Pacific Media Centre: Giving voice to the unseen for 10 years

The Pacific Media Centre at AUT celebrated its 10-year anniversary, fittingly, with a panel highlighting the threats to media freedom in the Asia-Pacific region. An investigative photojournalism book was also launched: Conflict, Custom & Conscience: Photojournalism and the Pacific Media Centre 2007-2017, edited by Jim Marbrook, Del Abcede, Natalie Robertson and David Robie. MATA LAUANO reports



Founded at AUT in 2007, the Pacific Media Centre (PMC) was launched on 12 October 2007 by the Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban – acting Minister for Pacific Island Affairs at the time.


10 years later, now Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) at Victoria University, Professor Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban made the trip up from Wellington to celebrate with, and commend, the PMC on a decade of highlighting issues within our region often overlooked by the mainstream media.



Professor Berrin Yanikkaya, Head of the School of Communication Studies at AUT, launched Conflict, Custom & Conscience: Photojournalism and the Pacific Media Centre 2007-2017, as well as the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review research journal.


She praised the Centre’s work, having herself witnessed the dedication, labour and passion that the PMC’s founding director “David Robie and his colleagues have put into creating a channel for the voiceless to have a voice, a platform for the unseen to be seen”.


In the “Journalism under duress in Asia-Pacific” panel chaired by Dr Robie, special guests Malou Mangahas, executive director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and RNZ International senior journalist Johnny Blades discussed the challenges to journalists reporting in the Asia-Pacific region.


A minute of silence was also observed for victims of the 2009 Ampatuan Maguindanao massacre.



Former Pacific Media Watch editor, and Tagata Pasifika journalist/presenter Alistar Kata MC’d the evening which included a special video by Sasya Wreksono highlighting the PMC's achievements over 10 years.


Attendees were also treated to a photographic exhibition of the research centre’s evolution and a special screening of the documentary Cap Bocage.


In his address to attendees PMC Director David Robie talked about the important work the PMC has undertaken, and thanked everyone who's helped make the PMC what it is today, from the Advisory board to colleagues and students who've contributed to the PMC. All with the aim of spreading informed journalism and media research that contributes to economic, political and social development. Along with the hope of seeing the PMC continue to do so for many more decades to come.


Watch Sasya’s video: