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David Robie replies to Marc Edge

David Robie replies to Marc Edge
May 07
18:53 2012

Professor David Robie, PhD
Director, AUT Pacific Media Centre
Re: “Western way not the best way for Fiji”
I am surprised and disappointed by the May 4
letter from Dr Marc Edge, in response to Fiji
SUN contributor, Thakur Ranjit Singh.
Firstly, Mr Singh’s views do not represent
mine but Dr Edge’s unfair response has prompted
me to enter this debate.
Secondly, I regard Dr Edge’s comments relating
to Mr Singh’s significant coup thesis at
Auckland University of Technology as incorrect
and inappropriate for an educator.
Mr Singh was examined robustly by three
external examiners with expert knowledge of
Fiji media and coups. Dr Edge does not qualify
in this category.
His comments also raise doubts about the
integrity of AUT that are unacceptable and totally
unsupported by the facts.
Dr Edge is entitled to his views on peace journalism
or development journalism models,
which he has criticised on several occasions
since my recent interview on the topic on Radio
Australia, but they reveal a conventional
Western mindset that encourages conflict reporting
and ignores the challenges and responsibilities
of the media in developing countries such as
Pacific Island states.
AUT has been a pioneer in conflict resolution
education in New Zealand and the Pacific.
Dr Edge has embarked on his Pacific media
education career only in the past year. I have
been a Pacific media educator for 20 years and
my support for researching and developing
notions of peace journalism has been honed over
many years of reporting in conflict situations
such as the start of the Bougainville war, the
Kanak pro-independence struggles, the first
three coups in Fiji and the Rainbow Warrior
bombing. In addition, I taught and headed journalism
programmes at the two leading islandbased
universities in the South Pacific –
University of the South Pacific (USP) and
University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) – for
almost a decade.
I would suggest interested readers actually go
to my recent Journal of Pacific Studies article,
Conflict reporting in the South Pacific: Why
peace journalism has a chance, delivered at a
conference at USP in 2010, to get a more useful
perspective. A copy can be downloaded from
Also, I would suggest they view our 8 minute
video on Pacific media freedom here on the
Pacific Media Centre’s YouTube channel, http://

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