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

PMC’s David Robie chalks up many kms, experiences in WCP research programme


Professor David Robie with Dr Hermin Indah Wahyuni speaking to communication studies students at Universitas Gadjah Mada. Interestingly, the most lively questions came from young women in their hijabs. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Media Centre

17 November, 2017

AUT’s Pacific Media Centre director Dr David Robie jetted into Yogyakarta earlier this month on a hectic Indonesian World Class Professor (WCP) programme that swept him across three cities and many hundreds of kilometres.

The two-week whirlwind research and publication collaboration had him giving public lectures and guest seminars, discussions with young emerging scholars, and talks with communication students considering a journalism career.

“The hospitality of our hosts, director Dr Hermin Indah Wahyuni and her Center of Southeast Asian Social Studies (CESASS) team was out of this world,” he says. “And the organisation and logistics for a complex itinerary were also exemplary.”

At one stage, the visit to Universitas Gadjah Mada, one of Indonesia’s largest universities with some 56,000 students, had seemed doubtful after Professor Robie suffered a serious accident at the end of July, breaking his right leg in multiple places and requiring surgery.

“But thanks to UGM’s patience and my rapid recovery, I was able to go to Yogyakarta at the end of October after PMC and AUT had earlier hosted six Indonesian researchers for two weeks,” he says.

He praised Dr Wahyuni for her vision, and Apriline Widani and colleagues for their organisational skills.

Dr Robie was accompanied by his wife, Del Abcede, who is a volunteer and publication designer at the PMC.

“It was a godsend for me to have Del there as well – hugely helpful, and she also contributed to a number of the workshops.”

 Three of the professors on the WCP programme - including Dr David Robie (centre rear) - at Tinbulsloko village, near Semarang. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
Semarang highlight
One of the highlights was driving 130km across Central Java to the northern and historical city of Semarang, where climate change and a sinking coastline are threatening the lives of a third of the population of almost 2 million.

Two of the professors on the programme -- scientists Dr Magaly Koch, from the Centre for Remote Sensing at Boston University, US, and Dr David Menier, associate professor HDR at Université de Bretage-Sud, France -- are based at the partner Diponegoro University, and are developing a research programme in an effort to seek some solutions for the problems.

“This is a massive environmental problem and it was great to see the impact first hand in a field trip to Timbulsloko village on the outskirts of the city,” Dr Robie says.

“It was also interesting to see the use of a drone in this project.”

Dr Robie, Dr Wahyuni, Fitri Handayani and Andi Fitrah are collaborating on a joint research study into the media and the "social impact" of the Aceh tsunami, Semarang coastal flooding and Fiji tropical cyclones.

The WCP collaboration also included a visit to the city of Solo, where two of the last ancient sultanates continue today, alongside the sultanate of Yogyakarta, which is a special administrative region.

Dr David Robie and Del Abcede being welcomed by staff, research students and interns at the Center for Southeast Asian Social Studies (CESASS) at UGFM in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Image: UGM
After arriving in Indonesia, Dr Robie and Abcede were welcomed at CESASS and delivered the first of the seminars, about research strategies for climate change and maritime disasters, to a lively audience.

Borobodur sunrise
The following day involved a dawn hike to the top of the massive 9th century Buddhist temple Borobodur to see the sunrise and then visits to a spiritual retreat and weddings centre, and a Javanese museum in honour of the “first feminists” in traditional times.

A public seminar held jointly by Professor Robie and Pak Muhadi Sugiono in UGM’s huge library about ICAN, the Nobel Peace Prize and a world “without nuclear weapons”.

Pak Muhadi Sugiono and professor David Robie at the ICAN and a world without nuclear weapons seminar at UGM. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
This proved popular and Del spoke about the role of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), funded in 1915 during the First World War and one of the original global peace advocacy groups.

Following the weekend-long field trip to Semarang, Dr Robie delivered a public address on academic publishing strategies and journal publishing jointly with the university’s publishing house.

Later, Dr Robie gave an inspirational talk to first year UGM communication studies journalists about being a journalist.

The investigative journalism in a post-truth era seminar. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
One of the final workshops involved talking to communication students and journalists about investigative journalism in the “post-truth era” in a session chaired by Associate Professor Budi Irawanto.

A local journalist and advocate for the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Bambang Muryanto, also offered some revealing experience on the state of journalism in Indonesia.

Journalist Bambang Muryanto describes some of the "post-truth" challenges facing the Indonesian media. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
Although the two weeks finally came to an end, both CESASS and PMC are actively planning ongoing collaboration projects.

Research journals collaboration
Already, the PMC’s Pacific Journalism Review and UGM’s IKAT journal of Southeast Asian research have launched a joint collaboration on climate change and maritime disaster.

The other three professors involved in the WCP programme are Dr Thomas Hanitzsch, chair and professor of Communication Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Germany; Dr Judith Schlehe, professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Freiburg, Germany; and Professor Hermann M. Fritz from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, US.

Young emerging scholars with Dr David Robie's book Don't Spoil My Beautiful Face: (from left) Fitri Handyani, Apriline Widani, Andi Fitrah and Gharin Yanotama. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

+ Indonesia's WCP programme in New Zealand
+ Kendall Hutt profiles the UGM team's 'social impact' research
+ David Robie's analysis on Indonesian development and 'green journalism'

PMC profile photograph

Pacific Media Centre

PMC newsdesk

The Pacific Media Centre - TE AMOKURA - at AUT University has a strategic focus on Māori, Pasifika and ethnic diversity media and community development.


Comments

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.