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31 March 2012


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Thank you all for the encouraging remarks. All PNG writers are aware by now of The National's pretentious albeit confidence-trickery-minded method of luring in fresh new talents in writing for no other reason than to brainwash them for their own ends.

This unfortunately did not work and the editor of The Weekender persistently reminded me time again that self-censure was the name of the game to survive working for the "nation's" so-called daily.

Now we open our eyes and see, don't we? I am so sorry for that editor who thinks that way.

About two weeks ago, one of my former James Cook University friends who studied English Literature with me, now based in Samoa, started a group on the social network, LinkedIn called “Pacific Island Writers”.

The first question he posed was: What efforts, if any, are the governments of the Pacific Island nations making to encourage and promote the development of the literary talent of their people?

Below is my response to the question:

"Here in PNG, not much effort to promote literature at the governmental level, probably afraid of the jabs from the writers' pens.

"But there are a number of commendable private initiatives. One of these is "The Crocodile Prize", an initiative of one Keith Jackson of PNG Attitude blog fame.

"The other supporter of arts is the daily paper The National. In its Weekender magazine, it devotes quite a bit of space to writers and artists."

As you can see, in addition to commending Keith Jackson’s efforts, I also commended the National for its Weekender magazine. For me, the Weekender was a useful resource for our PNG Literature unit, and I collected copies over two years.

To me it is sheer stupidity to take slight from such seemingly trivial slurs to their institution and hand over a good product to their competition.

The National should be bigger than that, if not it is in the wrong line of work perhaps even in the wrong country.

A final word, if any of you readers have a LinkedIn Account, I hope you consider joining the Pacific Island Writers' group.

A good reason not to buy The National newspaper.

I love the Post Courier.

Good that Russel has now been taken in by the Post Courier.

All the followers of his articles will also have to move over to the Post Courier.

If a National journalist that knocks to your doors, kick him or her out.

So, true colours of persons or organizations do take time to surface.

National is in PNG not for the good of the country but for profiteering and protection of greed.

We had the pleasure of meeting Nou Vada (interesting surname) at last year's writers workshop. He is one of Russell's students and is a shining example of the bright and articulate young people PNG is producing in droves.

With a conservative outfit like The National, riddled as it is with vested interests, their joint expulsion just goes to show how powerful writers in PNG can be.

The National kicked them out not only because it is petty-minded but also because it is afraid of them. As Nou observes, Martyn Namorong scares the hell out of them.

I'm personally pleased that the Post Courier quickly snaffled Russell. They also need to give Nou and Martyn and others like them space to write too. If they do that their circulation figures will sky rocket.

I was momentarily worried about the Post Courier being a Murdoch paper but when I went round to the battered old 1950s Besser block building and met some of the ratbags who work there last year I was most encouraged.

I think Russell is now in his spiritual home and I would like to wish him the best of luck. Well done Blaise and Big Pat!

Yet another good reason not to read The National...

Turning in my grave.

Considering Icarus went to the grave some time ago, turning must represent a considerable effort of ghostly will - KJ

This is petty, narrow-minded and disgraceful. Anyone who may have had had an ounce of repsect for The National will now see the organ for what it is - the mouthpiece for RH and it's associated companies.

This has been evident for many years and has come to a head in recent months by the partisan and blatant promotion of RH's interests by Malum Nalu and others.

I trust that Nou and Russell will find plenty of alternative media outlets elsewhere and I believe The National will rue the day that they took such obviously biased and childish action.

I hope they read this and see what contempt they are held in by external parties.

As Edward Lazarus said - “Intellectual dishonesty is pure poison…”

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