Dr. David Robie, AMIC’s Asian Communication Awardee 2015, called for greater press freedom in the Asia Pacific in two talks he made while on a personal and business visit in the Philippines.

AMIC coordinated part of Robie’s tour.

As part of his Philippine tour, Robie spoke with the members of the AMIC Board of Management and urged greater networking in research, academic exchange, and joint projects among media organization in the Asia Pacific region, especially among higher education institutions.

These were among the recommendations raised during the World Journalism Educators Congress (WJEC) held in Auckland, New Zealand in July. Robie is a professor of media and communication at the Auckland University of Technology which hosted the WJEC. He is head editor of AUT’s School of Communication’s Pacific Media Centre.

In his talk at the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, Robie underscored the need to support journalists on account of strict rules governing the media in some areas of the region. He cited the case of the Balibo 5, a group of young journalists who disappeared in West Papua in the 1970’s after attempting to conduct an investigative video report in this embattled area.

At the University of Santo Tomas, Robie spoke at the forum Asia-Pacific Journalism for Filipinos Lessons by Seasoned Journalists and Journalism Educators where he emphasized truth as the core of journalism.

“Journalism is really about truth, any experience of truth, and establishing that truth,” Robie said, while urging an audience full of students to adopt a digital strategy to promote human rights for journalists.

He cited the Pacific Media Center that runs the news website Asia Pacific Report as an example of independent campus based media.
AMIC coordinated Robie’s visits to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, two media advocacyorganizations based in the Philippines.