In the last week Papua New Guinea (PNG) has received more exposure in the Australian media than it has for a very long time indeed. Ever since news of the ‘Regional Resettlement Arrangement Between Australia and Papua New Guinea’ agreement between Prime Ministers Rudd and O’Neill appeared on 19 July, discussion and criticism of the so-called ‘PNG Solution’ has been widespread on the internet, on television, radio, and even in the few newspapers still being published. Media outlets which negligently had let their regional coverage slip away – preferring to invest their remaining funds into reportage of last night’s Masterchef – are now scrambling to find copy from anyone with either opinions on the subject, but little knowledge, or some direct knowledge of PNG, alas in short supply.
The avalanche of reporting and commentary has masked the complexity of the issues involved here. On the one hand, we have Australia’s response to boat-borne visa-less immigrants: there is a whole universe of pain tied up in this, as any quick glance at the commentary will demonstrate. On the other, there is Australia and its place in the world and in the region: are we embarrassed to be Australians, or proud to be Aussies who ‘grew here’? And within the region, there is Papua New Guinea.
What can one learn from the reporting of PNG so far in 2013?
Field of Research
210313 Pacific History (excl New Zealand and Maori) 160510 Public Policy 160607 International Relations
Socio Economic Objective
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology