nationalism has been assailed as an anachronistic historical phenomemon. This is countervailed by the continuing insertion of nationalistic discourse in the public sphere, where it remains a valid and sometimes potent tool of political mobilisation. In western societies, the ideological chasm between those who espouse a resurgence of nationalism and those who abhor it is significant. This is in marked contrast to several ‘non-Western’ nations where nationalism (in its contemporary manifestations) either remains or has recently become a commonly-deployed means of forging political identity and a staple of media discourse. This paper examines news stories from 2014 in Australia that illuminate the complexities surrounding Australian national identity and nationalism. It surveys different notions about and approaches to nationalism as seen through media commentary generated by the incumbent Coalition government’s declaration of new anti-terror initiatives and the invocation of a ‘Team Australia’. It uses commentary pertaining to the perceived strengths and challenges of Australian multiculturalism to shed light on both convergent and divergent understandings of national identity and the place of nationalism in contemporary Australian politics and society. Nationalism can be both a means of engendering electoral and political affiliation and a more diffuse sentiment that pervades broader community ties in ways that go beyond mediated mobilisation. Multiculturalism as a trope, construct and category of political analysis serves as a useful context within which competing claims of national identity and nationalism may be examined. It has been a clear policy programme with its own federal office from the mid-1970s to 1996; as such it is a well-embedded notion in Australia. However, continuing conflicts and international events constantly re-inflect understandings of multiculturalism. This paper explores tensions in Australian nationalism against the backdrop of Australian multiculturalism.

Arjun Rajkhowa is a PhD candidate and tutor in Journalism and Strategic Communication at La Trobe University, Melbourne. His research interests include: Asian studies, media and democracy in Asia, online and alternative media, public culture, media policy, popular culture, diaspora studies, human rights and political campaigns, and gender and sexuality.

Robie, David and Del Abcede: Cybercrime, criminal libel and the media: From ‘e-martial law’ to the Magna Carta in the Philippines

President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared martial law in the Philippines on 23 September 1972. Issuing the declaration under Proclamation 1081 which suspended civil rights, gagged the news media and imposed military authority in the country, Marcos defended this draconian move in response to a series of bombings allegedly caused by communists. The emergency rule at the height of the Cold War was also planned to quell rebellion and drive national development. Marcos defended the authoritarian law under the Philippine Constitution and argued that it was needed to defend Filipino citizens from “dangerous threats” posed by Muslim rebels and Christian vigilantes challenging national security. Four decades later, on 12 September 2012, President Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act No. (RA) 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act, into law. The legislation was immediately widely condemned as a threat to freedom of expression in the internet, the media and online privacy and has been likened by human rights groups, media freedom advocates, ‘netizens’ and opposition congress members as comparable to the Marcos martial law era. Kabataan Representative Raymond Palatino branded the legislation ‘e-Martial Law’, comparing it to repressive Marcos-era decrees censoring and harassing the media.  Nine Supreme Court appeal petitions were lodged against the Cybercrime Law but the subsequent ruling found the law constitutional in February 2014. However, new challenges have been issued since then, advocating a repeal of the law and replacing it with the 'Magna Carta' of  internet media freedom. This paper examines controversy over the law as a case study and relates it to other tough new legal mechanisms against online media in the Asia-Pacific region and the implications for political reporting.

Del Abcede is an advocate for the Auckland-based Asia-Pacific Human Rights Coalition (APHRC) and the Philippine Migrant Centre, including editing Ang Filipina and Toktok newsletters. She is also the designer for Pacific Journalism Review. Dr David Robie is a journalist, author and professor of journalism. He is director of the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology and a former head of journalism at both the University of Papua New Guinea and regional University of the South Pacific in Fiji. As well as founding editor of Pacific Journalism Review, he is the author Eyes of Fire: The Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior, Blood on their Banner, Mekim Nius and Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific.

Rupar, Verica: Journalism education and the concept of inclusive society

The basic principle of journalism education as theory, research, and training is to provide the foundation for the effective and responsible practice of journalism. Journalism schools around the world aim to equip students with knowledge and understanding of news media’s role in society as well as skills necessary to produce stories in variety of media formats. While journalism education compromises “a fundamental concern with ‘news’, and a corresponding concern with the acquisition of complex methods of knowing, representation and analysis” (Adam, 2001, p.317), training of practicing journalists focuses on the process of identification, selection and production of news stories in increasingly complex media environment.  Journalism training and education prepare students to critically engage with political, social, economic and cultural development of society and ensure well informed citizenry necessary for the functioning of democracy, being it Europe or Pacific region. This paper discusses these universal objectives in the light of the concept of inclusive society. Using the example of the mobility project Inclusive Journalism Initiative: Reporting Europe and the Asia-Pacific run by consortium of four universities - AUT, Canterbury University, Danish School of Journalism and Swedish school of journalism, Helsinki University –it aims to address the question of acute need for preparing students for greater inclusivity in news journalism.

Associate Professor Verica Rupar is a journalism curriculum leader at the School of  Communication Studies, AUT, Auckland.  She has written on the epistemology of journalism, journalism in transition countries, the development of journalism form and style in historical contexts, excellence in journalism, ad media and diversity. She also serves as an academic consultant for the London-based Media Diversity Institute and has been involved in the inclusive journalism projects in Europe, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia,  Morocco, Indonesia and New Zealand.

Singh, Shailendra: Media laws and political journalism in Fiji

Soon after seizing power in December 2006, Fiji’s military government embarked on the most intense and sustained media crackdown in the country’s history. Initially its agents intimidated and roughed up journalists, but later resorted to more sophisticated strategies, such as decrees and emergency laws. The 2009 Public Emergency Decree gave government sweeping powers to censor the news, revoke the licences of offending media outlets and put State censors in all Fiji newsrooms to enforce compliance. The core, all-encompassing, media legislation, the Media Industry Development Decree 2010, stipulates stiff fines and jail terms for any breaches of the media code. Other laws to contend with include the 2009 Crimes Decree, which covers political violence and inciting communal antagonism through any form of communication, with a maximum 10-year jail sentence attached. These laws were implemented in the name of communal harmony, political stability and national progress – stated aims of the “Bainimarama Revolution” – as well as media development and lifting journalistic standards. Through document review and in-depth interviews, this paper looks at the genealogy and nature of media legislation in Fiji to understand how the legislation arrived at its current point and the impact on journalism. The research shows that alleged incitement of communal tensions by the media is a concern from the colonial days, which peaked during the 2000 coup. Moreover even though freedom of speech was constitutionally-enshrined in Fiji, media freedom has been fragile. This is partly because the British-inherited Fourth Estate traditions were somewhat at odds with Fiji ‘hybrid’ democracy – a combination of western and indigenous systems of governance. The Fourth Estate role also contradicts indigenous values such asdeference to chiefs and persons in positions of authority. This analysis also tries to determine whether the stated aims of the various legislations – communal harmony, national progress and media development – have been realised. 

Senior lecturer in journalism at the University of the South Pacific, Shailendra Singh has published widely on Pacific Island media and development issues, both as a journalist and as an academic. Apart from a number of journal articles, Shailendra has edited a book and co-edited three journals covering media and development issues in the Pacific. These include the  USP-based Journal of Pacific Studies(2012) on, ‘Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in Pacific Island Societies’ and he is a contributing editor of Pacific Journalism Review. Singh has extensive experience as a newspaper/magazine/online journalist. His is finalising his PhD research on conflict reporting in Fiji from the University of Queensland.  

Stahl, Max: Friday evening keynote address and film presentation at the Pacific Journalism Review 20th Anniversary Celebration:
If you want independence, you’ll eat stones’ – a Timor-Leste theatre of intimidation retrospective and anti-news

The first part of an “experimental” film – a kind of anti-news - will be screened. The style is an attempt to do something the news almost by definition cannot - the story, or the many possible stories according to those actually involved inside the story, of a week in Timor-Leste in 1999 prior to independence from Indonesia. It is challenging. There are no resumes available. It is outside the privileged world of news. Max Stahl will then show a quick summary of news stories that emerged from those 10 days of “free fall” in Timor-Leste when anything was possible. Stories which through the archive the CAMSTL crew follow over subsequent years. The presentation will include a glimpse of the Audiovisual Archive on INAMEDIA (France) to provide an overview of CAMSTL work.

Max StahlMax Stahl is an independent film maker and photojournalist who has covered conflict from Africa to Asia and has devoted recent years to an innovative approach to documentary making honed by his life for more than the past decade in independent Timor-Leste. He is director of the Centro Audio-Visual Max Stahl Timor-Leste (CAMSTL in the Timorese capital of Dili. His work was recognised by UNESCO in 2012 as a world heritage. His footage of the massacre of Santa Cruz in 1991brought the plight of the East Timorese people to the attention of the world and ultimately led to independence. In 1992, his work was awarded the Amnesty International UK Media Award for Yorkshire Television’s  First Tuesday episode Cold Blood – The Massacre of East Timor. Seven years later he returned to Timor-Leste and traced its path to independence. For his coverage, he won the 2000 Rory Peck Award for Hard News. Other films have included Justice Denied (Gold Media winner at the New York Film Festival in 2003), Bloodshot: The Dreams and Nightmares of East Timor (2012, with Yorkshire TV producer Peter Gordon) and Alias Ruby Blade.

Guest speaker Max Stahl is sponsored for the New Zealand trip to the conference by AUT’s Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies.

Max Stahl's UNESCO Memory of the World Audiovisual Collection

Thompson, Peter: Policy principle shifts underpinning the NZ government subsidy of film and documentary production

A focus on the shifts in the policy principles underpinning government subsidy of film and documentary production. Taking recent developments in the priorities of the NZ Film Commission and NZ On Air as examples, there has been a gradual policy shift away from recognising cultural and civic outcomes in their own right, towards more instrumental, economic objectives (such as growing industry and exports). Although both might be justified, they are premised on different values which affect the kinds of production that are politically and economically viable, benefiting some kinds of content producers more than others.

Dr Peter Thompson is a senior lecturer on the Media Studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington. He has published extensively on broadcasting and media policy in New Zealand, especially in respect to funding systems for public service media. Peter’s other main research interest concerns media and communication processes in financial markets. He is a founding editor of the Political Economy of Communication journal, and is currently vice-chair of the IAMCR Political Economy Section. He is also chair of the Coalition for Better Broadcasting Trust.

Thomson, Chris & Bonita Mason: Why the where matters: A sense of place imperative for teaching better indigenous affairs reporting

The traditional custodians of the Western Australian state capital of Perth, the Noongar people, have struggled to find a media voice. Much of Perth’s mainstream indigenous affairs journalism reproduces colonial discourse and perpetuates racist stereotypes of Aboriginal people. Meanwhile, observers in several countries have critiqued a shift from journalism about specific places toward journalism concerned with no place in particular. Spurred by globalisation, this shift has de-emphasised the ‘where?’ question in the ‘what, where, who, why, how and when?’ template of journalistic investigation. Reporting from a project in which journalism students collaborated with Noongar community organisations, this article argues that an understanding of indigenous Australians’ profound connection to place can inform journalists about the underlying character of places about which they report. The article suggests that working with indigenous people can transform the way journalists conceptualise their careers, and help secure a sense of place for indigenous people in the media. It illustrates that collaborating with indigenous people can teach journalists to view their professional practices through a sense of place lens, re-emphasising the ‘where?’ question in its application to both geographic place and the realm of a journalist’s imagination.

Dr Bonita Mason is a journalism lecturer at Curtin University, who teaches first-yearjournalism, feature writing and specialist Indigenous reporting. She has published in books and magazines, and is an award-winning freelance journalist. She has also worked as a policy adviser and speechwriter for government and as a media and policy adviser and writer for Australian Aboriginal organisations.

Chris Thomson is a lecturer at Curtin University where he teaches online, photo and Indigenous affairs journalism. In 2010, Chris founded Australia’s first independent, metropolitan news website which he still operates. Before that, he was a foundation reporter with Fairfax's, a reporter for an independent Perth newspaper group, and a trade negotiator with the Australian Government. His journalism has appeared in several national magazines and newspapers.

Verbitsky, Jane: New Zealand, Fiji, the ‘return to democracy’ election 2014, and science diplomacy

This paper examines the bilateral relationship between New Zealand and Fiji since the advent of military government in Fiji, New Zealand’s foreign policy reactions to Fiji’s departure from a democratic political system, and how the “return to democracy” election set for September 2014 may alter the dynamics of the current, uneasy state of the formal association between the two countries.  The paper also considers the impacts of military rule upon the people of Fiji, including derogations from human rights standards and effects upon socio-economic development, during this period.  It reviews options for the New Zealand government to begin to resume a “normalised” relationship with the Fijian government post-election, focussing particularly on the concept of science diplomacy, and the potential utility of this specialist form of diplomacy to both governments and, particularly, the Fijian people.

Dr Jane Verbitsky teaches international relations and conflict resolution in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy at AUT.  Her key areas of research are Antarctic politics and governance, science diplomacy, NZ refugee policy, and justice institutions.

Wreksono, Sasya:
The Life of Pacific Journalism Review

Krissy Silau and Sasya WreksonoSasya Wreksono, a third year communications studies student majoring in Television and Screen Production, directed and produced this 10minute documentary about the research journal Pacific Journalism Review over three months. Documentary is such a visual medium,  it was a challenge to  visualise how to make a film about an academic journal.  Wreksono says she was helped along by reading lots of academic journal articles that her mother, a PhD candidate, is currently writing and with advice from her tutor on bringing the 20-year existence of PJR into life through storytelling.

Pacific Journalism Review

Research journal

Pacific Journalism Review, published by AUT's Pacific Media Centre, is a peer-reviewed journal covering media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. ISSN 1023-9499