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Pjr Publishes Special Issue On Timor, West Papua

SUVA: A Walkley Ward-winning expose on alleged mercenary involvement in the 1996 hostage massacre in West Papua, an inside story on the media reportage after the vote for independence in East Timor, and the reconstruction of the press in Dili are featured in the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review.

An untold story of betrayal and deceit was finally exposed last year by ABC Four Corner's Mark Davis.

The review has published the script of the award-winning investigative report.

"By stripping away the truth over the hostages kidnapped by the OPM in 1996 and exposing what really happened in the final scenes of the rescue tragedy with alleged Red Cross and other foreign involvement, Davis has helped refocus world attention on the injustices in the western Pacific colony," noted PJR in its editorial.

"He deservedly won a Walkley Award for this chilling and enterprising report."

PJR quotes Davis as saying:

"These people are truly on their own. In their eyes, it's not just Indonesians who want to see them dead.

"It's Americans who want their gold, the British or the Dutch who send soldiers after them, the United Nations who gave away their land, and now they think the Red Cross has betrayed them as well."

In East Timor, the choice was stark and traumatic for Australian journalist Liam Phelan, known in the Pacific for his training courses in the Fiji Islands. While journalists were busy with their rushed exodus in the wake of the self-determination vote, an orgy of organised state destruction was being carried in front of their noses.

Phelan stayed behind with the Timorese and his report in PJR outlines those critical days.

Also featured in this edition of Pacific Journalism Review are Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's stand-off with the news media; Tongan Times editor Kalafi Moala's profile on the reality of free speech in Tonga; Savea Sano Malifa's update on the Samoa Observer saga; Queensland University's Centre for Democracy deputy director Ian Ward's spelling out of the dangers facing the press in a Fiji media freedom day address; Pacific Islands Report editor Al Hulsen's browsing of the Pacific; and Philip Cass' examination of kastom law and the Pacific media.

The edition includes an author index for all six volumes of the journal.

PJR subscriptions are available on its website: or single editions (F$10) can be ordered from the University of the South Pacific Bookshop. Fax: (679) 303265. Email:


PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and Pactok Communications, in Sydney and Port Moresby.

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Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.

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Media Watch at: E-mail: or: Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, c/o Journalism, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji Website:

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