While there have been a few hard-to-find improvements in media freedom over the past decade or so, Cronau warns newshounds not to sit on any Pacific laurels. Vigilance is the name of the game. Peter - at the time director of the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) - and Café Pacific's David Robie - then head of journalism at the University of Papua New Guinea - founded PMW at a particularly rocky time 21 years after the Balibo massacre:
Persistence by some journalists ... saw them reporting the Indonesian preparations for the invasion - and six media workers [the sixth, Roger East, was executed later on Dili wharf] paid with their lives for reporting this truth.
I guess the lesson to take from the book is that like all freedoms, freedom of the press is lost unless guarded vigilantly. That's the essential reason we set up Pacific Media Watch in the first place.
- Media freedom image from the Centru Jornalista Investigativu Timor Leste (CJITL) blog
- Interview with Peter Cronau
- Pacific Media Watch