Diverse Communities, Diverse Media: The 10th OURMedia conference in Goroka, Papua New Guinea


  • Verena Thomas
  • Clemencia Rodríguez


The 10th OURMedia conference was held from 21-25 July 2014 at the University of Goroka (UOG) in Papua New Guinea. The Centre for Social and Creative Media (CSCM), a media research centre of UOG, took the lead in organising the conference. In line with the focus of the CSCM around locally appropriate approaches to research and media production, the conference themes included the theory and practice of alternative and community media, indigenous values and communication for development, mobile and social media, and issues of representation and intellectual property among others. Attended by over 150 scholars and practitioners from over a dozen different countries, who were welcomed by the traditional landowners of Humilaveka[i], OURMedia X was a significant event for understanding community and alternative media in the Pacific. This brief report captures some of the key concepts and ideas discussed at this conference and the contribution it makes to current debates around communication and social change. We predominantly present examples from Papua New Guinea to contextualise some of the keynote presentations and discussions at OURMedia X.

[i]Humilaveka is the plateau or area where the University of Goroka is located.

Author Biographies

Verena Thomas

Verena Thomas is Senior Lecturer and founding Director of the Centre for Social and Creative Media at the University of Goroka in Papua New Guinea. Her research focuses on the use of visual and indigenous research approaches in communication initiatives. E-mail: verena.thomas@uts.edu.au.

Clemencia Rodríguez

Clemencia Rodríguez is Prof. in the Dept. of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. In her book Fissures in the Mediascape: An International Study of Citizens’ Media (2001), Rodríguez developed her "citizens' media theory," a ground-breaking approach to understanding the role of community/ alternative media in our societies. She is a founder member of OURMedia. E-mail: clemencia@ou.edu.