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07 February 2014

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What I can't understand is the wedge being used to malign the ABC, that it is both left wing and unpatriotic. Perhaps in comparison to The Australian, but not by any other modest perspective.

It is certainly more highly polished and intrepid than the commercial news services, and features a more diverse range of perspectives, but at least with respect to PNG, ABC is fairly centre-right in its political synopsis and focus.

Peter, I have to respectfully oppose Rowan Callick's inclusion as an excellent reporter - well if his contributions on Bougainville are reflective.

For example, in a 2011 article worthy of a Joseph Heller novel, Callick argued that BCL did not support the PNGDF - they couldn't have, he argued, they had left the island before the latter arrived.

Relying on Rabbie Namaliu’s account, Callick remarks, “by the time the government deployed troops, BCL’s staff had left Bougainville leaving vehicles behind, some of which were commandeered”. There is a very simple way of proving this statement by Namaliu wrong - Callick should have reviewed articles written by a guy called Rowan Callick from 1989, where he reported on PNGDF operations while BCL was very much on the island.

Perhaps this was just a result of Callick not trusting himself enough.

Keith - is it worth PNG Attitude sponsoring some annual awards for quality journalism about PNG? I'd suggest two categories.

1. The best local PNG journalism.

2. The best Australian coverage of a PNG issue.

I'm willing to contribute something for the awards, but recognition is more important than prizes. Maybe something for Ms Bishop to consider helping with? (If you support this Julie, I'll buy you a slab of SPs.)

What bothers me Peter is the underlying intent to replace the ABC service with one run by commercial networks.

In this case I believe the real intent is to gift the overseas service to Rupert Murdoch, probably as a pay off for his role in the demise of the Labor government.

We had a dose of this several years ago when Channel 7, I believe, was allowed to broadcast its trash into Asia and PNG.

Imagine if that happens again. Rather than forming a view of Australia based on thoughtful and informative programming the people up there will be subjected to things like Big Brother, The Biggest Loser and My Kitchen Rules, not to mention the reactionary garbage that the commercial stations pass off as news and current affairs.

Broadcasting people like Andrew Bolt, Allan Jones et al into Asia will really do us well.

There are two aspects to this, both of which go to the core of the raison d'être of PNG Attitude ('scuse my French).

1. Objective information being provided to the people of PNG without fear or favour.

2. Educating Australians about the reality of life in our closest neighbour.

I talked to some local kids last week, and asked them what they knew about PNG. One said "Isn't that a place in Africa where they are killing everyone?"

So much for the National Curriculum.

"Kokoda, Front Line!" is on Youtube, here (with the original Cinesound Kangaroo) -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WZURx5w0Ps

Of course there are journalists from other media organisations who have done excellent reporting on and in Papua New Guinea (such as Jo Chandler, Ilya Gridneff, Rowan Callick and others) but in the above I was focussing on the ABC.

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