Bearing Witness 2017: Year 2 of a Pacific climate change storytelling project

Source: Pacific Media Centre

Analysis published with permission of PMC

David Robie, Pacific Media Centre

Monday, February 25, 2019


In 2016, the Pacific Media Centre responded to the devastation and tragedy wrought in Fiji by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston by initiating the Bearing Witness journalism project and dispatching two postgraduate students to Viti Levu to document and report on the impact of climate change (Robie & Chand, 2017). This was followed up in 2017 in a second phase of what was hoped would become a five-year mission and expanded in future years to include other parts of the Asia-Pacific region. This project is timely, given the new 10-year Strategic Plan 2017-2026 launched by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in March and the co-hosting by Fiji of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, during November. The students dispatched in 2017 on the  ‘bearing witness’ journalism experiential assignment to work in collaboration with the Pacific Centre for the Environment and Sustainable Development (PaCE-SD) and the Regional Journalism Programme at the University of the South Pacific included a report about the relocation of a remote inland village of Tukuraki. They won the 2017 media and trauma prize of the Asia-Pacific Dart Centre, an agency affiliated with the Columbia School of Journalism. This article is a case study assessing the progress with this second year of the journalism project and exploring the strategic initiatives under way for more nuanced and constructive Asia-Pacific media storytelling in response to climate change.

Bearing Witness 2016



Journalism at USP: A thirty-year journey

Source: Pacific Media Centre

Analysis published with permission of PMC

Heading on the book chapter on University of the South Pacific’s 50-year history.

Shailendra Singh

Friday, February 22, 2019


The Univerasity of the South Pacific’s 50th anniversary marks 30 years of existence for its regional journalism programme. In an eventful journey, the programme weathered military coups, overcame financial hardships and shrugged off academic snobbery to get this far. The programme started in Suva in 1988, with Com- monwealth funding, and a handful of students to its name. It has produced over 200 graduates serving the Pacific and beyond in various media and communication roles. USP journalism graduates have produced award-winning journalism, started their own media companies and localised various positions at regional organisations once reserved for expatriates.

See also Robie, D. (2004). Mekim Nius: South Pacific media, politics and education. Suva: University of the South Pacific Book Centre.




Source: Republic Of Fiji


 Honourable Prime Ministers,

Mrs Morrison,

Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bula Vinaka and Good Morning to you all.
It is a privilege and honour for me this morning to welcome the Honourable Prime Minister of Australia and his lovely wife

This visit by the Honourable Prime Minister carries significant importance for our country in the field of sports and other areas of mutual interest. Our relationship with Australia has been strong and of a long standing when it comes to sports. This has ranged across several sports including some notable matches and exchanges between our two sporting loving countries in rugby union, soccer and cricket over the years.
Honourable Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is no surprise that so many of our players dream towards professional sports in Australia in playing rugby league and rugby union.

This naturally progress to many Fijians proudly wearing the gold and green of their adopted home land. The gentle giant Petero Civoniceva who is also present here this morning is an example of Fiji’s product that represented Australia and may I add, strengthened the Australian rugby league team.

I am reliably informed that the Honourable Prime Minister is a sport minded individual. And takes particular interest in rugby league and I hope this visit may lead to some more Fijians teaming up with “Sharks” in the coming years.

Ladies and gentlemen at the end this event we will have much pleasure in presenting the Honourable Prime Minister with a Fiji Bati jersey. This presentation of Fiji Bati jersy after their win at the last league world cup signifies our commitment and broadening of our sporting relationship with Australia.

On behalf of the Fiji government and its people please allow me to express our gratitude to the Honourable Prime Minister for the kind gesture in launching the program which means a lot to our Fiji Rugby League team and the country.

As part of our continuing assistance program, Australia will also assist the Fiji Netball Team preparation to the Netball World Cup in UK in 2020, and for this we’re truly thankful.

As expressed earlier Honourable Prime Minister we look forward to working closely with your government and sporting institutions of mutual interest in the wider interest of bilateral aid and development.

Ladies and gentlemen on behalf of the government of Fiji and its people I wish the Honourable Prime Minister the best during the rest of this timely visit.

Vinaka vakalevu.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific