Pacific freedom of the press: Case studies in campus-based media models
Friday, April 30, 2010
Robie, David (2010). Pacific freedom of the press: Case studies in campus-based media models. Unpublished paper presented at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day Conference, April 29-May 3, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
South Pacific university-based journalism school publications were innovative newspaper publishers from 1975 onwards and among early pioneers of online publishing in the mid-1990s. Several publications have become established long-term with viable economic models and have had an impact on Oceania’s regional independent publishing.
All have been Article 19 advocates of a free press and freedom of expression. Among early trendsetters were Uni Tavur, Liklik Diwai in Papua New Guinea, and Wansolwara and Pacific Journalism Online in Fiji. Wansolwara and its online edition was also the flagbearer for independent publishing under the pressure of two coups d’état in 2000 and 2006 in Fiji.
All newspapers have contended with censorship in various forms. Now Wansolwara has embarked on a publishing partnership with a leading post-coup Fiji daily newspaper.
This paper analyses the history and development pedagogy of independent media published by communication studies educational programmes in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. It examines how a variety of niche publishing formula have boosted independent coverage and issues-based journalism on topics as wide-ranging as the Samoan tsunami, gender issues, human rights in Timor-Leste and West Papua, Pacific climate change politics, news media facing military censorship and freedom of information.