Time is running out for media people and academics wanting to tell their innovative story or present research at the 2024 Pacific International Media Conference in July.

Organisers say the deadline is fast approaching for registration in less than two weeks.

Many major key challenges and core problems facing Pacific media are up for discussion at the conference in Suva, Fiji, on 4-6 July hosted by The University of the South Pacific (USP).

“Interest in the conference is very encouraging, both from our partners and from presenters — who are academics, professional practitioners and others who work in the fields of media and society,” conference chair Associate Professor Shailendra Singh of USP told Asia Pacific Report.

“Some very interesting abstracts have been received, and we’re looking forward to more in the coming days and weeks.”
The USP is partnered for the conference by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and the Asia Pacific Media Network (APMN).

“There’s a lot to discuss — not only is this the first Pacific media conference of its kind in 20 years, there has been a lot of changes in the Pacific media sector, just as in the media sectors of just about every country in the world.

Media sector shaken

“Our region hasn’t escaped the calamitous impacts of the two biggest events that have shaken the media sector — digital disruption and the covid-19 pandemic.”

Both events had posed major challenges for the news media organisations and journalists — “to the point of even being an existential threat to the news media industry as we know it”.

“This isn’t very well known or understood outside the news media industry,” Dr Singh said.

The trends needed to be examined in order to “respond appropriately”.

“That is one of the main purposes of this conference — to generate research, discussion and debate on Pacific media, and understand the problems better.”

Dr Singh said the conference was planning a stimulating line-up of guest speakers from the Asia-Pacific region.

Chief guest

Chief guest is Fiji’s Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica, who is also Communications and Technology Minister.

The abstracts deadline is April 5, panel proposals are due by May 5, and July 4 is the date for final full papers.

Key themes include:

•Media, Democracy, Human Rights and Governance
•Media and Geopolitics
•Digital Disruption and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
•Media Law and Ethics
•Media, Climate Change and Environmental Journalism
•Indigenous and Vernacular Media
•Social Cohesion, Peace-building and Conflict-prevention
•Covid-19 Pandemic and Health Reporting
•Media Entrepreneurship and Sustainability