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22 November 2013


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The only problem with Belden Namah's ideas to circumvent the Post-Courier and The National is that he is Belden Namah, the fellow who got rich far too quickly for it to have been honest, and whose hatred towards O'Neill always makes it questionable whether he is telling the truth or trying to score political points.

The fight against corruption must be led by apolitical types who will go after O'namah and anyone else who is proving themselves an unethical or immoral leader.

Voltaire and Rousseau didn't have modern newspapers, radio and Television. Amazing what small groups of people can achieve, as Margaret Mead recognized.

I don't know Keith you are way behind. With the arrival of digicel mobile phone-based 3g and android phones Namah will easily get a quarter of PNG population on social media.

I'm banging on about this, but you should understand the different viewing methods and profiles of different media in PNG and how different this is to western models of analysis.

In PNG, it's a community event.

In Kundiawa, the family had a TV. They would put it outside at 6 so anyone who wanted could come and watch the news of an evening. Often 20 or 30 people would do so. Then they would go to the Lutheran bookshop and hire a bootleg movie on CD (favourites Chuck Norris and Nigerian soapies), put up notices, and charge people a few kina for the privilege of watching it. The family made extra money by selling food and drink to the audience. A good evening's entertainment was had by all.

These impromptu village TV shows were an important source of income, reached many dozens of people, and are an interesting example of how private enterprise is alive and kicking in PNG.

I doubt if even Paul Budde is aware of how this style of watching reaches many thousands of rural people across PNG.

PS. Don't tell the copyright agencies.

For prospective researchers into media in PNG, you must start with Paul Budde. His is a commercial operation, so you have to pay for the detailed reports, but he seems to be the best researcher into Pacific media I have come across.

And he is good.

Bernard - to update those figures on media penetration in PNG and give a more detailed socio-economic analysis of viewer/listener/readership profiles would be a very interesting research assignment for your students.

Re the above figures.

They could be interpreted in very misleading ways. For example TV sets does not equal viewers, as a whole family or two can watch one TV but usually internet is used by one person at a time.

And it does not detail the difference between the urban 'elite' (who can afford internet access) and the majority of rural people (who cannot). Also it doesn't include cable or satellite TV access, or institutional access.

So there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

I came across this. I think it's a few years out of date, so you could probably add at least 10% to the figures, but it's an interesting read.

Papua New Guinea Press Reference

Number of Television Sets: 42,000
Television Sets per 1,000: 8.3
Number of Radio Stations: 55
Number of Radio Receivers: 410,000
Radio Receivers per 1,000: 81.2
Number of Individuals with Internet Access: 135,000
Internet Access per 1,000: 26.7

Since being invited to be a member of the Sepik Region Development Discussion Forum group on Facebook I have enjoyed being part of the "social media" and taking part in some discussions.

These discussions allow their members to feel that they are playing some part in democrary. Their voice, though one of many, can be easily heard. It makes them start to feel partly responsible for all the wrong things that are taking place and also to want to change them for the better.

The contributors include a lot of the bright younger generation with a few oldies like myself. It is a good training ground for would-be politicians and probably a support mechanism for whoever is in Opposition.

It'd be quite interesting to know what sort of circulation the two major dailies have, plus the reach of the TV and radio. I assume it dwarfs the social media numbers.

As you point out, it's always hard to tell how many people are really tuned in. And you might argue that those who are active on social media are more active in disseminating the information and stories they get.

By the way Keith, what is that script behind Namah in the image?

Extract from a statement provided at the time of the infamous Sydney casino incident - KJ

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