WJEC16: Moala’s message to global journos – ‘include Pacific in your media’

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Kalafi Moala ... Pacific given no chance to voice human rights violations. Image: TJ Aumua/PMC

By TJ Aumua

Pacific communities know how difficult it is to have our voices and regional human rights abuses heard on a world stage and to be represented in global media. Tonight veteran broadcaster and publisher Kalafi Moala expressed the region’s concerns and uniqueness and finally gave Pasifika a presence and voice at the closing of the 4th World Journalism Education Congress (WJEC). WJEC wide logo 150wide

The publisher and chief executive of the Tongan newspaper group Taimi ‘o Tonga, Kalafi Moala, told global journalists and media educators that they must begin to include Pacific people in their media and course curricula.

Moala said this during his plenary closing address at the 4th World Journalism Education Congress held at the Auckland University of Technology.

A moment of silence was given in respect of those that died in the recent terror attack in Nice, France this week. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
A moment of silence was given in respect of those who died in the recent terror attack in Nice, France this week. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

He emphasised the notion that the Pacific is often treated as a second-class citizen, and is not given a chance to voice its human rights abuses to the world.

“I wish to emphatically call on you journalism educators and journalists from the around the world,” Moala began, “to please give us, your fellow journalists and journalism educators in our Pacific region, your kind attention.

“Let me point out how unique we are as a Pacific people. Despite the fact of our smallness in our population and in land size, we are not insignificant, you know why, because we live in the biggest continent on planet Earth…it’s called the Pacific.”

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The profound editor’s moving speech identified corruption cases and the neglected human rights abuses in the Pacific caused by super power countries.

“There are island nations in both Polynesia and Micronesia, that have been victimised by the nuclear testing of the French and the Americans in previous years.

Audience members of the WJEC plenary included (from left): Professor David Robie, Kalafi Moala, Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) chairman Will 'Ilolahia and Programme Leader, and AUT Pacific Journalism educator Richard Pamatatau. Image: Del Abcede/PMC
Audience members of the WJEC plenary included (from left): Professor David Robie, Kalafi Moala, Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) chairman Will ‘Ilolahia, and AUT journalism lecturer Richard Pamatatau. Image: Del Abcede/PMC

“We have fellow Islanders that are being oppressed as we talk and still under colonial rule by an Asian power, like in West Papua.

“There are island nations whose future, both economically and politically, will be determined by others and not by themselves.

“There is of course the ongoing recolonisation of all Pasifika by economically powerful nations, not only from the West but also from the East.

“A phenomena that has put back the peoples of Pasifika into the subservient role that was common in the golden era of colonisation.”

The world needed to know the Pacific’s diversity and understand its complexity, Moala said.

“We are people with many different cultures and we have many stories to tell.”

“I call on you, our journalism educators, to please include Pasifika in your curricula and to assist us in our quest to deliver quality journalism to our people.”

Media freedom campaigners and esteemed journalists Professor David Robie with Kalafi Moala. Image:
Media freedom campaigners and journalists Professor David Robie and Kalafi Moala. Image: Del Abcede/PM

Listen to Kalafi Moala’s full plenary speech at the WJEC, where he is introduced by the director of AUT’s Pacific Media Centre, Professor David Robie. Kalafi Moala’s speech on demand.

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TJ Aumua is Pacific Media Watch freedom project contributing editor for the Pacific Media Centre (2016). She is a recent graduate of Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (Honours) degree and with a BCS majoring in journalism and a minor in screen writing. TJ is also a contributor for the PMC Online and Asia Pacific Report and has been a recent summer research intern with Pacific Journalism Review.

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