KEITH JACKSON | Media Week, ABC & Sources
SYDNEY - Hobart-based Natalie Whiting has been appointed as the ABC’s Papua New Guinea correspondent, taking over the key post from Eric Tlozek, who has spent three years in the role.
Tlozek has been re-assigned as one of the ABC’s Middle East correspondents, based in Jerusalem.
Whiting currently reports for ABC News and the 7.30 current affairs program in Tasmania.
Before moving to Hobart, she was the South Australian reporter for AM, The World Today and PM. In Adelaide she won several media awards, including best radio broadcaster and was an Andrew Olle scholar and twice a finalist in the Young Walkley Awards.
Whiting has also worked as a radio, online and television journalist in Broken Hill, Orange and Sydney and has extensively covered regional and outback Australia.
Whiting said she was excited about moving to Port Moresby and working with the ABC’s local team there.
“It’s such an important country to be reporting on and for, and I look forward to taking on that responsibility.
“Mostly, I’m excited to meet people and to tell their stories – and to be back living in an area where rugby league is the sport of choice.”
Veteran journalist, foreign correspondent and current affairs presenter John Highfield, wishing Natalie the best for the new assignment, said "PNG is a wonderful patch to cover, and there are so many important stories for someone of your talent to communicate.
"Sean [Dorney], Eric [Tlozek] and others have cleared the path - it's yours to walk!"
"Eric will be missed," said head of Adventure Kokoda, Major Charlie Lynn OL OAM. "He developed a genuine empathy with the people he dealt with in PNG and a realistic awareness of the challenges they face.
"Natalie's appointment should be welcomed in view of the even greater challenges faced by women in PNG today."
From my point of view here at PNG Attitude, I could not be more delighted that this talented young woman has been selected for the Port Moresby post as her first assignment as a foreign correspondent.
When I found myself in Chimbu 55 years ago as a wannabe journo, I realised I was surrounded by some big and exhilarating stories and I soon found opportunities, initially as a freelance, to tell them. This led me to a terrific career in journalism and communications that I can still hardly believe I have had.
At the same time, to my vast good fortune, I have managed to retain a close and enduring relationship with the people of PNG, who I admire and respect enormously. I wish Natalie all that luck and more.
I feel sure Natalie understands that ahead lie great challenges and some rough bits, but I can think of no greater calling in journalism than to tell the story of PNG to the world.
And I'm mindful that the ABC has been in Papua New Guinea for about 70 years. It is now the only foreign news organisation with a permanent presence in the country. That long tradition of news gathering and reporting should be something for the ABC to be truly proud of.
You can follow Natalie on Twitter here - @Nat_Whiting