Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Climate change, environmental journalism and better media ethics

Pacific Media Watch editor Alistar Kata interviewing Kiribati Independent editor Taberannang Korauaba
about his climate change research in Micronesia at last night's seminar. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC
FIVE YEARS ago, as an environmental journalist and journalism educator, I attended “Oceans, Islands and Skies” – the Oceanic Conference of Creativity and Climate Change – at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

I found this a very moving, stimulating and inspiring experience. Until then, I had largely worked on the global and Pacific political dimensions of climate change.

There Once Was An Island
At that conference I found myself thrust among a tremendously talented group of people from all over the globe. And it was where I first encountered Briar March’s remarkable documentary There Once Was An Island: Te Henua e Nnoho about the plight of the people of Takuu, a tiny Polynesian atoll in Papua New Guinea, also known as Takuu Mortlock.

The islanders were confronted with the harsh reality of rising seas and climate change and were forced to make a decision about whether to abandon their traditional Pacific homeland for the coast of Bougainville. (They were divided, some left for Bougainville - mostly younger people, others stayed).

In many ways this is an iconic storytelling of the reality of climate change told by the islanders themselves.

Monday, March 9, 2015

New e-media programme - Manning and Hager on NZ's Pacific spy 'arrogance'

LIVE NOW on Evening Report .... journalist and ER founder Selwyn Manning talks to investigative journalist Nicky Hager about New Zealand "full-take collection" spying on New Zealand's Pacific neighbours. was launched tonight with the Hager interview on the Snowden Revelations.

Earlier Café Pacific blog posting today - From a coconet spy tempest to TPPA secrecy
Pacific Media Watch/The Intercept report - NZ spies on Pacific neighbours

Sunday, March 8, 2015

From a coconet spy tempest to TPPA secrecy

The "TPPA - no way" rally at the weekend in Auckland - one of more than a score of New Zealand cities hosting protests against the controversial proposed free trade agreement. Photo: David Robie
PACIFIC commentator Barbara Dreaver called last week’s spying on the Pacific neighbours controversy a storm in a teacup. Or perhaps it was more like a coconet tempest.

Security affairs specialist Paul Buchanan was more concerned about getting French military backs up in response. We had enough of that three decades ago this year with a certain scandalous maritime bombing.

State terrorism in fact. And Britain, the US and Australia – three of the Five Eyes club members along with New Zealand and Canada – remained so meek over that outrage.

Fairfax Pacific reporter Michael Field pointed out that with a bit more methodical spying, New Zealand would be better informed about the region instead of being caught by surprise with both the Sitiveni Rabuka and George Speight coups in 1987 and 2000 and other events.

Reliable intelligence is critical for New Zealand’s political and military responsibility to the region – “what are they expected to do for useful intelligence, Google it?”

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