FRONTLINE: ‘Voice of the voiceless’: The Pacific Media Centre as a case study of academic and research advocacy and activism

Keywords: case studies, climate activism, communication, decolonisation, environmental journalism, human rights, New Zealand, Pacific Media Centre, talanoa journalism


For more than a decade, the pioneering Pacific Media Centre at Aotearoa’s Auckland University of Technology led the way in journalism research and publication, publishing the globally ranked peer-reviewed journal Pacific Journalism Review, monographs, and a series of media and social justice books and documentaries. Perhaps even more important was the centre’s role in nurturing young and challenging Asia-Pacific student journalists and communicators seeking social change and providing them with the opportunity, support, and encouragement to enable them to become confident changemakers and community advocates. This article is a case study of a style of academic advocacy and activism that was characterised by its own multiethnic stakeholders’ advisory board as ‘the voice of the voiceless’. A feature was the ‘talanoa journalism’ model (Robie, 2014), focused more on grassroots people and community resilience, especially faced with the global COVID-19 pandemic and climate crisis. The inspired initiative ended with a change of management to a more neoliberal approach to education at the university with scant appreciation for the vision.

Original DOI as first published in the Okinawan Journal of Island Studies (Japan):


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Author Biography

David Robie, Founding Editor, Pacific Journalism Review

Professor David Robie
Associate Editor (Production), Pacific Journalism Review
Editor, Asia Pacific Report


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How to Cite
Robie, D. (2023). FRONTLINE: ‘Voice of the voiceless’: The Pacific Media Centre as a case study of academic and research advocacy and activism. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 29(1 & 2), 205-229.