NZ’s Parliament siege, ‘disinformation war’, kava, and media change and culture featured in latest PJR

Pacific Journalism Review 28(1&2) July 2022
Pacific Journalism Review ... exposing the assault on "truth telling" and a kava photoessay. Image: Todd Henry/PJR

From Pacific Media WatchDavid Robie also blogs at Café Pacific

Frontline investigative articles on Aotearoa New Zealand’s 23-day Parliament protester siege, social media disinformation and Asia-Pacific media changes and adaptations are featured in the latest Pacific Journalism Review.

The assault on “truth telling” reportage is led by The Disinformation Project, which warns that “conspiratorial thought continues to impact on the lives and actions of our communities”, and alt-right video researcher Byron C Clark.

Several articles focus on the Philippines general election with the return of the Marcos dynasty following the elevation of the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr and the crackdown on independent media, including Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate Maria Ressa’s Rappler.

Columbia Journalism School’s Centre for Investigative Journalism director Sheila Coronel writes of her experiences under the Marcos dictatorship: “Marcos is a hungry ghost. He torments our dreams, lays claim to our memories, and feeds our hopes.”

But with Marcos Jr’s landslide victory in May, she warns: “You will be in La-La Land, a country without memory, without justice, without accountability. Only the endless loop of one family, the soundtrack provided by Imelda.”

The themed section draws on research papers from a recent Asian Congress for Media and Communication conference (ACMC) hosted by Auckland University of Technology (AUT) introduced by convenor Khairiah A Rahman with keynotes by Asia Pacific Report editor David Robie and Rappler executive editor Glenda Gloria.

“Similarly, there are national leaders in the Pacific who seem to truly want to believe that China really is their friend instead of being an aggressive imperialist power acting the same way the European powers did in the 19th century.”

With the Photoessay in this edition, visual storyteller and researcher Todd Henry explores how kava consumption has spread through the Pacific and into the diasporic community in Aotearoa New Zealand.

TDB Recommends
Pacific Journalism Review 28(1&2) July 2022
Pacific Journalism Review … the latest edition cover. Image: PJR

His “Visual peregrinations in the realm of kava” article and images also examine the way Pasifika women are carving their own space in kava ceremonies.

Unthemed topics include Afghanistan, the Taliban and the “liberation narrative” in New Zealand, industrial inertia among Queensland journalists, and Chinese media consumption and political engagement in Aotearoa.

Pacific Journalism Review, founded at the University of Papua New Guinea, is now in its 28th year and is New Zealand’s oldest journalism research publication and the highest ranked communication journal in the country.

The latest edition is published this weekend.


  1. Speaking of disinformation.
    “Siege” Oxford definition:
    “a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender.”

    Since the protesters weren’t a military operation, weren’t surrounding the building or trying to starve them in to submission this is simply disinformation.

    • It seems to me that you are giving a very limited conclusion of the protesters mission and results, based on your limited acceptance of the truth. But keep carrying on inventing meaning while others try to reach understanding.

  2. My mind boggles at how intellectuals (aka activists) can twist the truth so much as to call a protest a siege without even feeling a slight bit of shame for telling such porkies. I just have no respect for these people

  3. Disinformation centres/organisations — are mostly Government funded BS artists — spreading disinformation themselves — look at the USA example…

    • Really @Natana“Government funded BS artists — spreading disinformation themselves — look at the USA example ??

      Keep wearing the tinfoil hat Natana while you are down your Facebook and Twitter rabid-hole, it will protect the few remaining brain cells left that the “Government funded Facebook and Twitter BS artists” haven’t already destroyed.

    • Yep. We were swimming in lies and disinformation well before people started pointing at trump or alt-right actors.
      We just called it Communication. Public Relations. Marketing. Advertising.
      Our society was sick with lies long before people started complaining about it. It was only when propaganda language was used to twist and hide and minimise inconvenient truths in favour of glossier narratives in order to get people to inject themselves against their better judgment that the “problem” surfaced. As it will continue with every other excuse the government is preparing for authoritarianism (already enjoying “ordering” water fluoridation, for a start.).
      The disinformation Project is the biggest joke – looking “out there” for disinfo, when the problem starts , in official papers on their government funded doorstep.
      Throw in the lying and cover-ups from healthworkers and Drs trying to keep their jobs, people seeing the death and illness in their families but not able to accept the truth, we are living out 70s era Soviety era dysfunction. All it needs is a hope of a better path out than “going along with it” and this whole pack of lies will collapse.

  4. Disinformation, hiding political donations, lazy corruption and dirty tricks is rising, as is stupidity of decision making in NZ law and politics. Deception is the new normal – thus more and more people are doing it.

    Vape retail the new category for the young Natz
    Auckland mayoralty: Young Nat Tristram Speedy confirms link to fake Efeso Collins website address

    Luxon’s social media suggested he was working in Te Puke – he was actually overseas on holiday

    “Charging documents accuse the defendants of obtaining a $100,000 donation for the National Party in 2017. The donation was allegedly broken into amounts less than $15,000 and transferred into seven different bank accounts before being transferred to National.

    The defendants are also charged over a further $100,050 donation in 2018.

    The Labour Party case relates to the purchase of five paintings from Labour for $60,000 in 2017. The SFO again claims the payment was split between five different names to give the illusion of five separate donations.”

    Too many politicians, woke and right wingers in NZ who are enabling people to hide their identity and dealings here to enrich themselves, adding to poor NZ laws that shower criminals and terrorists with endless support, name suppression, legal and financial help (in particular to stay in NZ) while their victims have to live with it for the rest of their lives.

    Even today we see that real estate agents in top real estate agencies think nothing to alter LIM reports to defraud buyers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,( then the real estate agent move to Australia). (In a rare situation the police actually searched to get evidence to the computer to prosecute)

    A police detective, Jimmy Jin leaves the police force, now work as an immigration consultant and plant illegal trackers, employed by a convicted murderer. Escapes prosecution for his conduct.

    The concern is that now the police force itself has become compromised.
    Auckland police officer charged with destroying own blood samples after allegedly sneaking into station

    Politicians and police themselves need a clean up as they are the ones employing, pushing through bad laws and enabling criminal activity here – which is out of hand.

    Compare the NZ situation to how countries like Finland handle corruption and fraudulent documents – they don’t want fraudsters residing in Finland.
    Steep rise in deportations from Finland in 2019

    Finland is quicker to deport foreigners who get residence permits on false pretexts, commit crimes or don’t earn enough.

    • good to see we’re catching up to the good ‘ol USA, freest country in the world…it’s one metric we’re doing well in.

  5. I find the mention of Maria Ressa… interesting.

    There is a very good reason Ressa receives funding from the ‘National Endowment for Democracy’ (the CIA journalism fund), and why she was given a Nobel prize, and it certainly isn’t because she’s a good person. Ressa has attacked Julian Assange for disclosing information that showed the US government committed and continues to commit war crimes, and called for more controls on independent journalism. In her eyes, only the kind of ‘independent journalism’ that is paid for with CIA money is OK.

    • She is a con artist! Her role in slamming Julian Assange/Chelsea Manning/Edward Snowden, the 3 heroes of modern media/society, said a lot about her…nothing good…Much of her “life story” has been disprove, and her standing with the Philippines people is low too!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.