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VIDEO: Pacific Media Centre - giving voice to the voiceless for 10 years

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Item: 10037

By Mata Lauano of Spasifik Magazine
AUCKLAND (Spasifik Magazine/Pacific Media Watch): The Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology celebrated its 10-year anniversary last night, fittingly with a panel highlighting the threats to media freedom in the Asia-Pacific region.

An investigative photojournalism book was also launched, Conflict, Custom & Conscience: Photojournalism and the Pacific Media Centre 2007-2017, edited by Jim Marbrook, Del Abcede, Natalie Robertson and David Robie.

Victoria University's Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pacific) Laumanuvao Winnie Laban at the celebration last  night next to a photo of her opening the centre in 2007. Image: Mata Lauano/Spasifik
Founded at AUT, the PMC was launched on 12 October 2007 by Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, Minister for Pacific Island Affairs at the time.

Ten years later, now Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) at Victoria University, Associate Professor Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban made the trip from Wellington to celebrate with - and commend - the PMC on a decade of highlighting issues within the region often overlooked by mainstream media.

Professor Berrin Yanıkkaya, head of the School of Communication Studies at AUT, launched Conflict, Custom & Conscience: Photojournalism and the Pacific Media Centre 2007-2017, as well as the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review research journal.

Professor Yanıkkaya, PMC director Professor David Robie and Victoria University's Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) Laumanuvao Winnie Laban at the book launching last night. Image: Mata Lauano/Spasifik
She praised the centre’s work, having herself witnessed the dedication, labour and passion that the PMC’s founding director Professor David Robie and his colleagues had put into "creating a channel for the voiceless to have a voice, a platform for the unseen to be seen”.

In the “Journalism under duress in Asia-Pacific” panel chaired by Dr Robie, special guests Malou Mangahas, executive director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and RNZ International senior journalist Johnny Blades discussed the challenges to journalists reporting in the Asia-Pacific region.

A minute of silence was also observed for victims of the 2009 Ampatuan massacre in Maguindanao in which 32 journalists were among the 58 people killed.

Protesters hold placards condemning the extrajudicial killings and the lack of justice over the 2009 Ampatuan massacre in the Philippines. Image: Mata Lauano/Spasifik
Former Pacific Media Watch editor and Tagata Pasifika journalist/presenter Alistar Kata was MC for the evening, which included a special video by Sasya Wreksono highlighting the PMC's achievements over 10 years.

Attendees were also treated to a photographic exhibition of the research centre’s evolution.

In his address to attendees, PMC director Professor David Robie talked about the important work the PMC had undertaken, and thanked everyone who has helped make the PMC what it is today -  from the advisory board to colleagues and students who have contributed to the PMC.

All with the aim of spreading informed journalism and media research that contributes to economic, political and social development.

Along with the hope of seeing the PMC continue to do so for many more decades to come.

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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.


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