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State of the Pacific 2018: Challenges for local and international journalists

The Pacific region is coming into close focus as a hot-spot of geostrategic tensions, and the scene of catastrophic climate-change fallout. But telling these stories presents increasing challenges for journalists within and outside the Pacific. Citizen editor and longtime Pacific reporter Jo Chandler joined an expert discussion on the issues in Canberra. 

Report by The Citizen team
 
Recent reporting by Jo Chandler from Papua New Guinea for The Guardian, on the malnutrition crisis now playing out in Papua New Guinea: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jul/31/malnutrition-crisis-papua-new-guinea-children-under-five

Recent reporting by Jo Chandler from Papua New Guinea for The Guardian, on the malnutrition crisis now playing out in Papua New Guinea: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jul/31/malnutrition-crisis-papua-new-guinea-children-under-five

The State of the Pacific is an annual conference convened at the Australian National University. This year’s program featured a session bringing together Pacific specialists – reporters and editors from inside the region, and Australian-based correspondents – to discuss the state of media in the Pacific.

CAJ lecturer and  editor of The Citizen, Jo Chandler, who in her freelance work has a strong and continuing focus on Pacific reporting, was part of the discussion, joining Stefan Armbruster (Brisbane-based Pacific correspondent for SBS), Dan Flitton (managing editor, The Interpreter, Lowy Institute), Jemima Garrett (Sydney-based freelance journalist and former ABC Pacific reporter), Dan McGarry (media director, Vanuatu Daily Post) and Elvina Ogil, host of Who Asked Her, Papua New Guinea’s first feminist podcast.

At this session, Australian-based journalists discuss the challenge of securing support for Pacific stories from their editors, and the related problem of building greater knowledge of the Pacific among the Australian public. Pacific-based journalists give insight into some of the challenges posed by in country reporting, from censorship to the global shift away from traditional media to digital content.

What opportunities do these changes open up for the Pacific to be reported on its own terms? The session will also explore how the media is increasingly seen as a component of soft power and public diplomacy, and whether such government-backed efforts are likely to be effective.

You can link to the full panel discussion here.

Chair: Graeme Smith, Fellow, Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU

About The Citizen

THE CITIZEN is a publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism. It has several aims. Foremost, it is a teaching tool that showcases the work of the students in the University of Melbourne’s Master of Journalism and Master of International Journalism programs, giving them real-world experience in working for publication and to deadline. Find out more →

  • Editor: Jo Chandler
  • Reporter: Jack Banister
  • Audio & Video editor: Louisa Lim
  • Data editor: Craig Butt
  • Editor-In-Chief: Andrew Dodd
  • Business editor: Lucy Smy
Winner — BEST PUBLICATION 2016 Ossie Awards