Editorial changes at Pacific Journalism Review for 2021


Philip Cass speaking at Pacific Media Centre 2020 and Beyond
The latest Pacific Journalism Review – “Climate Crisis and Coronavirus” – will go live online on Monday and be launched as a print edition on Tuesday. This has been a transition edition as founding editor Professor David Robie has decided to step down from the role after 26 years of publication in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand. He is being succeeded by Dr Philip Cass (pictured) and the journal will take a sabbatical next year before a new stage in its journey.

By Philip Cass, editor of Pacific Journalism Review

Despite all the obstacles thrown up by COVID-19 this year, Pacific Journalism Review has produced two editions totaling more than 600 pages, 38 research articles and 17 reviews, an astonishing feat that has allowed us to bring together research and writing from the Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and South East Asia on a  variety of topics.

The two editions have been a testament to founding editor David Robie’s vision over 26 years and the unswerving support, skill and patience of his designer wife Del.

These two editions have, however, brought us to the end of the first three stages of PJR’s existence. I have been associate editor of PJR for the past few editions and David has kindly invited me to step up and take over as editor. It is an honour to accept the challenge.

In 1995, while I was at the University of the South Pacific and he was still at the University of Papua New Guinea, David asked me for permission to reprint an article I had written for The Review in Suva, the first time I had been in PJR. It was the following year after the inaugural edition un 1994.

I have been with PJR on and off ever since, contributing articles on the Pacific from such diverse places as Abu Dhabi and darkest Teesside. PJR stands up proudly against many of the best and oldest international publications in the same field and is frequently far better. That is a standard I hope to keep up.

On a personal note, my arsples is Papua New Guinea. I worked as a journalist in Queensland for a decade before accidentally becoming an academic. I returned to PNG in the early 90s to do fieldwork for my MA thesis on  missionary publications in German New Guinea and wound up working with Wantok and The Times of Papua New Guinea.

After that I taught journalism at USP in Fiji. My PhD thesis, Press, Politics and People  in Papua New Guinea 1950-75, was published by Unitec e-press.

I am a member of the European Society for Oceanists and was the inaugural Pacific board representative from 2015-17. I currently work as a journalist for Kaniva News, an Auckland-based Tongan-English news service.

Current research interests include climate change in the Pacific (two articles in PJR and a presentation to the Third Pacific Climate Change conference last month) and the influence of online media on democracy in the Pacific.

I am currently working on a chapter on this topic for a publication from the Global Communication Research Association. I co-authored an invited chapter on representations of Maori and Australian Aborigines in Graphic Indigeneity: Comics in the Americas and Australasia which appeared from the University of Mississippi Press earlier this year. The invitation stemmed from our earlier work on Commando comics.

I look forward to working with all our contributors, supporters and editorial board in the future. And David is still on board, but is looking forward to taking a “back seat” role for a while. His comments are in the edition editorial and he thanks Wendy Bacon, Khairiah Rahman, Nicole Gooch, Chris Nash and Del Abcede for the tremendous support over recent editions.