Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Asia Pacific Report

research associates

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Dr Jan Sinclair is a science communication specialist and a researcher on the impact of climate change policies.

Her extensive science communication expertise includes drafting popular versions of the IPCC climate change impacts reports for the United Nations Environment Programme, and working with Pacific Island countries to reduce climate change risks.

A former science journalist, she first wrote about climate change for The Dominion newspaper in the late 1980s, and in the early 1990s for The Observer and New Scientist in the UK.

She encourages media and policy makers to be better informed about climate change science so that strategic planning for extreme weather events will ensure communities are prepared.

But at grassroots level, she says ordinary people are aware of the issue simply through observing changes to their immediate environment and seasons, such as earlier blooming flowers, or the changes to migratory birds’ departure and arrival times.

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Dr Jane Verbitsky is senior lecturerer and programme leader in conflict resolution.

Her research interests are broadly centered on international governance and trans-national policy areas and she teaches an Asia-Pacific Issues paper. In particular, her recent research has focused on: Antarctic governance; justice institutions (both domestic and international); and New Zealand refugee policy.

She says that because of the lack of a sovereign government in Antarctica, the continent is governed through a unique, multilateral condominium governance system known as the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS):

I have a particular interest in the key ATS decision-making group, the 28 Consultative Parties, and the tourism policy framework they have created in the white continent.

Tourism in Antarctica has increased significantly since the 1980s, but I have argued that ATS tourism initiatives have not kept pace with real-time changes, and that the Consultative Parties need urgently to address and rectify this situation (preferably through a dedicated Tourism Convention) in order to maintain their legitimacy as the self-designated stewards of Antarctica.

Jane's home page at AUT

Other Jane Verbitsky articles on PMC Online

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Khairiah A Rahman is a senior lecturer in the School of Communication Studies, AUT University, in Auckland, New Zealand 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.

Khairiah has worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in finance, retail, media and education, with special interest in public relations and media communication. She has written articles and book chapters on transnational identities, cultural perceptions of visual representations, crisis miscommunication, intercultural trust relationships, curriculum development for industry, dialogue in public relations and the impact of media on culture. Her research interests include organisational and intercultural communication, applied pedagogy, media studies and global sociological developments impacting societies, organisations and nations.

Khairiah A Rahman's staff research profile page

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Patrick Craddock is a broadcaster and media consultant from Aotearoa/New Zealand.

He is a former University of the South Pacific broadcast journalism lecturer and is currently Fellow in Journalism at USP and acting head of the regional Pacific journalism programme. He is also on the international editorial advisory board of PJR.

Craddock has worked for nearly 20 years in different countries in Africa and the Pacific teaching radio journalism, writing scripts and producing radio drama for adult education.

Patrick Craddock articles on PMC Online

Patrick Craddock articles on Pacific Scoop

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Dr Scott MacWilliam is a visiting fellow in the State Society and Governance in Melanesia Program at Australian National University.

A former associate professor at the University of the South Pacific, he teaches in the fields of poverty reduction, development theory and urbanisation. His research areas include indigenous business in developing countries, development institutions, including the World Bank, and development policy.

He is a frequent contributor to the Pacific Media Centre, especially Pacific Scoop and Pacific Journalism Review, and is on the editorial board of PJR.

Dr MacWilliam's articles on PMC Online

Dr MacWilliam's articles on Pacific Scoop

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Dr Rukhsana Aslam is a journalist and media educator from Pakistan living in New Zealand.

Attached to the Pacific Media Centre, she graduated with a doctorate in peace journalism in the School of Communication Studies in December 2014 and has been working closely with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Otago University. She is researching a thesis on peace journalism as applied to journalism education.

Rukhsana has written many articles on the topic and contributed to a recent book Peace Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution (2010).

She was the recipient of the 2011 Asian Journalism Fellowship, sponsored by the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Rukhsana's articles and projects

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Karen Abplanalp is an Auckland-based photographer and writer who has worked in Fiji, India, Timor-Leste and Tonga. 

She is also an AUT University Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies and  an Asia-Pacific Journalism student.

Her research areas are climate change, green business growth, West Papua and INGO moving image. 

Karen is partnered with the non-profit Pacific Media Centre as a research associate.

Blood Money article in Pacific Journalism Review

More pictures and words by Karen on PMC Online

More Karen Abplanalp stories and pictures on Pacific Scoop

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Susan O'Rourke is head of undergraduate programmes and programme leader, Bachelor of Communication Studies, in the School of Communication Studies at AUT University.

Her research interests include interpersonal communication, business communication, intercultural communication, the teaching of writing and export education.

She is the co-author of several business and interpersonal communication books, including Effective Business Communication in New Zealand (2003) and Human Communication: The New Zealand Edition (2000), an adaptation of De Vito’s classic text. Susan has also published several articles on various aspects of teaching writing.
Her latest book, co-authored with Sandy Barnett of Manukau Institute of Technology, Communication: Organisation and Innovation (3rd ed.), is currently in press (publication September 2011).
Between 2006-2011, Susan headed a major cross-cultural curriculum development programme in communication studies with the Ministry of Higher Education and the Colleges of Applied Science in Oman. Her work (in collaboration with H. A. al-Bulushi) on the quality assurance aspects of this project has been published in Quality in Higher Education. A chapter (with Rosser Johnson) entitled "Internationalising a Media Studies degree in Arab Higher Education: A case study arising from an agreement between New Zealand and Oman" will be included in Arab Cultural Studies: Mapping the Field to be published by IB Tauris in September 2011.

AUT staff profile


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Chris Nash is Professor of Journalism at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and on the advisory board of Pacific Journalism Review.

He is director of the journalism programme in the School of Journalism, Australian and Indigenous Studies, and teaches and supervises in Journalism Studies. Chris’s research interests are focussed on the conditions, relations and products of professional practice in Journalism, and range across journalist-source relations, creativity and professional practice, urban studies, environmental sustainability and social justice.

Previously for 10 years he was been director of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Chris has worked professionally in radio and television at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and as an independent documentary film producer/director. He has won the Walkley Award for Journalism, and his best-known documentary film Philippines, my Philippines had international television and film festival release.

Chris sits on the board of directors of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

His full profile at Monash University.

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Dr Mark Pearson is professor of journalism and social media at Griffith University following a long tenure at Bond University, Queensland, Australia.

He is also Australian correspondent for Reporters sans frontières (Reporters Without Borders).

Professor Pearson has combined careers in teaching and journalism. He was special reports editor of The Australian newspaper and his work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Far Eastern Economic Review, the Otago Daily Times, the Howick and Pakuranga Times, The Fiji Times, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association Bulletin and

Over the past two decades Professor Pearson has been involved with Pacific journalism at several levels.

As author of The Journalist’s Guide to Media Law (4th edition with Mark Polden, Allen & Unwin, 2011), he has conducted several media law training sessions for Pacific journalists in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. He has also chaired course reviews of journalism programmes at the University of the South Pacific and Massey University.

Professor Pearson is on the editorial board for the Pacific Journalism Review and the Australian Journalism Review and has had numerous articles and reviews published there.

He has presented papers at conferences throughout the region, including Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand and on Pacific journalism topics at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies.

While Professor Pearson’s research interests have spanned the broad fields of journalism education and new communication technologies, his main passion and focus is on journalism and new media law.

He writes a blog at

Staff profile at Griffith University



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Dr Levi Obijiofor is a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of Queensland and a cross-cultural research associate of the PMC and is on the editorial board of Pacific Journalism Review.

He has been at various times subeditor, production editor and night editor of The Guardian newspapers in Lagos, Nigeria. Between March 1995 and May 1996, he worked in the Division of Studies and Programming (BPE/BP) at the Paris headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) where he edited the bulletin FUTURESCO and also coordinated the future-oriented studies programme.

Dr Obijiofor has taught postgraduate and undergraduate classes across a range of journalism and communication courses and supervises PhD, Masters and Honours students.

His research activities focus on:
    * impact of new technologies (on journalistic practices, human society, etc.);
    * international news reporting across cultures;
    * journalism education and training; and
    * media representations of ethnic minorities.

Staff profile at the University of Queensland

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Alan Samson is the Journalism Education Association of New Zealand (JEANZ) representative on the Pacific Journalism Review editorial board and is a former reviews editor.

He has been a lecturer in Massey University's School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing since 2002.

Before that, for nearly 20 years he was senior reporter at the Dominion newspaper, now The Dominion Post. Stories he covered for the paper included the 1987 Fiji coup, the 1990 Aramoana massacre, the long-running Peter Ellis child molestation case, and the Lord of the Rings' phenomenon. 

For his last five years on the paper, he reported the science and environment round, notably covering the ground-breaking Royal Commission on Genetic Modification. Alan has also worked at the Christchurch Press, the NZ Press Association, and edited two management magazines in London.

A several-times Qantas winner and finalist, he sat on the news media watchdog body, the New Zealand Press Council for eight years, latterly chairing the committee that rewrote its Statement of Principles.  

His recent research interests relate to news media plagiarism (his Masters’ thesis) and understanding the oft-used journalistic justification, “in the public interest”.

Staff profile at Massey University


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Thakur Ranjit Singh is a former Fiji Daily Post publisher and an Indo-Fijian political commentator.

Now living in Waitakere, New Zealand, he is a research associate of the Pacific Media Centre.

Ranjit was awarded an AUT/PIMA Pasifika communications scholarship for 2009/10. He was also alwarded a scholarship from the Journalism Education Association (JEA) conference to present a paper on the Fiji coup culture and the media in Sydney, November, 2010. He graduated in late 2011 after completing a Masters in Communication Studies at AUT University with a thesis about the 2000 George Speight coup.

Other Ranjit Singh articles

Ranjit Singh's Media Relations website

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Jim Marbrook is a filmmaker whose documentaries and short films have won prizes and appeared at global festivals. His short film Jumbo was recognised at the 1999 NZ Film Awards and has screened at festivals and on television here and overseas.

His television work has included contributions to Greenstone’s Mercury Lane and Sons for the Road, a documentary that played on TVNZ’s Artsville in 2006. The feature length documentary Dark Horse won Best Feature Documentary at the inaugural DOCNZ International documentary festival in 2005. Another feature length documentary Ko Whanganui te Awa screened on Maori Television in 2006.

In 2008, Creative New Zealand's Screen Innovation Fund awarded Marbrook a $24,900 grant , which will allow him complete his current documentary Cap Bocage, a film about Indigenous land rights, the environment and mining in New Caledonia. He is also a television lecturer in the School of Communication Studies at AUT University.

More information

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Dr Philip Cass has worked as a journalist, trainer, educator and researcher in Australia, the Pacfic, the United Kingdom and the Arabian Gulf.

His research interests include the history of the press in the Pacific, particularly in Papua New Guinea. He is particularly interested in the role of the churches in PNG and their role in promoting Tok Pisin through religious and secular publications.

His doctoral thesis, "People, politics and press in Papua New Guinea, 1950-1975", explored how the press in PNG reflected the rapid political and social changes from the end of the Second World War to the creation of an independent nation.

Previously working in the Sultanate of Oman, he is now postgraduate programme leader in communication studies at Unitec, Auckland.

Staff profile at Unitec

Philip Cass articles

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Dr Shailendra Singh is senior lecturer and coordinator of journalism at the University of the South Pacific in Suva. He recently completed his doctorate at the University of Queensland.

Previously he lectured in print and online journalism and media law and ethics.

Holding a Masters in BusAdmin, USP, a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and a PhD from the University of Queensland, he is an experienced Fiji newspaper and magazine editor, and also a business journalist.

He is a former editor of The Review, Pacific Business and content editor of, associate editor of the Daily Post and currently consulting editor of Mai Laif magazine and an Inter Press Service correspondent.

Among his research interests are corruption in Fiji and peace journalism.

Staff profile at USP

Shailendra's PMC stories

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Dr Lee Duffield worked on ABC radio and television news in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney for more than 20 years before beginning his academic career.

He was the first news editor on the Australian youth radio network  Triple Jay, and was the ABC European Correspondent at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

He was formerly a senior lecturer in journalism at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

His research interests include development journalism with a main focus on Pacific countries; and internationalisation of the curriculum in journalism education.

Dr Duffield articles on PMC Online

Dr Duffield at Pacific Journalism Review

Dr Duffield's QUT staff profile

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 Dr Sione Fatanitavake Vikilani is a Tongan journalist who completed his doctorate at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan.

He is first cousin of professional wrestler Tonga Fifita and Australian Wallabies rugby player Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Sione was formerly Controller of News, Current Affairs and Sports at the Tonga Broadcasting Commission in Nuku'alofa. He studied at the University of the South Pacific and AUT University and gained a Masters in Journalism degree at Westminster University, United Kingdom, in 2005.

He is also a former 'Under 21' international rugby player, representing Tonga.

More information

Media freedom and state control in Tonga - article in Pacific Journalism Review

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Jon Stephenson is an Auckland-based investigative journalist with extensive experience reporting conflict and trauma.

In addition to the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, Jon has reported on the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon, and from Gaza, East Timor, and Zimbabwe, as well as on natural disasters such as the 2004 tsunami in Asia-Pacific region, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, and the 2008 earthquake in China's Sichuan Province.

A graduate of the University of Auckland in history and philosophy, Jon has received numerous awards for his journalism, including the Bayeux-Calvados Prize for War Correspondents. He was a 2008 Ochberg Fellow at the US-based Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma, and is a member of the centre's Australasian advisory board.

Jon also featured in professor Annie Goldson's 2013 documentary He Toki Huni - New Zealand in Afghanistan investigating New Zealand's military record in that country during the so-called War on terror.

Jon Stephenson wins 2011 war correspondent award

Other Jon Stephenson articles on PMC Online

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Dr Evangelia Papoutsaki is an associate professor in international communication at Unitec, Auckland.

Former head of the Department of Communication Arts, Divine Word University, Madang, Papua New Guinea, she is co-author of Media, Information and Development in Papua New Guinea and South Pacific Islands Communication: Regional Perspectives, Local Issues, and facilitator of the South Pacific Islands Communication Forum (SPICF) research collective.

She is also formerly reviews editor of Pacific Journalism Review.

Staff profile at Unitec

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Dr Heather Devere is a senior lecturer and researcher with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Otago University.

Previously she was a senior lecturer in social sciences, conflict and resolution and ethics at AUT University.

Her research areas include peace and conflict studies, ethics, the politics of friendship, refugee resettlement, and women, politics and the media.

More on her Otago University staff profile

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Dr Allison Oosterman joined the New Zealand Herald as a journalist in 1969 after she graduated with her BA from the University of Auckland.

She also trained as a teacher and taught at Otahuhu College for two years. Once her children were school age, she returned to journalism eventually becoming the editor of a national food industry magazine.

Higher learning called and she was an inaugural student on AUT's MA programme. She then became part of the teaching staff in the School of Communication Studies where she currently teaches on the journalism programme as a senior lecturer. In 2010, she graduated with her PhD from the school.

Her research interest is New Zealand's early press history and she is currently also associate editor of Pacific Journalism Review.

Malcolm Ross and the Samoan 'troubles' of 1899

AUT staff profile

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Dr Trevor Cullen is Head of Journalism at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia.

His doctoral thesis focused on press coverage of HIV/AIDS in the Pacific region, and for the past 10 years he has delivered papers on the topic at international health and media conferences in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt, China, Kenya, United States, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.

Since 1998, he has conducted several workshops for journalists on "Reporting health and HIV" in Fiji, PNG, Samoa, Tonga and Australia.

He has won many teaching and research awards, including the national 2008 Carrick Institute Award for outstanding contribution to student learning.