Pacific Media Watch

10 December 2014

REGION: PMW freedom project wins 'critic and conscience' award

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Professor David Robie and PMW ... media "critic and conscience" award. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

AUCKLAND (AUT University/Pacific Media Centre/Pacific Media Watch): The Pacific Media Centre's Pacific Media Watch freedom project has won an award in recognition of its work as a "critic and conscience of society" in the Asia-Pacific region.

The PMW project has been awarded a $5000 grant by AUT University's Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies towards its research programme in monitoring the region's media freedom, ethics and ownership issues.

Postgraduate student journalists have been involved in the independent project since it was adopted by the PMC in 2007 after being based with the Association of Progressive Communications (APC) website.

Project manager and editor Professor David Robie, director of the PMC, said the award was in recognition of the project's work on monitoring and investigating many media and human rights issues in the Pacific neglected by mainstream and legacy media, such as West Papuan independence and climate change politics.

The project also made a joint submission with Paris-based Reporters Without Borders to the UN Human Rights Council seeking a repeal of the controversial Fijian Media Industry Development Decree.

The award citation read: “For Dr David Robie and the Pacific Media Watch for critic and conscience of society”.

"It is an encouraging delight to be recognised like this in the annual faculty research awards," said Dr Robie. He said PMW project students had won awards in the annual Ossie Awards for student journalism in Australia for the past three years.

The PMW project had previously won grants from the Pacific Development and Conservation Trust, Reporters Without Borders and UNESCO.

The work of PMW has recently been profiled by the Media Asia journal of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC).

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Pacific Media Centre

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The Pacific Media Centre - TE AMOKURA - at AUT University has a strategic focus on Māori, Pasifika and ethnic diversity media and community development.