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WEST PAPUA: Lack of media interest 'puzzling' says veteran journalist

Pacific Media Centre’s Professor David Robie speaking at an “open access for journalists in a free Papua” during World Press Freedom Day events in Jakarta in early May. Image: Bernard Agape/West Papua media

Friday, July 28, 2017

Item: 9963

AUCKLAND (Asia Pacific Report/VICE NZ/Pacific Media Watch): A New Zealand media educator has criticised the lack of New Zealand mainstream media coverage on a crucial Pacific issue in a new VICE report on the rise of Maori and Pacific solidarity for West Papuan independence.

In an interview with a VICE Auckland correspondent, James Borrowdale, the Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie said the lack of New Zealand media interest was “puzzling” given it was one of the major security and human rights issues facing the region.

Dr Robie, a veteran Pacific journalist now academic who has been writing about the issue since the early 1980s, said he wondered why the majority of the mainstream press had “for so long ignored West Papua”.

“It has so many elements that have resonance with New Zealand—indigenous issues, land issues, development issues. And in the past we’ve had an affinity with the people of the Pacific, going right back to the nuclear-free policies, which were very intertwined in Polynesia with indigenous self-determination.”

Read the full article at Asia Pacific Report

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