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Mekim Nius To Be Launched At Jea Media Conference

Mekim Nius To Be Launched At Jea Media Conference

SUVA (USP Book Centre/Pacific Media Watch): Mekim Nius, a new book about South Pacific media, is one of three books being launched at the Journalism Education Association (JEA) conference in Fiji next week.

The other two books, published in Australia, are on media ethics.

Mekim Nius, published by the University of the South Pacific Book Centre, examines the role of the Fourth Estate in the Pacific.

The media is under threat from governments seeking statutory regulation, diminished credibility, dilemmas over ethics and uncertainty over professionalism and training.

Traditionally - with the exception of Papua New Guinea where university education has been the norm - the region's journalists have mostly learned on the job in the newsroom or through vocational short courses funded by foreign donors.

However, today's Pacific journalists now more than ever need an education to contend with the complex cultural, development, environmental, historical, legal, political and sociological challenges faced in an era of globalisation.

>From the establishment of the region's first journalism school at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1975 with New Zealand aid, Mekim Nius traces three decades of South Pacific media education history.

The author, Dr David Robie, profiles journalism at UPNG, Divine Word University (Madang, PNG) and the University of the South Pacific with Australian, Commonwealth, French, NZ and UNESCO aid.

He also examines the impact of the region's politics on the media in the two major economies, Fiji and Papua New Guinea - from the Bougainville conflict and Sandline mercenary crisis to Fiji's coups.

"While the book looks at politics and the media in an age of globalisation, it is also a tribute to the pioneers of journalism education in the region," says Dr Robie, Auckland University of Technology's diversity and publications coordinator in the School of Communication Studies.

"It tells the story of Ross Stevens, Michael King, Father Frank Mihalic and others in Papua New Guinea from the 1970s and describes the later efforts of Murray Masterton and then Francois Turmel to get journalism education going in Fiji.

"They have left a legacy that is an important contribution to good governance in the region and it continues to grow."

The book draws on interviews, research, two news industry surveys, and the author's personal experience as a Pacific media educator for almost a decade.

Mekim Nius argues journalists need to be provided with critical studies, ethical and contextual knowledge matching technical skills to be effective communicators and political mediators to cope with the Pacific's 'new regionalism'.

* The Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra, is launching Mekim Nius at the Journalism Education Association (JEA) conference at JJs on the Park, Suva, Fiji, at 12.30pm on Monday, December 6. Tongan newspaper publisher Kalafi Moala is also speaking at the launch.

Media contact: Shailendra Singh:
(679) 3212680

Order from: USP Book Centre
The University of the South Pacific
Suva, Fiji Islands
ISBN 982 01 0584 6



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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