Journalism professor warns about media ‘blind spots’ and e-martial law
Pacific Media Centre
31 October, 2012
Restoring public trust, engaging in critical journalism, and opening the media’s eyes to common “blind spots” were all on the agenda for the inaugural professorial address of Dr David Robie at AUT University this month.
Speaking on Coups, crises and human rights, Pacific Media Centre director Professor Robie spoke to a crowded conference room representing many cultural communities, giving his insights into contemporary Asia-Pacific media issues.
Professor Robie, who is the first person in New Zealand and the Pacific to become a professor in journalism studies, is the author of nine books on Asia-Pacific media, politics and human rights issues, including Mekim Nius: South Pacific media, education and politics.
Beginning with the Hackgate affair in Britain and other media credibility issues, and visiting many other "hot spots" throughout the presentation, Professor Robie charted the course of his life’s journey through New Zealand, Africa, Europe and back to Oceania.
He spoke of media issues confronting the Pacific such as covering climate change in the region, the legacy of military-backed censorship in Fiji and the currently “biggest threat” in the region being the new so-called “e-martial law” in the Philippines – “a digital throwback to the days of dictator Marcos” that “effectively gags cyberspace” with truth being no defence.
“It would be disastrous if any Pacific country, such as Fiji, wants to do a copycat law,” he said.
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