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The way forward in Kiribati: a case study of the problems facing the emergence of a free media


Taberannang Korauaba

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Korauaba, T. (2007). The way forward in Kiribati: a case study of the problems facing the emergence of a free media. Unpublished Bachelor of Communications Studies (Hons) dissertation, Pacific Media Centre, School of Communication Studies, AUT University. Catalogue@AUTLibrary
http://tinyurl.com/69y4exu

Abstract

This dissertation examines the development of a free press in Kiribati.

Kiribati, a South Pacific nation with a population of nearly 100,000, was colonised by Britain from 1916 and achieved independence on 12 July 1979. There are two radio stations in the country, one owned by the state and the other a private station. It has three weekly newspapers, one of which is also owned by the state. The country's first radio station was established in 1954, during which time the British were on the islands.

The first part of this study looks at the historical roots of broadcasting and publication in the country. The influences shaping state and private media are examined. Many similarities between the press in Kiribati can be found with the media in other countries such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Samoa. However, the media in Kiribati is lagging behind these countries.

The dissertation is also a study of the coverage of a privately owned newspaper, Newstar, the first private newspaper in Kiribati. The newspaper's contents changed in 2003 when a new government came to power. There is a general perception in Kiribati that a free press does not concern the public. As a former president described it, the public is more concerned with the "physical survival". It has been 50 years since broadcasting was introduced to the islands. However, local media has not been changing or improving.

This dissertation, by a researcher who has been a Kiribati journalist for many years, offers some solutions to ensure that a free press functions smoothly in the country. This the first dissertation about media in Kiribati and suggests some directions for further research.

About the author

PMC profile photograph

Taberannang Korauaba

PMC contributor

A former journalist and editor from the Broadcasting Publications Authority (BPA) on Tarawa, he is now a journalist in New Zealand.


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