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Journalism Review roars back to life


AUCKLAND – ‘Pacific Journalism Review: Te Koakoa, a peer-reviewed journal examining media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, has made a welcome return to publication after an enforced absence.

Founded by academic and journalist Dr David Robie in 1994 at the University of Papua New Guinea, it was later published at the University of the South Pacific and from 2007-2020 by the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology.

It is now published by Asia Pacific Network in association with Tuwhera Publishing and the University of the South Pacific under the firm editorial control of Prof Robie and Dr Philip Cass.

The main theme of the double-sized issue published this week brings together a series of articles and commentaries about major Pacific crises, noted as Covid-19, climate change and West Papua.

But the born-again journal is led by an investigation by Wendy Bacon and Nicole Gooch on the politics behind the decade-long Bougainville civil war and the period leading to 2019’s overwhelming vote for Bougainville independence.

The two authors also pose questions about the silence in Australia about the controversial Bougainville documentary, Ophir, that has won several international film awards.

The journal also features a report on groundbreaking research by academics Shailendra Singh and Folker Hanusch on the current state of journalism across the Pacific – the first regional study in almost 30 years.

And Kasun Ubayasiri of Brisbane’s Griffith University has produced a stunning photo essay, Manus to Meanjin, critiquing Australian ‘imperialist’ policies and the plight of refugees in the Pacific.

PJR“Publishing our current double edition in the face of continued Covid-driven lockdowns and restrictions around the world has not been easy, but we made it,” says editor Philip Cass.

“From films to photo-essays, from digital democracy to dingoes and disease, the multi-disciplinary, multi-national diversity of our coverage remains a strength in an age when too many journals look the same and have the same type of content.”

“We promise this journal will have a strong focus on Asian media, communication and journalism, as well as our normal focus on the Pacific.”

Founding editor Dr David Robie is quoted in the editorial as saying the journal is at a “critical crossroads for the future” and he contrasts PJR with the “oppressively bland” nature of many journalism publications.

“I believe we have a distinctively different sort of journalism and communication research journal – eclectic and refreshing,” Robie said.


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