David Robie

David Robie
Asia Pacific Report · Editorial

PhD University of the South Pacific
Editor, Asia Pacific Report; Founding Editor, Pacific Journalism Review

About

246
Publications
43,301
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Introduction
Dr David Robie is retired professor of Pacific journalism and founding director of AUT University's Pacific Media Centre. He is a NZ journalist who specialised in African affairs for many years, but now focuses on analysis of the Asia-Pacific region. He is editor of Asia Pacific Report. Dr Robie is the author of 10 books and is founding editor of Pacific Journalism Review (PJR). He also publishes the media blog Cafe Pacific: http://cafepacific.blogspot.co.nz/
Additional affiliations
June 2007 - December 2021
Auckland University of Technology
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Director of the Pacific Media Centre
March 1998 - July 2002
University of the South Pacific
Position
  • Head of Journalism
Description
  • Head of Journalism and media research programmes.

Publications

Publications (246)
Article
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By David Robie Migrants and overseas Filipinos in Aotearoa New Zealand today called on the governments of both Australia and New Zealand to halt all military and security aid to the Philippines in protest over last month's "fraudulent" general election. At simultaneous meetings in Auckland and Wellington, a new broad coalition of social justice and...
Article
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COMMENTARY: By David Robie Timor-Leste, the youngest independent nation and the most fledgling press in the Asia-Pacific, has finally shown how it's done-with a big lesson for Pacific island neighbours. Tackle the Chinese media gatekeepers and creeping authoritarianism threatening journalism in the region at the top. In Dili on the final day of Chi...
Article
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Photographs by David Robie: Today is Nakba Day — “the great catastrophe”. This is the day marking the ethnic cleansing of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and forced off their land by Israeli militias in 1948. For 74 years Israel has refused to allow them to return to their homes and land in Palestine despite dozens of United Nations...
Article
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Sadly, the Philippines has sold its soul. Thirty six years ago a People Power revolution ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos after two decades of harsh authoritarian rule. Yesterday, in spite of a rousing and inspiring Pink Power would-be revolution, the dictator’s only son and namesake “Bongbong” Marcos Jr seems headed to be elected 17th presiden...
Article
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Opposition National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad is confident there will be a change of government in Fiji this year and his party will be part of the new lineup giving the people a genuine choice for an optimistic future. "The people of Fiji are fed up with the lies and propaganda that they have seen with this government," he tol...
Article
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OPEN LETTER: By David Robie Kia ora Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi It is unconscionable. A bewildering and grossly unfair crisis for 34 young Papuan students – 25 male and 9 female – the hope for the future of the West Papua region, the Melanesian half of Papua New Guinea island ruled by Indonesia. They were part of a cohort of 93 Papuan students...
Article
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The Pacific year has closed with growing tensions over sovereignty and self-determination issues and growing stress over the ravages of covid-19 pandemic in a region that was largely virus-free in 2020. Just two days before the year 2021 wrapped up, Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama took the extraordinary statement of denying any involvement b...
Article
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"Loyalist" New Caledonians handed France the decisive victory in the third and final referendum on independence it wanted in Sunday's vote. But it was a hollow victory, with pro-independence Kanaks delivering Paris a massive rebuke for its three-decade decolonisation strategy. The referendum is likely to be seen as a failure, a capture of the vote...
Article
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After three decades of frustratingly slow progress but with a measure of quiet optimism over the decolonisation process unfolding under the Noumea Accord, Kanaky New Caledonia is again poised on the edge of a precipice. Two out of three pledged referendums from 2018 produced higher than expected — and growing — votes for independence. But then the...
Article
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Pressure is mounting on Indonesia to back off its brutal and unsuccessful military strategy in trying to crush West Papuan resistance to its flawed rule in "the land of Papua". Critics have intensified their condemnation of the intransigent "no negotiations" stance of authorities as West Papuans mark their national day today on 1 December 1961 when...
Conference Paper
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This article is extracted from a keynote speech by Dr David Robie at the Asian Congress for Media and Communication (ACMC) conference in Auckland on 25-27 November 2021. The conference theme was "Change, Adaptation and Culture: Media and Communication in Pandemic Times". Dr David Robie is editor of Asia Pacific Report and the retired founding direc...
Article
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Pacific Media Watch newsdesk: Journalists and journalism are waging a global struggle for survival and for "truth" against fake news and alternative facts, say two Asia-Pacific media commentators. "Without journalists who will tell it like it is no matter the consequences, the future will continue to be one of alternate facts and manipulated opinio...
Conference Paper
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Professor David Robie's keynote address entitled "Journalism education 'truth' challenges in an age of growing hate, intolerance and disinformation" at the Asian Congress for Media and Communication (ACMC) global virtual conference at Auckland University of Technology on 25-27 November 2021. Dr Robie is founder of the Pacific Media Centre: https://...
Article
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Frontline journalism in the age of COVID-19 has posed particular challenges in dealing with personal risk, tackling an ‘infodemic’ of misinformation, and providing valuable news that can be used in vulnerable Pacific countries that have struggled with soaring infections and limited health infrastructure and resources. Five Pacific countries or terr...
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Climate Aotearoa: What’s happening and what we can do about it, edited by Helen Clark. Auckland: Allen & Unwin, 2021. 327 pages. ISBN 9781988547633 WHEN the publication of Climate Aotearoa was heralded by Radio New Zealand in April 2021 it was featured along with a striking image and a quote from the collection editor, former prime minister Helen C...
Book
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Edited by Philip Cass and David Robie: This edition of Pacific Journalism Review was originally planned as an unthemed edition. However, a cluster of media papers on COVID-19, climate change and the ongoing human rights crisis in West Papua has led to it being designated as a 'Pacific Crises' edition. The edition also features a Photoessay case stu...
Article
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WHEN I arrived at my office at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji on the morning of 12 September 2001 (9/11, NY Time), I was oblivious to reality. I had dragged myself home to bed a few hours earlier at 2am as usual, after another long day working on our students’ Wansolwara Online website providing coverage of the Fiji general election. O...
Article
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It is open season again for Indonesian trolls targeting Asia Pacific Report and other media with fake news and disinformation dispatches in a crude attempt to gloss over human rights violations. Just three months ago I wrote about this issue in my "Dear editor" article exposing the disinformation campaign. There was silence for a while but now the...
Preprint
Aotearoa New Zealand's Te Amokura : Pacific Media Centre was founded in 2007 as an innovative development communication research and publication unit, originally as a foundation member of the Creative Industries Research Institute (CIRI) at Auckland University of Technology. It was developed over a 13-year period as a model based on collaboration b...
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AFTER his release from prison in South Africa and he became inaugural president of the majority rule government with the abolition of apartheid, Nelson Mandela declared in a speech in 1997: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” Founding Halt All Racist Tours (HART) leader John Minto invoked these...
Chapter
In contrast to disastrous Western exceptionalist trends in Europe and the United States in countering the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand was influenced by the success of Asian countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. New Zealand was conscious of its strategic responsibility for vulnerable Pacific Island nations and...
Presentation
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Game changer over nuclear justice Tavini Huiraatira leader Oscar Temaru speaking about the nuclear contamination of Tahiti revealed by new evidence published in the book Toxique three days prior to the Mai Te Paura rally on 17/18 July 2021. PHOTO: TAHITI-INFOS Kia ora Koutou | Kia orana | Ia orana FROM a journalist's perspective, particular events...
Chapter
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Media freedom means journalism can "shape and spread values, defuse tensions, and counter hate-speech." Through its capacity to investigate, challenge, and question competing views and opinions with facts and balanced reason, journalism can contribute to positive and sustainable notions of peace. However, advocating for positive peace in the news m...
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A forensic account of the status of the Pacific Media Centre and the uncertainty of its future in 2021. The cultural diversity and development communication research and public centre was founded at the Auckland University of Technology in 2007 with the following mission: “Informed journalism and media research contributes to economic, political an...
Article
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New Zealand's largest ever crowd in support of migrant rights gathered in Auckland's Aotea Square at the weekend in triple protests that also marked solidarity for Palestinian justice and the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, China. More than 1500 people filled the square on Saturday proclaiming "migrant lives matter" with speakers calling on t...
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International reporting has hardly been a strong feature of New Zealand journalism. No New Zealand print news organisation has serious international news departments or foreign correspondents with the calibre of such overseas media as The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. It has traditionally been that way for decades. And it became much worse aft...
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Branding armed Papuan resistance groups as “terrorists” has sparked strong condemnation from human rights groups across Indonesia and in West Papua, some describing the move as desperation and the “worst ever” action by President Joko Widodo’s administration. Many warn that this draconian militarist approach to the Papuan independence struggle will...
Article
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Environmental damage, climate change, and increasingly intense natural disasters are serious problems faced by humanity in this millennium. More ecological damage occurs due to expensive and destructive human activities. Illegal logging, expansion of mining areas, pollution of water sources, overfishing, trade-in protected wildlife continue to happ...
Article
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Asia Pacific Report, the Auckland-based independent news and analysis website, has been increasingly targeted by Indonesian trolls over the past three months, involving a spate of “letters to the editor” and social media attacks. One of the most frequent letter writers, an “Abel Lekahena”, who claims to be a “student” or “writing on behalf of the p...
Article
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Parallel with the global spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a dangerous ‘disinfodemic’ has been infecting the flow of information worldwide. Communication and media outlets have faced a new challenge with not only being responsible for reportage and analysis of a fast-moving public health emergency—the biggest this century, but forced to sif...
Article
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It is possible that future generations will think that BC stands for Before Coronavirus—and possibly that AD stands for After the Donald. All joking aside, here in Aotearoa New Zealand we have been far luckier than most countries, with early and decisive action by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her advisers rapidly bringing the pandemic threat u...
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Review iof: Myth of ‘Free Media’ and Fake News in the Post-truth Era, by Kalinga Seneviratne. New Delhi, India: Sage. 2020, 348 pages. ISBN 9789353881276 Mindful Communication for Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Asia, edited by Kalinga Seneviratne. New Delhi, India: Sage: 2018, 353 pages. ISBN 9789352805518 POST-TRUTH? Was there ever r...
Article
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While pro-independence Kanak supporters rued another defeat in the second referendum on independence for New Caledonia at the weekend, it was even narrower than the loss two years ago. Now there is a real prospect of a win in 2022. “The path to independence and sovereignty is inevitable,” pledges the Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialist...
Article
A three-year Pacific climate research and storytelling documentary and journalism project has contributed to a disruption and renewal theme in Pacific Island Countries (PIC) development. Focused initially on Fiji, the project has involved three pairs of postgraduate students engaging with climate crisis challenges. Responding originally to the deva...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Parallel with the global spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a dangerous ‘disinfodemic’ has been infecting the flow of information worldwide. Communication and media outlets have faced a new challenge with not only being responsible for reportage and analysis of a fast-moving public health emergency – the biggest this century, but forced to s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Environmental damage, climate change and increasingly intense natural disasters are serious problems faced by humanity in this millennium. More ecological damage occurs due to expensive and destructive human activities. Illegal logging, expansion of mining areas, pollution of water sources, overfishing, trade in protected wildlife continue to happe...
Article
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The silence from Facebook is deafening and disturbing. At first, when I lodged my protests earlier this month to Facebook over the immediate removal of a West Papua news item from the International Federation of Journalists shared with three social media outlets, including West Papua Media Alerts and The Pacific Newsroom, I thought it was rogue alg...
Article
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Philippine Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists. Manila: Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication and International Media Support. 2019. 45 pages. ISBN 9789718502204 A DECADE after the world’s worst atrocity inflicted on journalists in a single event, a remarkable publishing event happened in Manila that could set a trend in the glob...
Article
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The sovereign states of Melanesia are countries where the yoke of colonialism and struggles for independence are still within living memory. There are territories within Melanesia where the questions and complexities associated with achieving self-determination are very much live issues. In West Papua, this issue is one over which blood continues t...
Article
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Melanesia, and the microstates of the Pacific generally, face the growing influence of authoritarian and secretive values in the region—projected by both China and Indonesia and with behind-the-scenes manipulation. There is also a growing tendency for Pacific governments to use unconstitutional, bureaucratic or legal tools to silence media and ques...
Article
Prisoner 345: My 2330 days in Guantánamo, by Sami Alhaj. Doha, Qatar: Al Jazeera Media Network, 2019. 126 pages. No ISBN. The Refugee’s Messenger: Lost Stories Retold, edited by Tarek Cherkaoui. Istanbul, Turkey: TRT World Research Centre, 2019. 192 Pages. ISBN 978-605-9984-28-7 A RECENT article in the Middle East Eye pilloried the United States...
Article
The Road: Uprising in West Papua, by John Martinkus. Carlton, Vic: Black Books Inc. 2020. 114 pages. 978-1-760-64242-6 The rugged mountainous highlands of New Guinea stretch from the Owen Stanley range in the east of the independent state of Papua New Guinea through the Star mountains straddling the border with Indonesian-ruled West Papua westward...
Article
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As fears grow over vulnerability to the coronavirus in parts of the Pacific, some governments stand accused of sheltering behind tough emergency or lockdown rules to silence criticism. Already, several media freedom watchdogs and the United Nations have condemned countries – including Fiji and Papua New Guinea – for exploiting the crisis. UN High C...
Article
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PACIFIC PANDEMIC DIARY: The jailing of the Jakarta Six – five Papuans and the first Indonesian to be convicted for a Papuan protest – in Indonesia last month has focused global attention on the plight of political prisoners in the face of a failing struggle against the coronavirus pandemic. Already several analysts are warning that both Indonesia a...
Article
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A new report from media watchdog Reporters Without Borders has shown that Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island countries have slipped in global media freedom rankings. Australia has slipped five places to 26th place with Pacific countries like Papua New Guinea and Tonga also dropping significantly. The coronavirus emergency has left some peop...
Article
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PACIFIC PANDEMIC DIARY: By David Robie, self-isolating in Auckland under New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown as part of a Pacific Media Watch series: Against a backdrop of many governments using tough controls under cover of fighting the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic to strengthen “creeping authoritarianism”, a global media freedom watchdog has signall...
Article
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PACIFIC PANDEMIC DIARY: By David Robie, self-isolating in Auckland under New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown as part of a Pacific Media Watch series. Donald Trump’s sabre-rattling freeze on funding for the World Health Organisation at a time when many countries are pulling together for a global response to the coronavirus pandemic has surely earned him...
Article
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PACIFIC PANDEMIC DIARY: By David Robie, self-isolating in Auckland under New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown as part of a Pacific Media Watch series. A rather beautiful Guåhan legend is rather poignant in these stressed pandemic times. It is one about survival and cooperation. In ancient times, goes the story, a giant fish was eating great chunks out o...
Article
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PACIFIC PANDEMIC DIARY: By David Robie, self-isolating in Auckland under New Zealand’s Covid-19 lockdown as part of a new Pacific Media Watch series. A South African celebrity jingle that has gone viral at the end of this week could easily have been a theme song for New Zealand when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared a lockdown on Monday for mi...
Article
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Rappler, the innovative online publisher that has been at the media freedom frontline in the Philippines for the past three years, has challenged President Rodrigo Duterte by taking the executive to the Supreme Court. The news website has called on the court to rule on whether President Duterte – or the state executive branch – has the power to con...
Article
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For decades, the feared Ampatuan clan held sway in the impoverished province of Maguindanao in Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Through a ruthless private army and a reported “propensity for beheadings”, the clan cultivated a culture of impunity. Now, however, reports David Robie, a courageous judge has challenged the horror by jailing the mas...
Article
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Operating out of a modest three-roomed rooftop suite overlooking the local marketplace in the rice-producing Bicol township of Vinzons, a tiny Filipino community radio startup is quietly making its mark. Radyo Katabang 107.7FM only began broadcasting two years ago out of a studio lined with egg-container acoustic buffers in the Camarines Norte comm...
Conference Paper
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While preparing this pre-Melanesia Media Freedom Forum (MMFF) conference keynote, I have just returned to the Pacific from four weeks in Iran where media freedom is in dire straits. Iran has been described by the latest Reporters Without Borders global index on press freedom as “one of world’s most repressive countries for journalists for the past...
Article
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David Robie, concluding his three-part series about Iran, profiles an extraordinary pair of Tehran brothers who have been pioneering global research adventurers. They have been dubbed the “Persian Indiana Joneses”. Their adventures are fabled and hair-raising, as shown by a Jivaro shrunken human head and relics from curious rituals on display from...
Article
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David Robie continues his three-part series about travelling in Iran. I stumbled on the scene by chance. Our host family in Iran’s second city Mashhad, a modern and beautiful metropolis that would comfortably fit in New Zealand’s entire population, was taking us on a drive to the outskirts to visit the tomb of the famous poet and chronicler Abolqas...
Article
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Iran attracts an onslaught of negative media in New Zealand and Western media. But is it fair or deserved? David Robie has spent several weeks travelling in the country on sabbatical and finds the media negativity far from the reality of the “most friendly” country he has ever visited in the first of a three-part series. The headlines were chilling...
Article
Constitutional guarantees of free speech and media freedom are well established 'on paper' in most South Pacific nations. How these gurantees are interpreted is constantly a source of tension between policitans, media practicioners and constitutional advocates. Recent attempts by two countries in the region, Fiji and Tonga, to introduce draconian l...
Article
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Indonesia’s harsh policies towards West Papua ought to be scrapped. Whatever happened to the brief window of enlightenment ushered in by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in 2015 with promises of a more “open door” policy towards foreign journalists and human rights groups? They were supposed to be seeing for themselves the reality on the ground. But...
Article
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For nine years, the Pacific Media Centre research and publication unit at Auckland University of Technology has published journalism with an ‘activist’ edge to its style of reportage raising issues of social justice in New Zealand’s regional backyard. It has achieved this through partnerships with progressive sections of news media and a nonprofit...
Article
Soldiers Without Guns: An untold story of unsung Kiwi heroes, documentary, 92min. Director Will Watson. Narrated by Lucy Lawless. WHILE a gripping film about the apocalyptic Bougainville war, or more accurately the peace that ended the decade-long conflict, opened in cinemas across New Zealand in April 2019, an island roadshow was taking place bac...
Article
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THIS edition of Pacific Journalism Review is a special issue on several fronts in our 25th year. First, it is a double issue—the first in our history. Second, it began production as an ‘unthemed’ issue, partly to catch up with a backlog of accepted peer-reviewed papers that had missed recent themed editions. However, the tragic mosque massacre in t...
Article
Race, Islam and Power: Ethnic and Religious Violence in Post-Suharto Indonesia, by Andreas Harsono. Melbourne: Monash University Publishing. 2019. 288 pages. ISSN 978-1-925835-09-0. THIS PASSIONATE book is something of a cross between an inspired political travelogue, journalistic catalogue of insights into suffering and a cathartic defence of hum...
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Indonesia recently hosted a bold public relations window-dressing expo in Auckland presenting itself as a “Pacific” nation while attempting to provide an unconvincing impression of normality in the two Melanesian provinces known collectively as West Papua. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi hailed “a new era of Pacific partnership – a Pacifi...
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The French-ruled territory of New Caledonia, or Kanaky, as Indigenous pro-independence campaigners call their cigar-shaped islands, voted on their political future on 4 November 2018 amid controversy and tension. This was an historic vote on independence in a ‘three-strikes’ scenario in the territory ruled by France since 1853, originally as a pena...
Book
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We now live in the age of science and technology. In this age, the senior citizens among us walk around bewildered by these strange electronic gadgets and programs in the hands of the millennials—video games, computers, PSP games, phone apps, mobile phones, tablets, and many others. As we move into this new age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,...
Article
As critical issues such as climate change, exploited fisheries, declining human rights, and reconfiguration of political systems inherited at independence increasingly challenge the microstates of Asia-Pacific, approaches to news media and journalism education are also under strain. University-based journalism education was introduced to the South...
Article
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When Pacific countries reflect on the state of their media today, marking World Press Freedom Day, they know the reality is much worse than the ticks they got from a global media freedom watchdog last month. Five of the seven Oceania nations scoped in the Asia-Pacific region scored with apparently significant improvements in the 2019 Reporters With...
Article
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While Pacific countries have got off rather lightly in a major global media freedom report last month with most named countries apparently "improving", the reality is that politicians are becoming more intolerant and belligerent towards news media and information "black holes" are growing. The Pacific is at the milder end on the scale of media free...
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Documentary Film Review: While a gripping film about the apocalyptic Bougainville war, or more accurately the peace that ended the decade-long conflict, opened in cinemas across New Zealand last week, an island roadshow has been taking place back in the Pacific. Initiated by the United Nations, the roadshow – featuring Bougainville President Father...
Article
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A human rights defender and researcher has warned in a new book published on the eve of the Indonesian national elections tomorrow that the centralised political system has failed many of the country’s 264 million people – especially minorities and those at the margins, such as in West Papua. Author Andreas Harsono also says a “radical change is ne...
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It was nerve wracking, and at times really scary. The wind howled and bowled over grown trees, the rain fell in a continuous deluge, and electricity was cut for the best part of three days. Vinzons, a small town of about 44,000 people in a remote corner of mountainous Bicol in the Philippines, was “marooned”. The ricefields to the north and west an...
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Part 2 of a two-part series on the 2018 New Caledonia independence referendum: David Robie, who reported from New Caledonia several times during the 1980s for Islands Business magazine, The Australian, New Zealand Times and other media, returned to the French Pacific possession to observe last weekend’s historic referendum. He was also on board the...
Article
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Part 1 of a 2 part series of the 2018 New Caledonian independence referendum: David Robie, who reported from New Caledonia during the 1980s for Islands Business magazine, The Australian, New Zealand Times and other media, returned to the French Pacific possession to observe last weekend’s historic referendum. He was also on board the Rainbow Warrio...
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French security forces moved in today to clean up the main road near an indigenous Kanak tribal area after a day of tension and rioting failed to mar a lightning visit by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe and post-independence referendum discussions. Philippe flew in yesterday morning from Vietnam for a day of meetings with political leaders,...
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The First Casualty: From the Front Lines of the Global War on Journalism, by Peter Greste. Sydney: Viking. 2017. 335 pages. ISBN 9780670079261. PETER GRESTE, the Australian journalist who became a thorn in the side of the harsh Egyptian authorities from the inside of prison cells and in a courtroom cage for 400 days, hasn’t wasted opportunities si...
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World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and the University of Oxford. 2018. 200 pages. ISBN 978-92-3-100242-7 TRENDS remain extremely alarming, admits UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in the foreword to the 2018 edition of this annual survey. However...
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Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Media Centre marked its tenth anniversary with a wide-ranging public seminar discussing two of the region’s most critical media freedom crises. The ‘Journalism Under Duress in Asia-Pacific’ seminar in November 2017 examined media freedom and human rights in the Philippines and in Indonesia’s Papua region,...
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Papua Blood: A Photographer’s Eyewitness Account of West Papua Over 30 Years, by Peter Bang. Copenhagen, Denmark: Remote Frontlines, 2018. 248 pages. ISBN 978-87-430-0101-0 See No Evil: New Zealand’s Betrayal of the People of West Papua, by Maire Leadbeater. Dunedin, NZ: Otago University Press, 2018. 310 pages. ISBN 978-1-98-853121-2 TWO damning a...
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The statistics globally are chilling. And the Asia-Pacific region bears the brunt of the killing of journalists with impunity disproportionately. Revelations in research published in this edition of Pacific Journalism Review on the trauma experienced by television journalists in the Philippines covering President Rodrigo Duterte’s so-called ‘war on...
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About 175,000 New Caledonians will vote on the future of their Pacific territory this Sunday—a status quo French-ruled New Caledonia, or an independent Kanaky New Caledonia. What will be their choice? David Robie backgrounds the issues that led to the vote.
Presentation
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Keynote address by Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie at The University of the South Pacific Journalism Awards,19 October 2018, celebrating 50 years of the university's existence. Wide-ranging speech covers core values of journalism, global threats to journalists and press freedom, political leaders fueling "media phobia", the Jama...
Article
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For nine years, the Pacific Media Centre research and publication unit at Auckland University of Technology has published journalism with an ‘activist’ edge to its style of reportage raising issues of social justice in New Zealand’s regional backyard. It has achieved this through partnerships with progressive sections of news media and a non-profit...
Article
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This article is of a comparative study of social adaptation in the Cyclone Winston disaster case in Fiji and rob flooding in Semarang, Indonesia. In February 2016, the largest tropical storm in the Southern Hemisphere, Cyclone Winston, struck Fiji and caused severe damage and loss of life. Meanwhile, in the last two decades flooding has become an i...
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The General’s Goose: Fiji’s Tale of Contemporary Misadventure, by Robbie Robertson. Canberra: Australian National University. 2017. 366 pages. ISBN 9781760461270 When Commodore (now rear admiral retired and an elected prime minister) Voreqe Bainimarama staged Fiji’s fourth ‘coup to end all coups’ on 5 December 2006, it was widely misunderstood, mi...
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In 2016, the Pacific Media Centre responded to the devastation and tragedy wrought in Fiji by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston by initiating the Bearing Witness journalism project and dispatching two postgraduate students to Viti Levu to document and report on the impact of climate change (Robie & Chand, 2017). This was followed up in 2017 in a seco...
Article
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When University of the South Pacific climate change scientist Elisabeth Holland gave a keynote address at the Second Pacific Climate Change Conference at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, New Zealand, on February 2018, her message was simple but inspiring. In an address advocating ‘connecting the dots’ about the climate challenges facing the globe,...
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After Charlie Hebdo: Terror, Racism and Free Speech, edited by Gavan Titley, Des Freedman, Gholam Khiabany and Aurélien Mondon. London: Zed Books. 2017. 313 pages. ISBN 9781783609383 IN OCTOBER 2016, I returned to that stunning and iconic French eighth monastery Mont St Michel, once also a post-Revolution jail for political prisoners, and was stru...
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A recent Andy Marlette cartoon published by the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon, depicted a bathtub-looking Noah’s Ark with a couple of stony-faced elephants on board with a sodden sign declaring “Climate change is a hoax”. The other animals on board floating to safety were muttering among themselves: “The elephants won’t admit that these 100-ye...
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This is the second edition of IKAT: The Indonesian Journal of Southeast Asian Studies and I have been honoured with a request to write an editorial foreword for this welcome addition to global research publishing with a focus on a region facing important challenges and interesting times. I thank Dr. phil. Hermin Indah Wahyuni, Dr. Vissia Ita Yulian...
Book
It is my pleasure and honour to write a preface to this book prepared as part of the series of publications celebrating 10 years of the Pacific Media Centre (PMC). Before taking up my current role as Head of the School of Communication Studies at Auckland University of Technology, I had been writing on alternative media for some time. My new role h...
Chapter
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'The Pacific Islands have long been a refuge,’ wrote celebrated Vanuatu-based investigative photojournalist Ben Bohane in the introduction to his extraordinary 2013 collection The Black Islands, ‘for eccentricforeigners and castaways too, who often fell into one (or several) of these categories: mercenary, missionary or misfit.’...
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It was ironical that the most evocative demonstration of freedom of the press in Indonesia since the draconian Suharto era two decades ago was also given a global black mark for attempting to “gag” free discussion over violations on its own geopolitical doorstep. Indonesian hospitality was widely praised for the four-day efforts in hosting World Pr...
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In Samoa during July 2015, a new Pacific journalism education and training advocacy era was born with the establishment of the Media Educators Pacific (MEP) after a talkfest had gone on for years about the need for such a body. A draft constitution had even been floated at a journalism education conference hosted at the University of the South Paci...
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Journalism and Climate Crisis: Public Engagement, Media Alternatives, edited by Robert A. Hackett, Susan Forde, Shane Gunster and Kerrie Foxwell-Norton. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. 2017. 204 pages. ISBN 978-1-1389-5039-9 AT THE time of reviewing this important and timely book, Hurricane Irma had just ripped a trail of unprecedented destruction from A...
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The Assault on Journalism: Building Knowledge to Protect Freedom of Expression, edited by Ulla Carlsson and Reeta Pöyhtäri. Gothenburg, Sweden: Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (Nordicom). 2017. 363 pages. ISBN 9789187957505 THE GHANAIAN investigative journalist summed up the mood among some 1500 media people with the...

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