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

AUDIO: PMC's David Robie and Alistar Kata talk Pacific media with 95bFM


See video
The 95bFM Southern Cross broadcast today hosted by Nick Bond. Multimedia: PMC

Monday, April 13, 2015

Item: 9208

AUCKLAND (Pacific Media Watch):  95bFM's The Wire: Southern Cross programme on the Pacific is back for 2015 - from today.

Pacific Media Centre's director David Robie and Pacific Media Watch contributing editor Alistar Kata started this week's show discussing the New Zealand media's coverage of the Pacific region.

"Pretty abysmal," was Professor Robie's summing up. "It's appallingly bad."

PMC's professor David Robie. Image: Alyson Young/AUT"New Zealand media by-and-large, I think, has deteriorated in the last two decades and there was a time when most of the mainstream media actually gave a lot of attention to the Pacific region and most of the main newspapers, then The Dominion, The New Zealand Herald and so on, all had specialist Pacific affairs reporters."

Dr Robie said the state of Pacific coverage today was "marginalised".

"The only real issues that are picked up are the disasters, Fiji in case of the coups, but very little reporting about what's going on between or providing context or background".

Lack of money 'an excuse'
New Zealand's lack of resource and money to send journalists to Pacific countries was labeled by Dr Robie as an "excuse" .

"It's about maximising profits for the shareholders for most media organisations, but why is it in other media in the region, for example, take Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age actually have foreign correspondents," he said.

"Apart from Radio New Zealand International, which does a really good job, the rest of the media are not really all that interested in the Pacific."

Alistar Kata in the 95bFM studio today. Image: David Robie/PMCAlistar Kata, also a postgraduate student from the Auckland University of Technology, agreed with Dr Robie about New Zealand's coverage.

"I'm so glad I've got opportunities to work for places like the Pacific Media Centre and Pacific Media Watch," she said.

"In my opinion, there is such a lack of Pacific issues in our mainstream media and our media needs to take responsibility because it's such a worry for us Pacific students,especially in the journalism department, that there aren't enough outlets for us to get involved and that really take Pacific issues on board."

Vanuatu's Cyclone Pam
When asked about the coverage of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, Dr Robie said the reporting was "mixed".

"It was very focused on New Zealand and the impacts on New Zealanders living in Vanuatu," he said.

"When you consider that the local media was put into a very difficult situation, without power.

"For example, the Vanuatu Daily Post wasn't able to publish for four days and it wasn't until that sort of media came on tap again that we got some really good coverage."

Dr Robie referred to "disaster porn" - a term coined by Scoop columnist Gordon Campbell - to sum up the voyeurism coverage of Cyclone Pam and said the creation of Pacific Scoop in 2009 in response to "disaster journalism" had "focused on stories that aren't being told" and looked at the gaps that aren't being filled by mainstream media.     

Kata said the term sums up New Zealand's media coverage very well.

"Getting these extensive reports about the deaths, disaster and destruction means that people are focusing on this too much."

"It's important to give aid to these places, but they need to have a look at the issues behind what is happening, things like climate change and educating people on what they need to be doing to prepare for these disasters."

Programme host Nick Bond also highlighted Dr Robie's recent book Don't Spoil My Beatiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific.

Alistar Kata will feature on the Southern Cross show every Monday to talk through Pacific current affairs. The Southern Cross is hosted by The Wire's Nick Bond and directed by Gary Farrow.

Pacific Media Watch's Alistar Kata, co-director Gary Farrow, The Wire host Nick Bond and producer Miriam Harris. Image: David Robie/PMC

Creative Commons Licence

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence.

PMC profile photograph

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
(cc) Creative Commons


Comments

More to Pacific than cameos of NZ politicians

The fact that I tune into Radio NZ International and scope local papers generated in the Pacific region for accurate grassroots stories is telling.

So what is the current prerequisite for reporting Pacific issues in mainstream media I wonder?
To be a Pacific Islander from South Auckland suffering from diabetes or an exceptional sports player?

Yes tired of the stereotyping of Pacific issues in mainstream media;

Yes the representation of accurate Pacific issues is absent in mainstream media;

Yes there is more to the Pacific than cameos of NZ politicians on their whirlwind visits to the Pacific region;

Yes "Pretty abysmal" agreed.

I look forward to your discussion and thank you for telling our Pacific stories!

Khing Chadwick

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.