Books, film & media Feed

Self-published book is top prize contender

Initially only four bookshops around the country stocked Grimmish, but Winkler also sent it to a few ‘influential readers’ who started enthusing about it on social media

Michael Winkler says his book was a difficult one to explain to publishers and bookshops (Justin McManus)
Michael Winkler says his book was a difficult one to explain to publishers and bookshops (Justin McManus)

JASON STEGER
| Sydney Morning Herald

Link here to Michael Winkler’s Grimmish website

SYDNEY - Michael Winkler is a bit resigned about his writing career: “It has been one of defeat really, but it’s chop wood, carry water, isn’t it?”

When he finished his novel Grimmish, he and his agent offered it to publishers they thought might be interested.

Continue reading "Self-published book is top prize contender" »


Kindly Kindle became a greedy book monster

In Amazon’s early days there was a hint of a benevolent and philanthropic spirit in its business model, but the ogre of profit at all costs has overtaken all other considerations

Scrooge mcduck

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Michael Dom and I have just endured an incredibly dispiriting battle with Amazon Kindle over an extremely trivial matter of copyright involving the Ples Singsing anthology of student essays from the 2020 competition.

This issue has thankfully now been resolved and the anthology is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback.

Continue reading "Kindly Kindle became a greedy book monster" »


Solomons melting pot: The Honiara story

The Solomons both lost and found its way politically and economically. Part of its journey were mismanagement and corruption, and the ‘tension years’, when the nation came to the brink of anarchy

Honiara
Honiara is a corruption of the Malaitan word, nahona`ara, meaning facing the place where the southeast winds meet the land (Jenny Scott)

CLIVE MOORE
| DevPolicy Blog

Honiara: Village-City of Solomon Islands by Clive Moore, ANU Press, May 2022. More information here. ISBN 9781760465070 (online). Download or read the book free online here

BRISBANE - Like most cities, Honiara is bound by its geography, history and culture. In my new book, I explore these relationships and how they have created the city we see today.

Military bases in the Solomon Islands are in the news, although most people seem to have forgotten that Honiara began as a World War II battle ground and military base, initially Japanese and then American.

Continue reading "Solomons melting pot: The Honiara story" »


A fine project in which our readers can help

The ABC’S international media development unit supports democratic governance by strengthening public interest journalism capable of holding Asia-Pacific institutions to account

ABC training in media skills

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Like so many people before him, Daniel Mee stumbled by accident upon PNG Attitude –and liked what he saw.

Not just a treasure trove of information but a network of many hundreds of people who maintain a close affiliation with Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "A fine project in which our readers can help " »


The vital roles of the media in our country

Being an agitator can come at a high cost. In many instances, society may not be ready for the solutions the media provides. The media itself may not be ready

Scott Waide
Scott Waide - "The role of the media as a guardian of democracy comes to the fore when people go to the polls"

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - It has been a hectic three months working around the clock running pre-election workshops for journalists in all four regions through the media development initiative of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The most important part of the training for many of those journalists who attended has been the discussion around the role of the media in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "The vital roles of the media in our country" »


National Geographic’s long affair with PNG

The National Geographic, always a product of its time, remains an amazing pictorial record of Papua New Guinea over nearly 100 years

Kranz Miramar chilldren Gilliard Nat Geo 1955
E Thomas Gilliard's 'Miramar children' (or were they?) of 1955 (National Geographic)

PETER KRANZ

MORISSET – The photograph above was taken during E Thomas Gilliard's bird hunting expedition to the Papua New Guinea Highlands in 1955.

The story of the expedition, together with many spectacular photographs, was published in National Geographic magazine in the same year under the headline, 'To the Land of the Headhunters'.

Continue reading "National Geographic’s long affair with PNG" »


PNG elections: the dangers from social media

Given Facebook’s domination of social media in Papua New Guinea, it was concerning that researchers found strong indications of organised, politically motivated activity using inauthentic accounts to impersonate incumbent politicians

A fb

CAITLYN MCKENZIE & BEN CONNABLE
| DT Institute  | Lowy Institute 

WASHINGTON DC - How many Facebook accounts and pages claim to belong to Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape?

Between 20 and 35, depending on the point in time and your definition, none verified by the platform.

Continue reading "PNG elections: the dangers from social media" »


China gatekeepers threaten Pacific media

Following the Chinese foreign minister's media-unfriendly 10-day tour, frustrated Pacific journalists hope that in future "there will be a more concerted effort to defend media freedom against creeping authoritarianism"

Pacific cartoon

DAVID ROBIE
| Pacific Media Watch | Edited

AUCKLAND - Timor-Leste, the youngest independent nation has the most fledgling media in the Asia-Pacific region.

But the country’s president has just offered a big lesson to its Pacific Island neighbours in tackling Chinese media gatekeepers and the creeping authoritarianism that is threatening journalism in the region.

Continue reading "China gatekeepers threaten Pacific media" »


Young writers elevated to an unknown future

We saw many lights shine brightly during the years of the Crocodile Prize only to fade away and never be seen since

Fitz top

PHIL FITZPATRICK

Tingting Bilong Mi: 2020 Essay Competition edited by Michael Dom & Ed Brumby, Pukpuk Publications (May 2022), 195 pages. $1.00. Kindle edition available from Amazon Books

TUMBY BAY - I’ve got a confession to make, I like reading Papua New Guinean literature.

I’ve probably learnt more about the country and its people through reading its writers than I have living and working there.

That isn’t the only reason I like its literature. I also like the idea of Papua New Guinea, and that idea is best reflected in its writers.

Continue reading "Young writers elevated to an unknown future" »


Lydia's story: Surviving the pain of abuse

Gah is a Nakani woman from West New Britain
Lydia Gah is a Nakani woman from West New Britain

BRENDAN MOUNTER
| ABC Far North

Following her divorce, Lydia pursued her education and went on to become a counsellor and social worker

TOWNSVILLE – Born prematurely in a remote village in New Britain, Lydia Gah learnt to survive from her very first breath.

But it’s her story as the survivor of a 12-year abusive marriage that she’s determined to share with the world.

Continue reading "Lydia's story: Surviving the pain of abuse" »


Ex-kiap author shortlisted for UK award

A pic
Anthony (Tony) English - ex-kiap is “erudite in his exploration of unusually difficult issues and ideas"

KEITH JACKSON

Death of a Coast Watcher by Anthony English, Monsoon Books, Burrough on the Hill Leics UK, 2020, 479 pages. Kindle $9.56, paperback $22.75 from Amazon Books

NOOSA – A psychological thriller with a strong connection to wartime events in Papua New Guinea has been shortlisted by the London-based Society of Authors for an award for a first novel by a writer aged over 60.

Death of a Coast Watcher, by Australian author Anthony English, reviewed early last year in PNG Attitude, has made it to the top niche of entries for this year’s Paul Torday Memorial Prize which will be announced on 1 June.

Continue reading "Ex-kiap author shortlisted for UK award" »


Fired journos fight back with online service

A topKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The eminent journalist Scott Waide has accused the disgraced EMTV network of failing to provide a proper news service to Papua New Guinea after it sacked its entire news team in February.

The journalists had taken a stand against politically-inspired censorship triggered by coverage of the fraudulent misdeeds of a well-connected government crony.

Continue reading "Fired journos fight back with online service" »


If mainstream media fails, social media saves

A Dr Shailendra Singh - There were appalling examples of disinformation in the 2018 elections. However  social media can be empowering and liberating (Dialogue Fiji)
Dr Shailendra Singh - "Social media can be empowering and liberating" (Dialogue Fiji)

SHAILENDRA SINGH
| Asia Pacific Review | Edited

SUVA - Social media is a mixed bag, with both democratic and undemocratic tendencies. But then few things in life are perfect.

And in that regard social media poses a major dilemma. Not just in Fiji, but many countries that are grappling with how best to tackle it.

This includes even developed countries like Australia.

Continue reading "If mainstream media fails, social media saves" »


Labor’s 7 point plan for the Pacific

ABC shortwave radio aerial system
The ABC's shortwave radio service was shut down by the Morrison government, enabling China to grab the frequencies. If elected, the Labor Party says it will fund a project to rescue this trashed capability

DANIEL HURST
| The Guardian | Extract

SYDNEY - Labor has vowed to increase foreign aid to Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste by $525 million over four years, as it makes an election pledge to ‘restore Australia’s place as first partner of choice for our Pacific family’.

The opposition is also vowing to reform Pacific worker schemes, ramp up patrols to fight illegal fishing, boost regional broadcasting, and ‘listen and act on Pacific island warnings of the existential threat of climate change’.

Continue reading "Labor’s 7 point plan for the Pacific" »


We’re really pawns in The Great Game

APAUL OATES

Hidden Hand: Exposing how the Chinese Communist Party is reshaping the world by Clive Hamilton & Mareike Ohlberg, Paperback, Hardie Grant Books, 2020, 448 pages. Kindle $8.42, Paperback $24.25. Available here from Amazon in Australia

CLEVELAND QLD - Chek Ling (Still the bell tolls: Brisbane’s Kristallnacht) raises an extremely relevant issue.

It’s an issue that Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands need to take an interest in and understand.

Continue reading "We’re really pawns in The Great Game" »


Mutiny that saved PNG: Singirok’s new book

Singirok Tensions were high
Singirok had just been sacked and everyone was jumpy when his bodyguard, Corporal Allen, pulled a pistol on a soldier who arrived unexpectedly at Murray Barracks. He said he just wanted food (Andrew Meares)

RAE KATAHA SMART

A Matter of Conscience: Operation Rausim Kwik by Major-General Jerry Singirok, Partridge Publishing, Singapore, February 2022, 636 pages. Available from Amazon: hardcover $100, paperback $72.95 or email Rae Smart here for more information

TEWANTIN QLD – At last the book by Major-General Jerry Singirok on the Bougainville conflict and the Sandline Affair, ‘Operation Rausim Kwik’, has just been released.

Written from the unique perspective of former Army commander Singirok, the book is a no holds barred account of a mutiny.

Continue reading " Mutiny that saved PNG: Singirok’s new book" »


Write a book: It will live longer than you

A children-reading-pngJUSTIN KUNDALIN

KANDEP - I believe in books. In fact I’m planning to write a book called ‘Books Live Longer than Man’.

When people write a book, they speak to people through its pages. But sadly, many people don’t have the guts to put in the pages of a book the knowledge and wisdom they have gathered.

Continue reading "Write a book: It will live longer than you" »


The amazing, absurd & shocking story of Port Moresby

moresby 1886
The first printed plan of Port Moresby was compiled from surveys made in July and August 1886 by Walter R Guthbertson

THERESA PATTERSON
| From a story originally published in
  the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier

Eda Moresby: Our Moresby by John Brooksbank, K250 each (K200 each for five or more). To Australia: $100 + $15 post. Link Facebook and find Eda Moresby here or email here

PORT MORESBY – ‘Only in PNG!’ People might think this catch-all phrase for our country’s extraordinary quirks is a relatively recent addition to our lexicon.

But if the outrageous stories in John Brooksbank’s new book, ‘Eda Moresby’ (Motu for ‘Our Moresby’), are anything to go by, the expression would have applied way back to before Papua New Guinea existed.

Continue reading "The amazing, absurd & shocking story of Port Moresby" »


Morrison’s Manus cruelty, by the man who got away

Jaivet's misspelt Manus ID Card
Jaivet Ealom - taken from his Manus identification card on which a sharp-eyed Australian immigration official misspelled his name

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Escape from Manus: The untold true story by Jaivet Ealom, Viking Australia, 2021, 352 pages, softcover AU$22.00, ebook AU$14.99. ISBN 9781761040214. Available here from Amazon Australia

TUMBY BAY - In 2014 I carried out a social mapping study on Manus Island and got a first-hand look at Australia’s regional processing centre for refugees.

What I saw was deeply disturbing and not something easy to forget.

Continue reading "Morrison’s Manus cruelty, by the man who got away" »


Aussie journalists condemn EMTV ‘assault’

MeaaKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Australia’s Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) has condemned the suspension of 24 Papua New Guinean journalists by EMTV, PNG’s largest television station.

The MEAA is Australia’s largest and most established union and industry advocate for creative professionals.

Continue reading "Aussie journalists condemn EMTV ‘assault’" »


EMTV suspends 19 journalists

EMTV newsroom  Port Moresby  before the dispute
An editorial conference in the EMTV newsroom in Port Moresby taken before the dispute occurred

REBECCA KUKU
| The Guardian
| The Pacific Project is supported by the Judith Nielson Institute

PORT MORESBY - Nineteen journalists from Papua New Guinea’s leading television media company, EMTV, have been suspended following a walk-off protest by staff.

The staff walked off the job last week in support of their head of news and current affairs, Sincha Dimara, who was suspended earlier in February for ‘insubordination’.

Continue reading "EMTV suspends 19 journalists" »


EMTV in turmoil after news chief sidelined

The empty EMTV newsroom last night (APN)
The empty EMTV newsroom last night (APN)

NEWS DESK
| Pacific Media Watch | Edited extracts

AUCKLAND - The national news team of Papua New Guinea’s major television channel, EMTV, walked out last night in protest over a decision earlier this month to suspend the head of news, Sincha Dimara, for alleged insubordination.

The news team condemned the “endless intimidation” which has led to the suspension or sacking of three news managers in the past five years.

The team vowed not to return until the “wrongs have been righted” by EMTV management.

Continue reading "EMTV in turmoil after news chief sidelined" »


China alert: ABC wants to revive Pacific service

ABC chief David Anderson says Pacific countries are concerned about Chinese media content (Adriane Reardon)
ABC chief David Anderson says Pacific countries are concerned about Chinese media content (Adriane Reardon)

HENRY BELOT
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Edited extracts

CANBERRA - The managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation says Pacific public broadcasters have raised concerns about Chinese government pressure to carry state-controlled news content.

As China increases its influence in the region, David Anderson told a Senate committee on Tuesday the ABC is planning to expand its operations in the Pacific and play a greater ‘soft diplomacy’ role.

Continue reading "China alert: ABC wants to revive Pacific service" »


Did Duma's anger trigger suspension of news chief?

Sincha Dimara
Sincha Dimara - EMTV news boss suspended after minister 'displeased' over news team pursuing a story about a hotel owner caught up in a drugs bust

NEWS DESK
| Pacific Media Watch

AUCKLAND – The Paris-based global media freedom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has condemned the “unacceptable political meddling” at EMTV News, Papua New Guinea’s main public television news channel.

Sincha Dimara was suspended as head of news and current affairs at EMTV after three news stories annoyed a government minister.

Continue reading "Did Duma's anger trigger suspension of news chief?" »


Travel as it was before Covid cut a swathe

Paul Jan 22
Paul Oates - experiences interesting, educational and humorous

PHILIP FITZPATRICK 

Around the World BC (Before Covid) by Paul Oates, Independently Published, 2022, paperback, lavishly illustrated, 427 pages, AU$50.47. ISBN 979-8413290927. Available here from Amazon Australia

TUMBY BAY - There is little doubt that the world has been irrevocably changed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The forlorn hope that we might return to some sort of pre-pandemic normalcy is at best overly optimistic.

Continue reading "Travel as it was before Covid cut a swathe" »


On the trail of The Phantom's PNG exploits

Use of Tok Pisin established The Phantom as a PNG superstar (Mark Eby)
The production of as Tok Pisin comic book reinforced The Phantom as a PNG superstar (Mark Eby)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - From time to time Slim Kaikai drops me a note from somewhere in Papua New Guinea and we have a brief email swap until the next couple of years pass.

In January Slim sent me his usual “just a quick wan”, asking would I know “where to get a hold of any phantom comics in pidgin”.

Continue reading "On the trail of The Phantom's PNG exploits" »


Fred Wilson: The boomerang boy of 1PIR

graves
The Taurama Cemetery as Terry Edwinsmith found it in 2011 before it was revamped

TERRY EDWINSMITH

Boomerang Boy by David Wilson,‏ Take A Leaf Publications, October 2021. Available: Kindle (Amazon Australia) $11.99; Paperback (Waterstones, UK) £20

BRISBANE - The book, 'Boomerang Boy', tells the compelling story of Taurama Barracks Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) Frederick Alexander (Fred) Wilson.

This remarkable soldier died suddenly while serving with 1PIR on 27 March 1968 aged 43.

Continue reading "Fred Wilson: The boomerang boy of 1PIR" »


An adventure yarn for a child of any age

Peter top
Peter Comerford amidst the ruins of Panguna, from which he was forced to flee in 1990. An author who has seen the best and the worst of things, but this charming children's book is a delight all round

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

A Survival Story of Michael and Natlik by Peter Comerford, Austin Macauley Publishers, 2022, 146 pages. Available here from Booktopia in Australia, $18.95 paperback, $7.15 ebook

TUMBY BAY - I don’t remember when I learned to read. I know it was before I started school so I must have been fairly young.

I clearly remember a book based on the 1953 Walt Disney film of JM Barrie’s 1904 West End play Peter Pan or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. I would have been five at the time.

Continue reading "An adventure yarn for a child of any age" »


Authors benefit from a publishing revolution

SelfPHILIP FITZPATRICK

“I know there's a self-publishing alternative available, but for Luddites such as me that sort of technology stuff would be beyond my comprehension. And how good would those volumes look compared to books prepared by a professional printer” – Richard E Jones

TUMBY BAY – For writers who cannot or don't want to use a major publisher, there are three options available to get your book printed and in front of readers.

Traditional publishers are in the business of making money and – the costs of editing, design, printing and distribution being significant - are very careful about what they publish.

Continue reading "Authors benefit from a publishing revolution" »


Tripping to Tabar & the mystery of Mahur

Mahur Island (Schneider Photography)
Beach scene on Mahur Island (Schneider Photography)

SUSAN R HEMER

Tracing the Melanesian Person: Emotions and Relationships in Lihir by Susan R Helmer, University of Adelaide Press, Adelaide, 2013, 329 pages. ISBN 978-1-922064-45-5. Free download here

KEITH JACKSON WRITES - Dr Susan Hemer lectures in development studies and medical and psychological anthropology at the University of Adelaide and her book, Tracing the Melanesian Person, resulted from a year spent in the Lihir group of islands in Papua New Guinea.

The incident it tells of occurred in May 1998 when Hemer was about halfway through her doctoral fieldwork in Mahur, the northernmost of Lihir.

Continue reading "Tripping to Tabar & the mystery of Mahur" »


A journey into reflection, insight & ennui

Urban-squalor
Nick Brown discovers there's more to the world than himself, but finds he can't fix the corruption and the squalor

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

The Value of Journey: Virtue and reality in Papua New Guinea and Asia by Nicholas C Brown, Mereo Books, Cirencester UK, 2021, 332 pages with illustrations. ISBN 9781861513212. Available here from Amazon Australia, AU$22

TUMBY BAY – Nick Brown's The Value of Journey follows directly from his first book, Better than Rich and Famous, the transition so flawless you could move from one to the other and not notice the physical change.

Continue reading "A journey into reflection, insight & ennui" »


Tok Pisin: A language on history's march

Pisin - imageCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The article by Baka Bina, ‘The Taxing Art of Translation, has recently stimulated much comment and discussion in PNG Attitude.

Accomplished writers like Michael Dom, Daniel Kumbon, Phil Fitzpatrick and others have offered their own insights and perspectives on the problems inherent in translating Tok Pisin into English.

Continue reading "Tok Pisin: A language on history's march" »


New book from Highlands holds nothing back

Johannes and Rose Kundal  30th wedding anniversary  2009
Johannes and Rose Kundal,  30th wedding anniversary,  2009

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

‘Legend of the Miok Egg: A True Enga Family Tale’ by Daniel Kumbon and Johannes Kulimbao Kundal, paperback, independently published, $26.24. Available here from Amazon Australia

FOREWORD - As an Australian who has enjoyed a long association with Papua New Guinea I tend to assume that I know a lot about the people and their cultures.

It is only when I read books like this one that I realise my knowledge is limited.

Continue reading "New book from Highlands holds nothing back" »


A true heart-warmer from the pen of Fitz

CaptureJERZEY BROWNING

Just Another Stray by Philip Fitzpatrick, KDP Australia, 279pp, ISBN: 9798782206581, paperback AU$15.40, Kindle AU$1.00. Available here from Amazon Australia

She closed the photo file and stared at the background image on her desktop. It was a photograph of Tom and Sophie in the front paddock with Rosie the dog, Anthony the horse and Pricklebum the sheep.

Sophie was sitting on Anthony’s back and Tom was holding his halter and smiling up at the little girl. 

After several moments she made up her mind. She opened a blank word document and began typing.

“One day my father arrived home with a little girl he had found by the roadside.”

Continue reading "A true heart-warmer from the pen of Fitz" »


Kastom & Kristen can be a perfect match

Johannes & his wife Rose with grandson Victor at the 30th wedding anniversary in 2009
Johannes Kundal and Rose with grandson Victor at their 30th wedding anniversary in 2009

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – In between finishing my latest novel and starting a new one I’ve been proofreading a fascinating autobiography by Johannes Kundal.

Johannes is a member of Enga Writers Association and his book, The Legend of the Miok Egg, is being edited and readied for publication by author Daniel Kumbon, who founded the group.

A few extracts have been published in PNG Attitude over the last year or so.

Continue reading "Kastom & Kristen can be a perfect match" »


Pacific whanau must be honoured

Dr Damon Salesa … We need to honour … and be connected to our whanau around the Pacific (Radio New Zealand)
Dr Damon Salesa - "We need to honour and be connected to our whanau around the Pacific" (Radio New Zealand)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The new vice-chancellor of Auckland University of Technology (AUT), is keenly aware that he has broken through another glass ceiling.

The son of a factory worker, Dr Damon Salesa made New Zealand history last week as the first Pacific person to be appointed to head a New Zealand university.

Continue reading "Pacific whanau must be honoured" »


Thought provoking ideas in a dark novel

Top
Former patrol officer and academic Anthony English adds to the prolific literary output by PNG kiaps in this intriguing novel

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Death of a Coastwatcher by Anthony English, Monsoon Books, Burrough on the Hill, 2020, 464pp. ASIN ‏B08LR4YGP8. Available here from Amazon Australia: paperback AU$15.75, Kindle AU$9.35

TUMBY BAY - It may be a product of my advanced age but I have developed a distinct aversion to the depiction of violence and other extremes of human behaviour in literature and film.

My preferred recreational reading and viewing nowadays centres mainly on the gentle and whimsical. This is a genre in which the British excel but seems rare in America and Australia.

Continue reading "Thought provoking ideas in a dark novel" »


Nat Whiting's well-merited humanitarian award

Nat with friends at Divine Word Uni
Natalie (Nat) Whiting enjoys a barbecue with friends at Divine Word University in Madang

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Natalie Whiting, the ABC’s Papua New Guinea correspondent, has won a major media award for her news coverage of the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.

The annual award is given by the Australian Council for International Development’s (ACFID) to recognise a journalist who reports with skill and understanding on international humanitarian issues.

Continue reading "Nat Whiting's well-merited humanitarian award" »


‘A political act designed to intimidate’

Abc issuesKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - I worked twice for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in my 22-year media career.

The first time was in Papua New Guinea between 1966 and 1970, when I wrote and produced schools broadcasts from the ABC’s studios at Boroko, which are there still, tired by age as I am.

Continue reading "‘A political act designed to intimidate’" »


Mismatched law (& the law bringers who made it fit)

Field justice 1950s
Colonial kiaps brought the law to the people, and often tailored it to align with traditional cultural values and expectations

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Making Law in Papua New Guinea: The Colonial Origins of a Postcolonial Legal System by Bruce L Ottley, Jean G Zorn and David Weisbrot, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina, June 2021, 526pp. ISBN: 9781531005504. Editions: Kindle AU$68.90; Paperback AU$144.75. Kindle edition available from Amazon here

TUMBY BAY - The period just before and just after independence in Papua New Guinea was a time of optimism and promise.

That Pax Australiana - the institutions built by the colonial Administration - would remain intact, as stable and progressive as they were, was never assumed.

Continue reading "Mismatched law (& the law bringers who made it fit)" »


Where do you get the news?

John Pilger and Julian Assange
John Pilger and Julian Assange at a rally in London, 2011

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In a recent article by Australian journalist and provocateur John Pilger, there is an interesting observation about the state of the world’s media.

Pilger was writing about the trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a piece published on the Counterpunch website:

Continue reading "Where do you get the news?" »


Climate, culture, country: The way forward

using fire to hunt kangaroos by Joseph Lycett  c.1820 (National Library of Australia)
'Aborigines using fire to hunt kangaroos' by Joseph Lycett c.1820 (National Library of Australia)

JUDITH WHITE
| Culture Heist

Country: Future Fire, Future Farming by Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe, First Knowledges vol 3, Margo Neale (ed), published by Thames & Hudson Aust, 26 October 2021, 224 pages. ISBN-10 ‏1760761559. Available from Amazon here. Paper $16.05. Kindle $8.79

TWEED COAST, NSW - Worried about the prospects for life on earth?

Well, we have just been given a message of hope born out of profound historical knowledge.

Continue reading "Climate, culture, country: The way forward" »


‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom

Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet
Filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet - "Ophir is an evocative re-telling of the Bougainville conflict and its legacy over the past two decades"

CATHERINE WILSON
| Pacific Journalism Review

Ophir: Decolonize. Revolutionize, directed by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet. Arsam International/Fourth World Films/Ulster University. 2020. 97 minutes. Link here to read and see more about 'Ophir'

CANBERRA - In Ophir, a feature length documentary film about the Bougainville civil war of 1989-1998, French filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet analyse the devastating conflict and under-reported repercussions which continue to reverberate in the region today.

Ophir in the Old Testament (Genesis 10; 1 Kings 10:22) is a land of great mineral wealth exploited by King Solomon.

In eastern Papua New Guinea, the people of Bougainville also claim Ophir to be the original name of their remote islands.

Continue reading "‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom" »


Journalism Review roars back to life

Bougainvillean woman in a still from Ophir
Bougainvillean woman in a still from 'Ophir',  a controversial documentary about the island's struggle against mining and for independence

KEITH JACKSON

AUCKLAND – ‘Pacific Journalism Review: Te Koakoa, a peer-reviewed journal examining media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, has made a welcome return to publication after an enforced absence.

Founded by academic and journalist Dr David Robie in 1994 at the University of Papua New Guinea, it was later published at the University of the South Pacific and from 2007-2020 by the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology.

Continue reading "Journalism Review roars back to life" »


A corny novel with some real insights

Chet Nairene
Chet Nairene's - "“I was no longer really Western anymore, but not quite yet Eastern. Mid-Pacific, maybe?"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Pacific Dash: From Asia Vagabond to Casino King by Chet Nairene, Banana Leaf Books, June 2021. Independently published, paperback, 394 pages. ISBN-13 ‏979-8745977275. Available from Amazon Australia for $26.34 plus postage

TUMBY BAY - Although Chet Nairene cites novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux as his inspiration, Pacific Dash is more reminiscent of the pulp fiction that was popular in the 1960s in works like Harold Robbins' 1966 pot boiler, The Adventurers.

Continue reading "A corny novel with some real insights" »


Writing’s always been my passion

Phil
Phil Fitzpatrick - "Shedding the jargon, verbosity and density of the bureaucratic writing style required real effort"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Some people like messing about in boats but writing fiction has always been a passion of mine.

Unfortunately it’s very hard to make a living out of writing books in Australia and I’ve had to resort to other means of subsistence.

That’s why reaching retirement age is such a blessing.

Continue reading "Writing’s always been my passion" »


Journalists have a trust problem

Gittins
Ross Gittins' book, 'A life among budgets, bulldust and bastardry', is available from Amazon

ROSS GITTINS
| Economics Editor, Sydney Morning Herald
| Extracts

SYDNEY - As journalists know, but probably try not to think about, polling shows that, as an occupation, we don’t rank highly.

We’re well down the list, held in roughly the same esteem as politicians, real estate agents and people selling used cars.

Continue reading "Journalists have a trust problem" »


Waka Poet Faumuina meets Blunt Bugger Dom

MICHAEL DOM
| Ples Singsing

Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i
Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i

My Grandfather is a Canoe by Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna'i, July 2021, Flying Geese Pro. Order here for $36.52 (post included)

LAE – Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i’s first poems appeared in print in ‘Fika – a fictional body of new writing by First Draft Pasefika Writers’ (2008), under the banner of Pacific Arts Creative New Zealand.

Faumuina’s poetry later featured in dried grass over rough-cut logs’, my own collection of 2020, published by the late PNG publisher, poet and essayist, Francis Nii.

Continue reading "Waka Poet Faumuina meets Blunt Bugger Dom" »


Fahim Dashty - pioneer of Afghan press freedom

Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)
Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)

MARTIN HADLOW

SAMFORD VALLEY – Not long ago in PNG Attitude, this photograph was published alongside my article, ‘Taliban had time & are not so benign’.

It shows the Kabul Weekly newspaper being compiled by hand.

The newspaper was established by an extraordinary journalist, Fahim Dashty. And this is his story.

Continue reading "Fahim Dashty - pioneer of Afghan press freedom" »


‘The Age’ undermines public health

The Age editor
Editor of The Age, Gay Alcorn. Jenny Hocking writes, "The Age failed even to mention that Australia is six months behind the rest of the world in (its) way out of this pandemic"

JENNY HOCKING
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations | Edited

MELBOURNE – Last Thursday, The Age newspaper published a provocative editorial, ‘Victoria cannot go on like this’, which many saw as undermining the Victorian government’s public health response to Covid.

Having done so in the middle of a pandemic, The Age should have expected, and indeed welcomed, a robust response.

Continue reading "‘The Age’ undermines public health" »