Pacific Media Watch

10 December 2016

REGION: Pacific loses shortwave radio that dodges dictators – warns of disasters

Hero image
The epicentre of today's earthquake off the coast of the Solomon Islands. Image: FG

Dr Alexandra Wake
MELBOURNE (Asia Pacific Report / The Conversation / Pacific Media Watch): As a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Kirakira in the Solomon Islands yesterday, triggering a tsunami warning across the Pacific, many residents of the country would have turned to shortwave radio for more information.

The tsunami warning has since been called off, though assessments of damage from the quake are not yet complete.

Sadly, this vital communication service is under threat in this already under-resourced region.

For almost 80 years, Australia has provided such shortwave services, including vital emergency service information, to Asia and the Pacific.

But government funding cuts saw Asian services turned off in January 2015. And now the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has decided to cut the remaining services to residents of remote parts of the Pacific, Papua New Guinea and parts of northern Australia by ceasing its shortwave radio services to the Pacific from the end of January 2017.

Read Dr Wake's full article at Asia Pacific Report

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

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