Independent journalism in the South Pacific: two campus-based media case studies in Fiji and New Zealand
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Two South Pacific regional journalism university publications, one digital and the other primarily print based, have developed innovative and convergent partnerships with the news media industry and have become strategic models. Founded in 1996, Wansolwara, the newspaper of the University of the South Pacific regional journalism programme, has embarked on a publishing partnership with a leading Fiji daily newspaper, the Fiji Sun. Auckland-based Pacific Media Centre, established a decade later, and its news offshoot with an Asia-Pacific focus, Pacific Scoop, is working in tandem with New Zealand's leading independent online media organisation, Scoop Media Limited. Both publishing ventures represent parallel media strategies to combat growing regional censorship represented by Fiji’s sinister Media Industry Development Decree 2010. This paper examines case studies of both publications in Fiji and New Zealand. It assesses their publishing profiles and contrasts their independent brands focused on education, environmental issues—particularly climate change and deforestation—human rights, resource development, social justice, culture and language with mainstream media within a context of self-determination and geopolitical strategies.