LEONARD FONG ROKA | Bougainville 24
The Arawa Bulletin was established in the late 1970s by Australian journalist Ray Smart while living in Arawa, the capital of Bougainville.
During the crisis of 1988-90, the Bulletin sold well under the leadership of its then managing editor and publisher, Carrie Kablean, who had joined in 1986.
The paper was published weekly from December 1978 until it closed due to the Bougainville war in March 1990, when Ms Smart was evacuated from the island.
Lance Itta, a history teacher at Arawa Secondary School, dreamed of reestablishing the Bulletin and discussed his thoughts with Romulus Masiu, an Arawa-based journalist with the PNG Post Courier.
The pair teamed up with former Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) photographer Jacob Ienu and they began to plan their next steps.
In mid-October, after a few months of talking, the trio had their first formal meeting in Arawa.
They decided that, as Bougainville gallops through this period of post-conflict political, economic and social change, there is a demand for independent information to be provided to the population and more Bougainville-oriented writing and writers.
The meeting also decided that the paper should write on health, sports, education, entertainment, the peace process, agriculture, business, religion, tourism and the road to referendum, as well as carrying advertisements.
There were also plans made for the long term growth of the Arawa Bulletin, beginning with circulation in Arawa, Toniva, Panguna and Wakunai. After it is well established in Central Bougainville, it may expand to North and South Bougainville.
With the plans in place, Lance Itta is seeking more Bougainvillean writers and professionals to join the group.
At its second meeting two weeks ago, an interim board of management was created.
Chairman and chief editor is Romulus Masiu from Buin; vice chairman is Lance Itta; secretary is Camillus Kabui (an accountant from Panguna); treasurer Francis Nazia (a businessman from Panguna); and advertising manager is Jacob Ienu from Panguna.
All these people will also write for the Arawa Bulletin.
The interim board is in communication with the founder of the original paper, Ray Smart, for her permission to use the name.
They will also create a new logo for the paper and are working around the clock to secure funding assistance.
The revived Arawa Bulletin under Bougainvillean leadership will be launched next Friday at Christmas Park in Arawa.