Professor David Robie, Director of the Pacific Media Centre in the School of Communication Studies, has been part of the contingent of more than 100 journalists and media academics reporting on and analysing the historic New Caledonian independence referendum in early November. Only 2 out of the 100 were from New Zealand.
David was interviewed by Tokyo TV and other media and had several of his archival photos used in media such as SBS World News because of his specialist knowledge of the 1980s insurrection known locally as “les evenements” that led to the referendum 30 years later.
New Caledonians voted 56% against independence from France while the strong yes vote of 44% (the indigenous Kanaks are in a minority) has opened the door for delicate negotiations and two further referendums in 2020 and 2022.
He has also written several articles on the referendum and the events leading up to on Asia Pacific Report.
The Pacific Media Centre has had a busy month with coverage of the Fiji general election on November 14 in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific Journalism programme and also coverage of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in collaboration with EMTV News.
The nomination is acknowledgement of the hard work and innovation of the Library’s Digital Services team in creating an attractive and accessible platform for sharing AUT’s open research publications with a global audience.
Tuwhera started in 2016 with the initial objective of hosting online open access journals edited by our university’s academic staff using Open Journal Systems.
Launching with two peer-reviewed titles, including the Scopus-ranked PJR, Tuwhera has grown significantly in a short time to include research summaries, monographs, conference proceedings and links to the open collections in the AUT’s institutional research repository (formerly Scholarly Commons).
The peer reviewed collection now totals eight titles covering health, finance, law, education, journalism, psychotherapy and indigenous research. These include two entirely new journal publications alongside their more established stablemates, illustrating the way Tuwhera seeks to provide an incubator space for supporting emerging voices and unheard discourse.
The multiple meanings and contexts of Tuwhera (open, or be open, or opening up) and of other Māori concepts have informed and shaped the team’s work and its relationships. Tuwhera’s kaupapa of openness is built upon an understanding that knowledge exists to be shared for the wider benefit of the communities it springs from.
Luqman Hayes and Donna Coventry will be attending the gala awards ceremony in Wellington on Tuesday 23 October.
An international conference in the Caribbean this week focusing on critical thinking, interrogative discourse and rigorous research has featured the Pacific Media Centre chair.
Associate Professor Camille Nakhid, of AUT’s School of Social Sciences, who is also chair of the PMC advisory board, with one of her PhD students, Annabel Fernandez of Cuba, also appeared on the Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) programme Now.
On the theme of shifting from Eurocentric approaches to research to Caribbean ways of knowing, they discussed the use of Caribbean research methodology in her thesis.
Keynote speaker at the two-day conference on the Valsayn campus of the University of Trinidad and Tobago was Dr Kassie Freeman, senior adviser to the provost and senior research fellow at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
She is also founding president and CEO of the African Diaspora Consortium (ADC), a global organisation with a mission to positively impact on economic, educational, and artistic opportunities and outcomes across the African diaspora, with a particular focus on populations dispersed during the transatlantic slave trade.
The New Zealand-based Pacific Media Centre has condemned the selective ban by the Nauru government in what it says is an authoritarian affront to media freedom in the region.
“Clearly the Nauru government is determined to gag any independent efforts to speak truth to power,” said director Professor David Robie.
“The fact that the ABC has gained Nauru’s displeasure is because the public broadcaster has exposed outrageous human rights violations in the Australian-established detention centre for asylum seekers and aired allegations of corruption on a higher level than many other media.”
To accuse the ABC of “biased and false reporting” when the Australian public broadcaster had by far one of the best and most comprehensive coverage of the South Pacific was disingenuous, he said.
Dr Robie also criticised the hypocrisy of the Australian government and the silence of other Forum member countries.
“Australia has spent large sums of money in journalism training in an effort to raise standards and strengthen the quality of independent media in the past two decades and yet stands meekly by in the face of this flagrant violation of media freedom.
“This is shocking and painfully obvious that Australia has much to hide in the region just like the Nauru government.”
The PMC director called on Nauru authorities to review its decision and rescind it.
Headline: PMC’s chair Camille Nakhid’s research bolsters migrant communities
When School of Social Sciences Associate Professor Camille Nakhid at Auckland University of Technology was asked by the E Tū Whānau Project to assist in a research project to evaluate its domestic violence programme, she didn’t hesitate as she was aware of the prevalence of domestic violence among migrant and refugee communities.
Dr Nakhid, who is also chair of the PMC Pacific Media Centre’s Advisory Board, recognised that domestic violence impacted on people from a range of cultural and religious backgrounds, and sought the experiences of a diverse group.
She spoke with young African Muslim men and women, and Middle Eastern women based in Auckland as well as a group of Latin American mothers, among others.
“One common thread that was evident was a ‘culture of silence’ that stopped women in particular from speaking out due to the shame and stigma,” Dr Nakhid said.
“There is also the perception for men from migrant and refugee communities that their status is undermined, due to being a minority in New Zealand.”
In her research on these issues, Dr Nakhid found that the E Tū Whānau programme’s exploration of Kaupapa Māori was beneficial to addressing the issue of domestic violence in these communities.
“Many migrant and refugee communities share similar values to Māori,” Camille said. “Māori values of aroha, community and family are very much aligned with Latin American and Muslim communities – much more so than European values.”
“Looking at what Māori were doing to address domestic violence in their communities, from a Māori perspective, the E Tū Whānau movement, whose kaupapa is inclusive and quick to embrace refugee and migrant communities was invaluable to the migrant and refugee communities.”
“A big part of E Tū Whānau’s philosophy is strengths-based. There is a shift in focus from the largely negative messaging associated with domestic violence awareness campaigns, to a more positive one.” Dr Nakhid said.
She was recognised for services to ethnic communities and education in the 2018 New Years Honours List, becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Headline: PMC’s David Robie chalks up many kms, experiences in WCP research programme
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.
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 6 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.”
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 is 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.
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.
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”.
This proved popular and Del spoke about the role of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), funded in 1916 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.
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.
Although the two weeks finally came to an end, both CESASS are actively planning ongoing collaboration projects.
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.