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Prime minister challenges NZ media in latest PJR

REGION: Prime minister challenges NZ media in latest PJR

Pacific Media Centre, 29 May 2008

Three thought-provoking commentators challenge the media as it faces digital decisions for the future in the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review.

Prime Minister Helen Clark finds much to fault in New Zealand journalism in her commentary addressed to journalists and media educators.

But her views - delivered at the Journalism Education Association of New Zealand (JEANZ) annual conference at Massey University last December - are not without controversy, with two speakers disputing some of her claims.

Fortune magazine journalist Bethany McLean played a pivotal role in breaking the Enron story in the United States, one of the great financial scandals of modern times.

She explains in her conference address why the business world has learned little from Enron and how financial journalists who blow the whistle on dodgy companies can end up being criticised themselves.

Dominion Post editor Tim Pankhurst, recently co-winner of the Qantas Print Industry Award for Outstanding Achievement along with investigative journalist Phil Kitchin, discusses the brave new world of online news reporting.

He offers a frank view on the innovations the Dom Post has embraced, and reminds journalists about what must never change at newspapers.

Pacific Journalism Review also includes a range of cutting-edge Australasian journalism research presented at the conference.

The papers cover the sometimes fraught relationship between journalists and the military, the freelance journalism industry, citizen journalism, political reporting, and recent judicial attempts to gag the press.

In other articles, Auckland University associate professor Ann Sullivan examines the Maori Party and the media, West Auckland's bogans and news coverage of West Papua face some scrutiny and media monitor Bill Rosenberg provides a state-of-health report on New Zealand news organisations in "the year of the accountant".

Leading Pacific and New Zealand media books are also reviewed.

This edition of PJR has been produced as a collaborative project between Massey University's Journalism School and AUT University's Pacific Media Centre.

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