Pacific Scoop

Pacific Scoop boosts global coverage, says Scoop founder

Scoop's Selwyn Manning talks about the new website at the launch. Photo: PMC/Abcede

Scoop's Selwyn Manning talks about the new website at the launch. Photo: PMC/Del Abcede

By Steve Chae

Hopes are high that Pacific Scoop will open up a window on the region with its New Zealand and global audience, says the co-founder of Scoop.

Alastair Thompson said today the parent site had increased its international reporting in the decade since it was first launched.

“We have a very outward-looking viewpoint,” he told Pacific Scoop.

“Internet has given us an opportunity for international news media. From the outset, our audience was international.”

Hosted on, Pacific Scoop was launched at the Māori Expo held at Auckland’s Vector Arena yesterday.

Thompson said while the total audience had increased, the international audience which used to make up 50 percent overall had now dropped to 30 percent.

“The main impact of Pacific Scoop will be to expose New Zealand media to more Pacific stories and this may have an impact on the New Zealand media,” he said.

AUT's David Robie speaking in the launch interview. Photo: PMC/Abcede

AUT's David Robie speaking in the launch interview. Photo: PMC/Del Abcede

Thompson said the support of AUT University’s Pacific Media Centre and the leading role of its director, Dr David Robie, was the key to launching the new website.

Dr Robie said Pacific Scoop would be a regional website including good student journalism from universities around the Pacific as well stories from experienced media contributors.

He said it was important that some of the stories blocked by “censorship or local sensitivities” would get a chance to run and the regional audience have a wider choice of information.

Dr Robie said New Zealand was a key part of the Pacific and a new website like this would boost the watchdog role in the region.

Scoop co-editor Selwyn Manning, who initiated the plan and launched the website during a studio interview by a team of Māori and Pasifika communication students at the Māori Expo, said it was important to chase the critical issues in the region.

“New Zealand is in the Pacific, and establishing fourth estate journalism here is the real work for us,” said Manning, who is former chair of the PMC.

He said there was an arc of instability in the Pacific region with Fiji and Tonga being the hot spots over constitution and democracy issues.

As for Pacific communities in New Zealand, Manning said there was a lot to do for the media to connect with the public and picking up trends.

Sandra Kailahi, an experienced Pacific journalist with TVNZ, said she had not yet checked the website but added it would be “an awesome opportunity to have another outlet for Pacific stories”.

Current PMC chair John Utanga, of TVNZ’s Tagata Pasifika, was unable to be at the launch, but posted a best wishes message saying: “This site’s a great idea – congratulations to all who made it possible. It will certainly be added to my list of must-view Pacific news sites.”

Manning said Pacific Scoop would provide a platform and audience by providing an interaction between student journalists with those in the industry.

“We have created a forum for one place where media and academics can come together. Our goal is to reach that potential for analysis and research.

“Students have vibrant and progressive ideas. We in the industry can learn from students,” he said.

The partnership between the PMC and Scoop had been in preparation for three years and establishing the website was the logical next step.

Manning is expecting 40,000 visitors a month for Pacific Scoop as a traffic rate.

The main Scoop site gets more than 500,000 visitors a month.

He said the traffic would not determine its success in the coming days.

Manning said Scoop would be counting on the innovation and quality of the content with editorial control lying with the PMC team.

Dr Robie said diversity stories were being welcomed for Pacific Scoop.

Community focused reporting was not of much interest in mainstream but the PMC would be tapping into the cultural dialogue, he said.

Ranjit Singh, a former publisher of the Fiji Daily Post and a current holder of an annual AUT/Pacific Islands Media Association postgraduate communications scholarship, said New Zealand media was not representing the changing face its own community.

“New Zealand is increasingly brown, but the media is too white,” said Singh.

Steve Chae is a Graduate Diploma in Pacific Journalism at AUT University.


  1. Rosemary Brewer, 29. August 2009, 20:06

    >>> Rosemary Brewer 28/08/09 3:24 p.m. >>>
    Looks great, David. Congratulations to all involved on Pacific Scoop – looks like it will be an ideal vehicle for student stories.

  2. Marilyn Waring, 29. August 2009, 20:08

    Dear David,
    Pacific Scoop looks and sounds great.
    Warm regards

  3. Mike Fletcher, 29. August 2009, 20:10

    Hi David


    I have asked our website person to post Pacific Scoop on the JTO website.

    Mike Fletcher
    Executive Director
    NZ Journalists Training Organisation

    Mike Fletcher

    Executive Director

    NZ Journalists Training Organisation

  4. Kalafi Moala, 29. August 2009, 20:12

    Congratulations to all who have worked hard to make this wonderful site possible. You put in the hard yards David, and we are blessed with the results. Thank you for this tremendous contribution to Pacific journalism.



    Kalafi Moala
    P.O.Box 880
    Kingdom of Tonga

  5. Patrick Craddock, 29. August 2009, 20:14

    We sure do need more daily news that is from and by people in the Pacific for reading by us – who are part of the Pacific.

    The main media warlords seldom report on a daily basis from the Pacific region. But they do… if a coup leader spouts lava of words on our heads and we start to feel the heat… then it is written up…or when a New Zealand Prime Minister goes to a Pacific meeting and TV notices his new shirt!

    Congratulations to both Scoop and AUT on getting together. I’m looking
    forward to warming my brain as I sit in front of my computer to read the
    Pacific news and find out about Pacific issues – from the mouths of their people on their futures.

    Great work

    Patrick Craddock

  6. Br Michael McManus, 31. August 2009, 9:02

    Congratulations to David and his team at Pacific.Scoop. I am sure it will be a lively and thoroughly engaging medium of online news for all in the Pacific. While we tend to be engaged in writing about local issues for local audiences in our various regions, I am sure P.S will enable us to see that many of these issues are common to all of us – land, development, mining, logging, food, communications, health and the rest.

    Br Michael McManus and Patrick Matbob
    Divine Word University
    Papua New Guinea

  7. Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, 31. August 2009, 9:05

    David, this is a great opportunity for Pacific languages also to be used in a way which would encourage them especially for NZ born-if we can work out a process for doing it. I met you at Te Papa when Fagasa, the Samoan Teachers & parents organisation received its award from the HRC & Governor General.

  8. Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, 31. August 2009, 13:12

    Faafetai David – peppy and just great (especially the item about Tuilaepa and Baini!!!)

    Have passed on to our staff and students Thanks for sharing,


  9. Jason Garman, 31. August 2009, 16:21

    Bravo to everyone who has worked to make Pacific Scoop a reality. It’s set to become a crucial resource that fills a gap — access to current news across a range of topics affecting the Pacific. With Oxfam New Zealand’s focus on our region, we look forward to sharing some of the issues and success stories from communities that we work with in the field.

    All the best…
    Jason Garman

  10. Shailendra Singh, 31. August 2009, 19:15

    This is a great resource for student journalists. Here they can find information for assignments, and get stories published also. Thanks, David,
    for spearheading this project. We at USP journalism look forward to being part of this Pacific network.

  11. Marsali Mackinnon, 1. September 2009, 13:10

    Take a bow, David and your Pacific Scoop team – as others have already said, it looks good and contains real news as well as useful analysis. Just what we need more of in our Pasifika corner of the globe!
    We at the University of Queensland’s Centre for Communication & Social Change in the School of Journalism and Communication salute you from across the Tasman.

    Marsali Mackinnon
    Porject Support Officer
    Centre for Communication and Social Change
    School of Journalism and Communication
    University of Queensland
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

  12. Mosese Waqa, 1. September 2009, 15:49

    Yeah, bring it on Robie!!!
    I’m all for good stories.
    Over the years I have been looking forward to this day of refreshing dawns of Pacific stories, of real peoples, small peoples, whose stories hardly or barely make it to the news headlines in the Pacific – unless its about disastrous events of course!.
    So I say to Robie and team, BRING IT ON!!! Give mainstream media outlets in the Pacific a good run for their money!!! They do not deserve the monopoly of the news platforms that they take for granted and in fact abuse through neglect of their duty of care to the wider Pacific communities. We should encourage young and upcoming Pacific journalists across the Pacific who genuinely want to make a difference. Through this converging collaborative initiatives Pacific Scoop has done more for them in boosting their vision for possibilities and tapping their creativity than any other agency. To the youngsters I say, seize this opportunity and RISE UP!! and use the weaponary of media tools and skills to ‘write’ the wrongs of the imbalanced media past. You too can write stories, good stories, untold stories that none have heard or heard enough before. We need more alternative and engaging stuff!
    Well done Robie & team. Vinaka Vakalevu!!! Sa dri yani

  13. Ana Currie, 2. September 2009, 8:14

    Ho’omaika’i! David Robie and team, congratulations on the launch of this new site, which will no doubt serve to raise the bar for Pasifika news and commentary. I’m very much looking forward to my daily Scoop of regional stories and analysis . . . keep up the excellent work!

    Ana Currie
    Executive Director
    Pasifika Foundation Hawai’i

  14. Trevor Cullen, 10. September 2009, 21:52


    I wish you every success with this important and innovative project for journalism students and writers in the Pacific. Great work. Well done.

    Associate Professor Trevor Cullen
    Head of Journalism
    Edith Cowan University
    Western Australia


    […] “Journalism is in crisis in the Pacific region and this is reaching a new level of intensity,” says Scoop Media general manager and editor, Alastair Thompson, who has been involved with the project since the website was launched in 2009. […]