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Media Perspectives on the Issue of Climate Change in the Pacific

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Media panelists, Dr Sky Marsen, USP Journalism academic Mr Nash Sorariba, and Auckland University of Technology Professor David Robie, presenting on media coverage of environmental issues in the Pacific, at the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress.

Members of the University community are being treated to a series of discussions on issues relating to the Pacific region, at the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress (PSIC) hosted by The University of the South Pacific.

A panel made up of Pacific media experts, met on Wednesday, 10 July, 2013 and discussed at length, the significant impact of journalists in the awareness and distribution of information relating to environmental issues, especially climate change.

USP Lecturer, Dr Sky Marsen did a comparative analysis of articles from Fiji newspapers and those from New Zealand, and found that coverage of a global event did not have a significant impact on local reporting on environmental issues.

USP journalism academic who is currently pursuing his doctoral thesis, Mr Nash Sorariba, talked about the media’s role in the reporting of environmental issues, leading to more grave topics of concern such as corruption, in Papua New Guinea.

“It is important to identify how the media reports on issues, because when discussing about environmental degradation as is the gist of my thesis, you get to uncover many underlying issues. Land problems could indicate the depth of corruption, and this has been seen in many of the case study analyses that have been carried out in PNG,” Mr Sorariba said.

Professor David Robie, a distinguished longstanding Pacific scholar, who was also on the panel expressed his delight at being part of the great science meet.

“Climate change is the most vital, geographic story of our time,” he said, adding that it is an entirely different realm which needs a wide arena of discussion.

According to Professor Robie, who has also been a former head of journalism at USP, the gist of climate change needs to be expressed in an alternative way to what has been used by writers to date.

“What is really needed is a new ‘media morality’,” he added, saying that media houses, if not journalists occasionally treat climate change as just another issue, when it is in effect a bigger topic, and need not be part of ’50-50 journalism’.

Many local, regional and international academics and scholars are presenting at the 12th PSIC, which is a platform for discussion and debate amongst these great minds in identifying the ideal possible methods for the Pacific in attaining human security and sustainable development.

This news item was published on 11 Jul 2013 05:09:43 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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