Pacific Media Watch

12 August 2018

REGION: Nauru media ban on ABC, Kanak independence, PNG's 'Torokina' feature in PMC student news project

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Nauru's President Baron Waqa ... "doesn't want journalists to investigate this issue ... to report on the living or surviving conditions of the refugees." Image: Wikipedia

There has been much wringing of hands over Nauru’s ban on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for next month’s Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ summit. But, reports Sri Krishnamurthi of Asia Pacific Journalism, even more perplexing is Canberra’s relative silence.

The elephant in the room about the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ban that has people tip-toeing through the frangipani and whispering in hushed tones is the Canberra’s asylum seeker detention centre in the small Pacific state of Nauru.

Nauru is the host of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ summit on September 3-6 and the ban on the ABC has been widely condemned by media freedom groups, including the Pacific Media Centre.

The Nauru detention centre has become a significant part of Nauru’s economy since 2001, and in the wake of the strip mining of phosphate (guano) which left it bereft of resources and finances.

READ MORE: Other Asia Pacific Journalism postgraduate student reports

“Nauru’s Australian-managed detention camp is a disgrace, just as the one on Manus island was (now closed). It shows the profound hypocrisy of both Australian and Nauruan authorities,” says Daniel Bastard, head of the Asia-Pacific Desk for Reporters with Borders (RSF).

“Canberra outsources its absurd anti-immigration policy and washes its dirty hands in paying huge amounts of money to Yaren which, in exchange, accepts to carry on human rights violations.

“For sure, Nauruan authorities don’t want journalists to investigate this issue, to report on the living or surviving conditions of the refugees and to interview the numerous men, women and children arbitrarily detained in the camp,” he told Asia Pacific Report.

“And the Australian government doesn’t want this hypocrisy to be exposed either, since Canberra is responsible for this matter.”

The eight APJS student reports - more later:

Nauru media ban on ABC targets Australian detention centre gag 

Torokina - a cryptocurrency with a dream to 'rescue' Papua New Guinea

New Caledonian independence 'in their hearts', but also a 'scary' future

Controversial 'Confucius' doco gets mixed response at NZ universities

'Don't play with fire' warning in Samoa's social media threat

PNG Facebook ban threat casts shadow over Pacific media freedom

PNG facelifts for APEC but neglects gender-based violence

NZ Pacific journalists 'appalled' by Nauru ban on ABC at Forum

Pacific media have permission to republish these articles under a Creative Commons licence providing the student author's byline is retained and a credit is given to the Pacific Media Centre's Asia Pacific Journalism course. Further information.

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons