Toktok No 19 / Autumn 2011
Wantok niuspepa - no press, office 'but tons of vision'
ISBN/code: 1175 0472
Publication date: Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Publisher: Pacific Media Centre
Papua New Guinea's weekly Tok Pisin newspaper Wantok has been described as the longest surviving vernacular publishing icon in the South Pacific since its humble beginnings in 1969.
Although not the first to be published in Tok Pisin, this newspaper has stood the test of time and is now the only pidgin paper in circulation today.
Dr Philip Cass highlighted this in a recent seminar at AUT University’s Pacific Media Centre attended by several Papua New Guinean students and the public.
Born and bred in PNG and now postgraduate programmme leader of communication studies at Unitec in Auckland, Dr Cass said the newspaper was the result of tireless efforts by Fr Frank Mihalic, whose name was commonly associated with the newspaper.
Fr Mihalic started the paper with literally nothing – no printing press, no journalistic experience, no office, no funds – but “tons of vision, commitment, drive and enthusiasm,” he said.
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