New Pacific Journalism Review challenges Pacific censorship, political 'shackles'

28 May, 2013
The Pacific Journalism Review has been published this week

Fiji’s brand of post-coup media censorship and other Pacific political curbs have been challenged in the latest Pacific Journalism Review.

“Even if the Fiji media are shackled, conferences in 2010 and 2012 provided opportunity and space to engage in some open dialogue, including criticism of the regime authorities,” the AUT-published international journal says.

“The proceedings were not confined to the Suva conference venue or within Fiji’s borders – this is the digital age after all.”

Articles in the edition, co-edited by the University of the South Pacific’s Shailendra Singh and AUT’s Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie, feature New Caledonia, West Papua and climate change reporting in the region.

The articles

  • Canadian communications professor and author Robert A. Hackett warns of ‘significant democratic shortcomings’ in the Fijian media’s watchdog, public sphere, community-building and communication equity roles.
  • Shazia Usman’s study on the Fiji print media’s coverage of female candidates in the country’s 2006 elections. Reflecting international trends, the Fiji daily newspapers “lavished attention” on male candidates while “cold-shouldering” female candidates.
  • Shailendra Singh’s article on conflict reporting in Fiji. His article discusses the preliminary findings of a national media survey conducted in 2012 and content analysis of coverage of Fiji’s 2006 elections.
  • David Robie advocates greater media visibly for indigenous, ethnic and other minorities marginalised in the “monocultural Western news model”.
  • Mosmi Bhim writes of media self-censorship, government warnings of a harsh crackdown on ‘trouble-makers’, and state promises of free, fair, and transparent elections  -  “all in the same breath”.
  • American television professor Robert A. Hooper, who has been training Pacific (and other global South) journalists frequently for the past 20 years, paints a grim picture of Fiji.
  • Marie M’Bala-Ndi also has some serious questions about public interest journalism and democratic empowerment in New Caledonia as the French-ruled Pacific territory, which faces a referendum over independence between 2014 and 2019.

More in this edition

The new Frontline section, edited by Professor Wendy Bacon and dealing links between theory and practice in journalism research, features Bridget Fitzgerald from Monash University. She discusses how she approached three substantial features on climate change in local Australian contexts.

Unthemed articles in the edition explore online journalism case studies over the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, conflicted attitudes over writing style for online news media in Australia and New Zealand, and the training preparation of young journalists in New Zealand for reporting traumatic incidents.


PJR website

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