11 Feb 2005

Commitment needed to make better journalists in Pacific, says academic

4:15 pm on 11 February 2005

An academic says Pacific journalists need better training in order to fulfill a nation-building role critical to developing countries.

Dr David Robie, who teaches journalism at Auckland University of Technology, says it's important journalists have a strong foundation of training in a formal journalism qualification.

He says in most Pacific countries, except for Papua New Guinea, journalists generally lack proper training with many still learning on the job under poor supervision.

While Dr Robie acknowledges that a lack of resources is a continual problem for the industry throughout the Pacific, he says support for, and education about the role of the media, is crucial.

"Countries that have become independent in, say, the last thirty years or so, often there's a situation of the institutions themselves evolving and at times they can be rather fragile so journalists in any developing country have much more of a role that involves explaining to the people about their institutions, their way of life, essential elements such as democracy and so on."

Dr David Robie from the Auckland University of Technology.