Books, film & media Feed

Turning point: Dorney’s history revisited

Dorney
Sean Dorney on the job. His early independence history reveals a significant turning point in PNG's story as a nation

CHRIS BANGA

Papua New Guinea: People, politics and history since 1975 by Sean Dorney, 335 pp. ABC Books, 2000. ISBN-10: 0733309453. Available from Amazon here for $US31.70

PORT MORESBY – In this book, first published in 1990, the noted journalist Sean Dorney gave us a glance of Papua New Guinea, its people, politics and history over its first 15 years after independence.

Dorney lived and worked in PNG for 17 years as the correspondent of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation having previously been assigned there in the early 1970s to work with the embryonic National Broadcasting Commission.

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The art of tree change

Sue & Paul Oates with Suvista Opal - second prize at the Boonah Show
Sue & Paul Oates with Suvista Opal - second prize winning calf at the Boonah Show

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Phascogales and Other Tales: A Queensland Tree Change by Paul Oates, Independently Published, 2020, ISBN: 9798651038121, 237 pages with 296 colour photographs, available from Amazon.com, paperback US$29.07, eBook US$3.00

TUMBY BAY - One of the core functions that evolved as part of the PNG Attitude oeuvre, if we’re allowed to use such terminology, is the encouragement of writers, both old and new.

This has largely been interpreted as meaning Papua New Guinean writers, as through such endeavours as the Crocodile Prize.

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Radio Days: Political pressure & public resistance

Radio Days - Gareth & me
As new communications minister Gareth Evans wanted to give the ABC a shake-up. That never happened in history without a major brawl

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1988 – After my first go at the ABC in 1966-69, I spent the best part of four years in the organisation the second time around between 1985 and 1988.

They were years full of incident, drama, stress, occasional misadventure and gritty management. I rarely had so much joy in a job and never so much fear.

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Radio Days: The Canberra connection

Radio Days - Ken  Geoffrey  Wendy
ABC chairman Ken Myer, managing director Geoffrey Whitehead and deputy chair Wendy McCarthy, 1985

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1987 – Australia’s centre of government and ‘bush capital’, Canberra, looms large in the life of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, both because 90% of the its money comes from there and because the government of the day appoints the ABC chairman and board.

Furthermore, federal politicians tend to have a proprietary view of the ABC. And, to give this an edge, right wing politicians have a belief, neatly expressed by my onetime business associate and Liberal Party heavyweight Grahame Morris, that the ABC is a manifestation of “my enemy talking to my friends”.

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Radio Days: The ascent of David Hill

Radio Days - David good portrait
David Hill - an exhilarating and exhausting man to be around. He left the ABC, where he was Chairman then CEO from 1986-95, much better than when he found it

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1986 – In mid-August 1986, I had just got back to my desk after what I considered a well-earned week’s break in Bali when I was called into managing director Geoffrey Whitehead’s office, on the twelfth floor of Broadcast House overlooking Hyde Park.

Geoffrey had just returned from Canberra with new ABC chairman David Hill, in his first week in the job, and Geoffrey was looking worried.

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Radio Days: Return to the ABC

Radio Days - journalKEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1985 – I first began to keep a journal in 1973 during my last months in Bougainville. Over the next 15 years I was faithful to it except for the period at 2SER-FM when my days were too long and crowded and my fidelity lapsed.

In the beginning, it was a work diary and was consequently terse and utilitarian.

But it soon became something else, more descriptive and observational - a record not just of decisions and commitments but of issues and adventures, important people and conversations, significant insights, and articulations of my own feelings.

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Radio Days: Back to ASOPA

ITI aerial
The olive roofs of ITI, the tennis court at the rear was owned by the army, whose commando base was in the green-roofed buildings to the left

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1983-84 – In 1973, with Papua New Guinea having achieved self-government as its final step on the way to independence, the old colonial training institute, the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA), was reconceived and rebadged.

Early in 1974, as the International Training Institute (ITI), it accepted its first trainee middle managers from developing countries. It was a 180 degree shift from its colonial roots.

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Australian Pacific TV initiative lashed

CaptureKATE LYONS | Pacific Editor
| Guardian Australia | Judith Neilson Institute

SYDNEY - A move to broadcast Australian commercial television, including Neighbours, Border Security and Masterchef in Pacific nations could be counterproductive in promoting Australia’s relationship with the region, an expert media group has warned.

The new PacificAus TV program will allow Australian content to be aired free of charge by broadcasters in seven Pacific nations, at a cost of $17.1m, in a move seen as an attempt to combat Chinese influence in the Pacific region.

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Radio Days: A dash at politics

ALP hawkie
Despite John Pilger's assertion in A Secret Country, Bob Hawke and I were never mates (in the ALP sense), but we had some interesting encounters in the 1980s. I think in this pic the Silver Bodgie was having a go at the state of my hair

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1983 – When my family and I returned to Australia in 1979 and moved to live at Clareville on Sydney’s northern beaches, one of my first priorities outside work was to join the Narrabeen-Pittwater branch of the Australian Labor Party.

I’d been a member of the ALP for eight years, having joined in strange circumstances in 1971, but had never been part of a branch.

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Radio Days: Broadway follies

2SER chalk radio headKEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1981-82 – Vulgarity, offence and obscenity have cherished places in the folklore of broadcasting and all broadcasters have their favourite story of how they said something inadvertently odious or incredibly stupid while the microphone was live and thousands of people listening in.

A colleague of mine, the manager of Radio Rabaul, Paul Cox, given the job of broadcast director of the royal tour of Papua New Guinea in early 1974, was one broadcaster who experienced the fallout from inadvertence.

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Radio Days: Hello Sydney!

Keith-jackson-2ser- 1979
Keith Jackson in the main studio of the just completed 2SER-FM, August 1979

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1979 – Sue and the kids had returned to Australia in January while I wrapped up my Maldives consultancy for UNESCO.

I was counting on getting a job in Sydney.

I’d been told by my onetime ABC colleague In Papua New Guinea, Andrew Greig, that an educational radio station, to be known as 2SER-FM, had been licenced for the city and the two universities that held the licence were looking for a manager to get it going.

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Radio Days: The cultural conundrum

IM & AM
The PNG Independence Medal sits beside my Order of Australia (AM) in a box at home. To me they're poignant reminders of a career now left behind but which was always exciting and sometimes terrifying

KEITH JACKSON

MALDIVE ISLANDS 1978-79 – In mid-1978 I was sitting at my desk in the downstairs office of my home, White Waves, the spray from the waves pounding on the nearby reef corroding the light fittings, when a large manila envelope arrived in the morning post.

It was addressed to ‘Mr K Jackson BA’ and was festooned with Papua New Guinea stamps. Like much of the mail we received in Malé it had a battered and soiled appearance that suggested it had travelled for many months in a dirty sack in the hold of a slow ship.

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Radio Days: Journeys by sea

Busy Male harbour with Malship freighter in background
The busy boat harbour at Malé, with a Malships freighter anchored in the lagoon.  The hub for small boats from more than 200 populated islands

KEITH JACKSON

MALDIVE ISLANDS 1978 – I grew up in the NSW coastal town of Nowra on the banks of the Shoalhaven River where, from a young age, I became familiar with sailing and the sea, sometimes accompanying fishermen on stomach churning early morning exploits beyond sight of land.

But nothing prepared me for the Maldives archipelago where, even for a picnic lunch, you had to travel by dhoni and the completion of any serious work around the country necessitated a sea voyage.

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Radio Days: Landfall in the Maldives

Mrs StevensKEITH JACKSON

MALDIVE ISLANDS 1977 – First came the telegram from UNESCO in Paris then the letter from a Mrs Stevens concerning the vexed subject of toilet paper.

I was sitting on the verandah of our house on the Bundarra Road 20 kilometres from Armidale when I spotted the Australia Post motorbike slowly skid off the main road below and grumble up our long dusty drive.

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We mustn’t lose our literary magazines

Literary magazinesALEXANDRA DANE
| Lecturer, University of Melbourne

This article demonstrates that Papua New Guinea is not the only place where the government has a lack of interest in literature. In Australia it is also notable is the absence of the arts sector in the stimulus and help programs following the coronavirus outbreak. It seems that neo-liberalists are also Philistines – Phil Fitzpatrick

MELBOURNE - Australia’s literary journals are produced in a fragile ecosystem propped up by a patchwork of volunteer labour, generous patrons and, with any luck, a small slice of government funding.

The Sydney Review of Books, the Australian Book Review and Overland were among a group of publications who sought four-year funding from the Australia Council in 2020 but were unsuccessful.

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The demise of regional broadcasting

Justin Kili 1972
Justin Kili as a young announcer in 1972 - "Who is the Queen of Papua New Guinea?"

GRAHAM KING

YUNGABURRA - “And now let’s spin another disc from the Beatle boys” – those were the words I heard from NBC announcer Cathy Garoa when I first tuned in my new radio-cassette player in early 1980.

Where I lived in Papua New Guinea, there was no FM radio, no television, no Australian newspapers and the internet was not yet a thing.

So how did Papua New Guineans obtain their information?

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Radio Days: An Australian foothold

2ARM - press clipsKEITH JACKSON

ARMIDALE 1976-77 – In May 1976, I had no sooner proffered my resignation from the National Broadcasting Commission than an advertisement appeared in The Australian newspaper for a ‘station coordinator’ of 2ARM-FM Armidale.

This was an embryonic community based radio station with a board of directors, a programming collective, $10,000 in the bank, but no staff, no programs and a six month deadline to get on air.

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PNG media: 'Crisis on multiple fronts'

Scott_waide
Scott Waide - "“Politicians are put on a pedestal and adored, corruption is normalised and legalised"

SRI KRISHNAMURTHI
| Pacific Media Watch | Edited extracts

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea’s two daily newspapers – the PNG Post-Courier and The National – which dominate the market, demonstrated “overwhelming deference” to the office of former prime minister Peter O’Neill, says a new report about the country’s media freedom.

Transparency International Papua New Guinea (TIPNG) released a preliminary statement from a research report saying it found “much wrong” with the PNG media.

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Radio Days: Fights between whitemen

Graduates assembled
I graduated from the University of PNG on 1 August 1975, six weeks before independence day

KEITH JACKSON

“The NBC in the first decade of its existence was a model developing world broadcaster. It was one of the first PNG bodies to be totally localised and it had an outstanding record of performance in a remarkable number of communications fields” - Editorial, The National, 2 November 2004

PORT MORESBY 1975-76 – Even for us who were in Papua New Guinea at the time, it’s easy to forget that – while we knew independence was on the way – the precise date was announced just three months before the momentous day.

For many expatriate public servants, including the seconded ABC managers in the National Broadcasting Commission, the date was irrelevant. They had already received letters thanking them for their services and a one-way ticket home.

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Radio Days: Building a corporation

NBC 5 year plan
Abstract from the cover of the NBC's first five-year plan. The primary task of the new commission was to blend two radio services into one and build a network worthy of a newly independent nation

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY 1973-74 – As I returned to Port Moresby in October 1973 after six months developing an educational radio operation in Java, life in Papua New Guinea was in upheaval.

The rush towards independence was well and truly on and the impacts were tangible as many expatriate public servants readied themselves for imminent redundancy.

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Preaching to the converted

Displaced CoverPHILIP FITZPATRICK

Displaced: A Rural Life by John Kinsella, Transit Lounge, Melbourne, 2020. 329 pages, ISBN: 9781925760477. About AU$30 in most bookshops and online sites

TUMBY BAY - I’ve just finished reading a memoir by one of Australia’s acclaimed writers and poets, John Kinsella. I bought it on the strength of the reviews that I read.

Blue Wolf Reviews calls his work “magnificent, raw; the words coming together in form and shape to evoke the essence of the moment in time he is creating”.

The Australian says that “Kinsella can see into the heart of the country, and the evidence of these taut, complex stories is that what he sees there is both ferocious and unresolved”.

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Transparency to examine bias in PNG press

NiusARIANNE KASSMAN
| Transparency International PNG

PORT MORESBY - Mainstream newspapers have been criticised by citizens as being biased for some time now, with the intensity of feelings increasing in the lead up to the 2017 national elections and the 2018 APEC leaders’ summit.

The question that has been asked by the public is; to what extent is there a bias in the media on governance issues, and more importantly, will it matter in the next major national event, e.g., the current Covid-19 emergency or the 2022 general elections?

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Northumbrian kiap get tick from uni

Robert Forster
Robert Forster tucks into some brain food as a young kiap

ROBERT FORSTER

NORTHUMBRIA - Divine Word University in Madang has secured exclusive distribution rights within Papua New Guinea for my book ‘The Northumbrian Kiap’ which examines bush administration in the turbulent period immediately before independence.

DWU has a reputation for innovation and I’m very pleased with this collaboration.

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Simbu group proposes coronavirus concept

Covid 19FRANCIS NII

KUNDIAWA - Covid-19 is a new disease that caught the whole world off-guard like a tsunami rendering all known medical science irrelevant and ineffective.

Even the best organised nations have struggled to effectively contain the virus.

It was in December at Wuhan Central Hospital, China, that Dr Li Wenling, an ophthalmologist and physician, first observed signs of the virus and warned colleagues about a possible outbreak of an illness like SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) that had broken out in 2003.

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Radio Days: Journey into management

Leigh HH 'Jim'
Jim Leigh with trainee broadcasters. He had a deep-seated dislike of the ABC but was instrumental in constructing 18 government radio stations across the length and breadth of PNG

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY, 1969 – For some minutes my eyes remained fixed on the newspaper advertisement.

Placed under the logo of the Department of Information and Extension Services, it sought three assistant managers for government broadcasting stations in rural areas of Papua New Guinea.

The colonial Administration, fed up with the ABC dragging its feet on extending its own PNG services throughout the Australian territory, was building its own radio stations and looking to recruit expatriate managers.

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Radio Days: Welcome to the ABC

P-C front page 16-8-69
I have always freelanced, still do. I spent two weeks on leave from the ABC writing for the Post-Courier in August 1969 reporting on athletics at the South Pacific Games

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY, 1966 – Late in 1966, I received a pleasant surprise when Papua New Guinea’s 30-something director of education, Ken McKinnon, recently returned from Harvard with a PhD, transferred me from my highlands hideaway at Gagl Primary T School to Port Moresby as editor of the School Paper.

For this unexpected elevation I had to give thanks to the trifecta of Kundiawa News, scriptwriting for the ABC, and freelance journalism for Pacific Islands Monthly and the South Pacific Post.

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Dom’s poetry receives Pacific praise

Faumuina
Faumuina Tafuna'i

FAUMUINA FELOLINI MARIA TAFUNA’I
| Flying Geese Productions

CHRISTCHURCH - Poet Michael Dom’s two newest books are being praised for their illumination of life in Papua New Guinea and as a “treasure chest of a special type of poetry”.

Dried Grass over Rough Cut Logs and 26 Sonnets: Contemporary Papua New Guinean Poetry were launched this month.

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Radio Days: In the beginning

Haus Pig (Pig Sty)  Kundiawa  1964
The haus pik, just across the road from the Chimbu Club, and my first home in Kundiawa (1964)

KEITH JACKSON

GAGL, 1966 – I’d been teaching in the New Guinea highlands for two years at the one-teacher, 12-student Australian curriculum primary school in Kundiawa when Konedobu (Pidgin English for ‘place where big men give orders’) decided I was old enough.

With me having reached the significant age of 20, Konedobu determined I had accumulated enough chronology to be dispatched as head teacher to a more remote primary school – a fully-fledged institution with real classrooms and 150 students.

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Michael Dom: A young poet comes of age

Michael Dom 2
Michael Dom - "Picks up the ordinary and mundane, and projects it on to a page and makes us see what we are unable see on our own"

STEVEN WINDUO

26 Sonnets: Contemporary Papua New Guinean Poetry, by Michael Dom, JDT Publications, March 2020, 66pp. ISBN-13: 979-8621-24-062-2

Free download 26 Sonnets eBook by Michael Dom

PORT MORESBY - I have great respect and admiration for the bold and measured language in Michael Dom’s poetry.

Reading this collection assured me that Dom is willing to take up forms of poetry that are structured and articulated through very specific rules of construction.

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An enduring book about Australian bastardry

BB
Behrouz Boochani would have made a great Australian

PHIL FITZPATRICK

No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison  by Behrouz Boochani, Picador, 2018, ISBN: 9781760555382, 374 pages, AU$15 from Amazon Australia.

TUMBY BAY - I’ve been holding off reading this book for a while. I’m not really sure why.

Perhaps it’s because I couldn’t face the misery and the pathos of that I thought it would depict. Perhaps it’s because of the sense of shame that I thought it would provoke.

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Loss of AAP news service

AAP staff are told their newsagency is closing with the loss of 500 jobs (AAP)
AAP staff are told their news agency is closing with the loss of 500 jobs (AAP)

SRI KRISHNAMURTHI
| Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch | Extract

AUCKLAND - The shock announcement yesterday that the Australian Associated Press newsagency will cease operations after 85 years is a blow to journalism in Australia and the Pacific.

AAP, which is owned by Nine, News Corp Australia, The West Australian and Australian Community Media, provided services to media companies such as newswires, subediting and photography will close with the loss of 500 jobs – 180 of them journalists.

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Rebellion, chaos and mysticism

Sandline
The Sandline debacle was a political scandal and a defining moment in the history of PNG, particularly influencing the Bougainville civil war

PHIL FITZPATRICK

Operation Kisim Bek Lombo by Baka Barakove Bina, Independently Published, 2019, ISBN: 97819744332366, 350 pages, my copy cost AU$34.28 from Amazon.com but there’s an eBook that costs US$4.94.

TUMBY BAY - We are probably all familiar with the term ‘alternative facts’. It is part of the bizarre tableau of language that has emanated from Trumpian America and sits alongside other questionable expressions like ‘fake news’.

Similar expressions are commonly found in literary fiction, particularly historical fiction. Historical fiction seeks to fill in the gaps between known or accepted facts to flesh out obscure and fuzzy periods in the past.

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Life after going finish

CocosPHIL FITZPATRICK

Life on a Coral Atoll: Australia’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands by Paul Oates, 2020, ISBN: 9798602004854, 174 pages with heaps of b/w photographs, US$4.90 + postage paperback or US$2.00 eBook, available from Amazon.com

TUMBY BAY - There is now a slim but veritable genre of kiap memoirs available in print. Some of them have been published by mainstream publishers but most are self-published.

The simple fact behind the preponderance of self-published work is that the general public, in Australia at least, is not especially interested in the subject.

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The story of George Oakes, kiap

George and  Edna 60th wedding anniversary 2019
George and Edna Oakes at home in Woodford on their 60th wedding anniversary last year

PHIL FITZPATRICK

Return to Papua New Guinea, by George D Oakes, self-published in A4 format, 2019, 97 pages with lots of photographs. My copy from the author cost AU$40 with postage

TUMBY BAY - I’m getting on in years so it always surprises me to learn that old kiaps are still around who were in Papua New Guinea before I was born.

George Oakes doesn’t quite meet that criteria because I was six years old when he first started work as a kiap. Nevertheless we can still claim him as one of the ‘golden oldies’ from that magic 1950s period in PNG.

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Making a start on a PNG book catalogue

_Croc Prize logoBAKA BINA

PORT MORESBY - Writings about Papua New Guinea and books by Papua New Guinean authors are multiplying but scattered all across the country.

There has never been a central reservoir of information about them. And there should be.

Most of these books are self-published by the authors, sometimes assisted by experienced people like Francis Nii and Jordan Dean, and produced using the Amazon hard copy and Kindle Direct Publishing ebook platforms.

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The mysteries of the Sandline rebellion

Baka
Baka Bina

BAKA BARAKOVE BINA

Operesin Kisim Bek Lombo: The one operation that the Sandline operatives did not make, by Baka Barakove Bina, CreateSpace, December 2019, 364 pp. ISBN-10: 1974332365. Paperback $US14.50. Kindle e-book $US5.00.
Available here from Amazon Books

PORT MORESBY - I was just getting off the bus to go into Murray Barracks when that first bullet whistled across from the army base and into the Foodland shop at Three Mile.

I immediately joined a group of people cowering in a drain, peeking out occasionally and expecting soldiers to come storming out.

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The kiaps: After dedication, melancholy

Oates
Paul Oates at Pindiu in 1970 with Papua New Guinea Administration colleaguesa

CHIPS MACKELLAR

Small Steps along the Way, by Paul Oates. Download it free here

WARWICK QLD - With Small Steps along the Way Paul Oates enters the pantheon of kiaps who have recorded their experiences in Papua New Guinea during the years of its prelude to independence in 1975.

Collectively they fill the void eschewed by mainstream historians, and for good reason.

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Pressure on South Pacific journalism

Dan McGarry
Dan McGarry - "The government refused my application to renew my work visa to silence me and warn other journalists in the country not to speak out”

GRAEME DOBELL
| The Strategist | Australian Strategic Policy Institute

CANBERRA - Journalism has always been a tough trade in the South Pacific. Living and working in island communities exposes editors and reporters to unusual political, personal and professional pressures.

A statement warning about ‘growing threats to media freedom’ from the Melanesia Media Freedom Forum, representing journalists from Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and West Papua, has been underlined by Vanuatu’s expulsion of a long-serving editor.

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Vanuatu doubles down on McGarry

Dan_McGarry
Dan McGarry - "“It’s just plain cruel to make innocent children suffer merely because we printed an uncomfortable truth”

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The government of Vanuatu, having previously blocked Vanuatu Daily Post senior journalist Dan McGarry from working in the country, has now doubled down on that decision by preventing him from returning home to Port Vila.

Mr McGarry had, of all things, been attending a media freedom conference in Brisbane when the Vanuatu government denied his right to return to Vanuatu to be with his family.

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My long awaited meeting with Sean Dorney

Pauline and Sean Dorney in Brisbane
Pauline and Sean Dorney in Brisbane: "You can’t separate one from the other" (Scott Waide)

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - A year ago, I remarked to my small news team how good it would be if the universe gave me one opportunity to sit down and have a chat with the great Sean Dorney, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s longest serving PNG correspondent.

I grew up watching Sean on ABC television. My parents talked about him when he was deported.

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The legendary PIM & me

Fitz - articlePHIL FITZPATRICK

A Short History of the Pacific Islands Monthly Magazine by Bob Lawrence, Chatswood Press, 2019, 69 pages, ISNI: 0000000067657158, AU$25 plus postage from the author

TUMBY BAY - I published my first article in the Pacific Islands Monthly in June 1970. That’s a clip from it right alongside.

It was a report about the mineral exploration then being carried out by the Kennecott Corporation in the Star Mountains that led to the establishment of Ok Tedi.

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Paul Oates: A kiap’s progress

Oates
Paul Oates as a young kiap - "Paul’s easy-going relationships with the people he’s working among shines through," Phil writes

PHIL FITZPATRICK

Small Steps Along the Way by Paul Oates, independently published, 2019, 241 pages, ISBN: 9781707077939, available from Amazon.com, $AU22.03, including postage or AU$2.91 as an eBook, from Amazon in the USA or download without cost from the strapline at the top of this page. Many thanks to Paul Oates for making it freely available to our readers

TUMBY BAY - We’ve been talking about the potency of literature on PNG Attitude for many years now and how it contributes to the creation story of communities and nations alike.

Further to that has been the notion that literature actually forms a society’s view of itself and reflects upon how it develops in the future.

Continue reading "Paul Oates: A kiap’s progress" »


Want to do Kokoda; read this first

Rick Antonson
Rick Antonson's book on the Kokoda Track is praised for its insights and the historical research that went into its writing

PHIL FITZPATRICK

Walking with Ghosts in Papua New Guinea: Crossing the Kokoda Trail in the Last Wild Place on Earth by Rick Antonson, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, 2019, 260 pages, ISBN:9781510705661, hardcover AU$39.89, eBook AU$21.99 from Amazon Australia

TUMBY BAY - Walking along parts of the Kokoda Trail in the early 1970s it didn’t strike me as being any more rugged or arduous than other tracks I had walked as a kiap.

A 200 kilometre long track between Port Moresby and Buna on the north coast had, after all, been in use since the early 1900s.

Continue reading "Want to do Kokoda; read this first" »


Dark day for media freedom

Dan McGarry (left) outside the offices of Vanuatu’s Daily Post in Port Vila
Dan McGarry (left) outside the offices of Vanuatu’s Daily Post in Port Vila

DAN McGARRY
| Guardian Australia

PORT VILA - Vanuatu’s Daily Post has always held the government to account and will continue to do so, with or without me as editor

Last Thursday, the Vanuatu government issued instructions that after 16 years living here and, despite having a Ni Vanuatu spouse and children, I will have to leave the country.

Continue reading "Dark day for media freedom" »


What does Vanuatu want to be known for?

Dan McGarry  Kora Nonu  Sean Dorney
Pacific journalists Dan McGarry, Kora Nonu and Sean Dorney at a media conference in Brisbane this week

TESS NEWTON CAIN
| Facebook

BRISBANE - I’m going to start with the disclosures. Dan McGarry is my friend.

We have worked together as colleagues in the past and my contributions to the Vanuatu Daily Post and Buzz FM in recent years have been at his invitation and with his encouragement.

So the recent news that the government is trying to force his departure from Vanuatu for what they feel is negative reporting makes me sad.

Continue reading "What does Vanuatu want to be known for?" »


Vanuatu gets nasty on journalism

Dan_McGarry
Dan McGarry -  After 16 years in Vanuatu, the highly respected Pacific islands journalist was harangued by the prime minister for “negative reporting” then had his work permit revoked

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – If a government is ever involved in something, anything, and it looks like a stitch-up, then you’re right to assume it is indeed a stitch-up.

And here at PNG Attitude we assume that the Vanuatu government is guilty of trying to remove Daily Post newspaper director Dan McGarry from his job and from the country on a pretext.

Why? Because the government knows his journalism is  telling the truth.

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How literature can deliver for PNG

Wabag library with few books
This maroon building at Wabag Primary School housing a school library but very few books, just as in most schools of PNG

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY - It was like slowly scaling the steep ice-covered walls of Mt Everest. Hoping to make it, but not really knowing.

Three writers waiting for more than a month in Port Moresby to present a petition to prime minister James Marape.

A petition signed by more than 300 people seeking that the Papua New Guinea government recognise and support PNG literature.

Continue reading "How literature can deliver for PNG" »


Do politicians actually read books?

Phil Fitzpatrick
Phil Fitzpatrick - "Perhaps politicians see an educated and literate public as a danger"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When Keith Jackson and I were managing the Crocodile Prize in the years after 2011 when it was conceived, we debated whether it might be a good idea to seek the support of government.

On the one hand the funding government could inject into the prize would have been valuable. But on the other hand, the meddling, self-aggrandisement and corruption that might have come attached to that money was strong.

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