Category Archives: Posts by country

What kind of Iraq are we leaving behind?

By Daniel Santopietro

A key issue that really got my attention at the eTour was the way in which Iraq was developing as a nation ten years after the invasion. I found it fascinating to hear from everyone who spoke about the war, the turbulent times Iraq was going through, and fascinating to hear from people who fled Iraq. This was something that got me interested in reporting on the development challenges that Iraq still faces today. In doing further research for my piece I stumbled upon a speech given by United States President Barack Obama back in late 2011. This was a period of final withdrawal of troops in the country, and while he acknowledged that Iraq was not the perfect place, he went on to say “we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.” From the topics that were being discussed on Saturday at the eTour, I knew like many others that this was simply not the case.

The message that I kept hearing throughout the day from the speakers was a country that was going through a really difficult period, and was struggling. While Iraq is mentioned on some news outlets, here and there, the international media disappeared after the final withdraw. I had read the likes of Janine Di Giovanni on the experiences she has had reporting on conflicts especially in Iraq, but as an independent journalist, Donna Mulhearn really opened my eyes up to the situation in Iraq. As a journalist myself, I find it courageous what Donna has done and achieved while in Iraq, in the face of violence she goes out there and reports on the challenges that are facing the country.

I now know more than what I had before about Iraq. I knew however deep down, that the country was still unsafe, but at the same time I had been hoping that the lack of media attention on the country had meant that the country had been steadily progressing politically, economically and socially. This is an area that through my radio report, I wanted people to hear and understand. The eTour has been, by no doubt a very good insight into the country, and as a journalist, I found it incredible that Iraq is not to be forgotten. All the speakers were excellent, and in my opinion they all see hope for the country, if not in the short term than in the long term. It is a very fascinating topic to discuss. Attending the eTour has made me realise that there is more for Iraq, there is more to discuss and report about, and I am to return to the topic of Iraq and report on its progress as a nation.

Businesses in Lae affected from recent uprising


Retail specials courtesy of

Recent ethnic uprising in Lae had severly affected businesses in Papua New Guinea’s second capital last month.

Petty crimes had caused anger amongst locals resulting in some deaths and business houses forced to close up in fear of their property being looted by opportunists.

Police were deployed from Port Moresby and Southern Highlands to beef up police numbers to contain the situation.

However a law and order committee has been set up who are working closely with ethnic representatives in the province to ensure that all comply with measures put in place by provincial and national government.

In light of this events, companies saw a down fall in production and sales takings for at least a week last month with major companies as Coca Cola.

It is unlikely that a better resolution will be made to resolve to this long-standing issue as a result of street-vendors selling items in parts of the street and at the same time involving in petty crimes as bag snatching, rape and alcohol related problems.

This now falls back on the local authorities part to come up with informed decisions to stamp out such social problems once and for all as Lae is still Papua New Guinea’s economic hub that produces up to sixty percent of the country’s economic income.

Are you experiencing similar problems in your country, province, town, village? or What are some ways that we can develop to rid off regionalism and work for the better?


Belajar, Diskusi, dan Kedinginan

“SUDAH lama menunggu? Maaf saya terlambat, karena jalan ditutup tadi ada demo Melbourne Occupy.”

Seorang perempuan muda berkulit putih, menghampiri kami di Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne pada pertengahan Oktober 2011. Kami berempat dari Indonesia: Nugie, Yulan, Made, serta saya baru saja tiba dari Jakarta setelah kurang lebih tujuh jam berada di pesawat. Cuaca dingin menembus pori-pori sweater biru yang aku kenakan. Aku berulang kali menarik nafas, “Aduh dinginnya kota ini. Padahal ini sudah musim semi,” aku berguman dalam hati.

Setelah berbincang sejenak, Putri As, perempuan yang menjemput kami dan merupakan staf Asia Pacific Journalist Centre (APJC) mengajak kami menaiki satu taksi kuning menuju penginapan kami di apartemen Quest di Lygon St. Dari kunci yang diberikan, saya tahu akan satu apartemen dengan Luke Guterres seorang peserta dari Timor Leste. Continue reading

Learning Climate Change in Five Weeks

The Reporting Climate Change and the Environment Workshop organised by the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre was a good experience for me personally as I got to meet other journalists from around the region, share stories and experiences, talk to the scientists and experts involved in organisations concerned with the issue of climate change and visit some of the sites within Melbourne and Tasmania.

The first week was quite effective in helping us to prepare for the four weeks ahead, involving personal and leadership skills. I discovered a lot about my personality and how I do things at work. Also learning about how to manage stress and how to become a better negotiator by influencing others at work. I also found that mentoring skills were useful to resolve problems I might be dealing with at work.

During the second week I was nervous as I didn’t know what to expect discussing climate change but Philip Chubb was quite helpful in providing a basic introduction into the topic first by telling us about Australia’s position on climate change with the passing of Australia’s legislation in parliament on carbon tax. Also guest speakers from The Age, Oxfam, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and Monash University gave a better insight into climate change effects happening globally and ways to report it.

The visit to the Melbourne Zoo was enjoyable as we got to see the animals but were also informed of the conservation areas around the world and extinct species under protection programs. Going to the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation was quite eye opening and interesting as I got to learn about the science of climate change and being able to get a report on Samoa under the Pacific Climate Change Science Program which is something I would like to follow up when I get home.

By the second week I learned to create a blog and I found it a nifty way to get my news stories out there and is also a good way to keep in touch with the other fellows and get an update on what climate change stories they have written since the workshop.

More discussions followed on climate change during the following week with Phil Chubb before we had to prepare for Hobart. While in Tasmania we met Environment Editor for The Age, Adam Morton and visited Styx Valley. Also met Vica Bayley from the Wilderness Society and two representatives from REDD. Seeing firsthand what had been discussed at APJC, I got to see areas that had been logged and heard from Vica how they were trying to conserve some of the forests that were to be logged. The next day we visited the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park and fed kangaroos which was fun! :)…We then continued on to Port Arthur and took the ferry to the Isle of the Dead to see a mark which measures sea level rise and according to John Hunter from the Institute for the Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania the sea level has risen by 13cm during a certain period since they conducted their research.

We also visited the Environmental Defenders Office to talk about the environmental policies in Tasmania and the Australia Antarctic Division which I found interesting how Dr Rob King explained how they were conducting a special research on krill from the Antarctic. The symposium at the University of Tasmania gave us all the opportunity to share the experience of reporting climate change within the Asia Pacific Region. I thought the group did really well in answering questions from the audience and they were just as impressed too. It was sad to leave Hobart as it was such a nice quiet place and we had seen so much but the memories will be with me always.

Returning back to APJC, we have one more week to go and this week will be assigned for work attachment. I have learnt so much during this workshop and am grateful to APJC, AusAid and Cherelle Jackson for this valuable opportunity.

Pelatihan APJC Meningkatkatkan Pengetahuan Wartawan

Peserta Pelatihan APJC 2011 (Photo by : Stefanus Akim)

Bagi aku program yang di selengarakan oleh Asia Pacific Journalism (APJC) tiap tahun bagi negara bagian Asia dan Pacific  sangatlah membantu, karena Negara-negara tersebut termasuk Timor Leste, sebagian besar masyarakat belum tahu apa itu perubahan iklim, termasuk Wartawan.

Kalo di Negara aku Timor Leste banyak Wartawan yang menulis history atau Berita mengenai perubahan iklim, tapi kebayakan kita tulis sesuai dengan pengetahuan kita sendiri, maka itu kadang-kadang membuat Masyarakat bingun dengan informasi yang kita sampaikan.

padahal fungsi seorang wartawan adalah memberi informasi yang akurat dan detail atau tidak membuat masyarakat bingun dengan apa kita sampaikan. maka itu aku kira dengan program yang di selengarakan loleh APJC dengan tema Perubahan Iklim itu sangat membantu para Wartawan, (espesial wartawan dari Timor Leste) untuk meninkatkan peliputan atau dalam menjulis sebuah history mengenai perubahan iklim itu sendiri.

Between Nasi Kuning and Black Coal

I sometimes imagine Banjarmasin’s local food whenever I think of my hometown. Nasi Kuning. Soto Banjar. Ketupat and lontong. However, if I were to imagine Banjarmasin as of present, one thing pops at the top of my mind: the damaged environment caused by coal industry.  I found Southern Borneo had been the second largest coal producer in Indonesia; following its close neighbor, Eastern Borneo.

Continue reading

Pelatihan perubahan iklim APJC

peserta trenin APJC 2011

Melbourne Monday 21 November 2011

 Perjalanan dari Timor Leste menuju kota Melbourne melalui Bandara Udara Internasional Prezidente Nicolao Lobato Dili, diawali pada hari sabtu tanggal 15 October 2011 hingga hari sabtu 26 November 2011.

selama keberadaan saya di kota Melbourne tanggal 17 October 2011, saya bersama lima teman lain diantaranya, Stefanus Akim, Made Ali, Nugi Anuhgera Perkasa dari Indonesia, Yuliana Lantipo Weast Papua dan Teresinha da Costa dari Timor Leste.

 Tanggal 17 s/d 22 October 2011 kami menggikuti program belajar bahasa Inggris tanggal 23-24 October prei.

 Minggo kedua ada teman tuju orang berasal dari Negara Asia Pacific seperti Rikamati Naare dari Kribati, Alain Simeon, Vanuatu, Vere-Fiji, Unumoe Esera-Samoa, Monalia Palu-Tonga, Rozalle-Salomo Ilhan, Peter Korugl, Anissa dari Papua Nugini bergabung dengan Kami mengikuti pelajaran Phiscology dari Torry.

Mingo ketiga kami semua belajar lagi teori tentang Perubahan Iklim di Pacific Asia Journalism Centre Melbourne, lalu kunjungi Kebun binatang Victoria Melbourne.

Minggo ke empat kami berangkat masih tetap belajar teoria tengtang perubahan Iklim di tempat yang sama.

Minggo ke lima elompk ini kunjungi ke Hourbat Tasmania dan melanjutka kegiatan kunjungi langsunga ke hutan Kayu yang bernama Styx Forest bersama Adam dan temannya yanglain, hari kedua, kami kunjungi lagi ke kebung Binatang pribadi Divil’s dan Kanguru asmania, baru melanjutkan perjalanan kunjungan ke tempat Turis di Area Arthur dan pulau pemakaman Penjarah hari berikutnya kunjungi Museum Mona hari jumat kami akhiri denga komfrenci da presentasi masi-masing baru pulan kembali ke APJC Melbourne.

Sea warming faster in Papua New Guinea

Sea warming faster in Papua New Guinea

Anisah Issimel

photo by: pbaitor

Papua New Guinea has experienced some of the fastest rates of sea level rise anywhere around the globe in the past twenty years.

Situated on the Western Pacific Ocean, the region has experienced fifteen centimetres of sea level rise since the early 1990’s.

Climate Change experts from the Intergovernmental Climate Change Panel in Australia revealed the rate of sea level rise in the country is three times faster than the average over the rest of the oceans.

This revelation was made recently by the experts whilst answering questions raised by the NBC reporter attending a training workshop on Climate Change Reporting for journalists from the Asia Pacific regions.

Questions raised include how much detriment sea level rise would be having on low lying areas in Papua New Guinea in the next twenty years.

The experts say it is important to understand why the increase in sea level rise in the region is much faster than the rest of the oceans.

They also explained that there are some well- known natural cycles in the tropical Pacific that may cause extra warming and faster sea level rise.

But scientists say they still do not know whether the recent rise in sea level is driven or caused by global warming, in which case it may continue, or whether it is part of a natural cycle, in which case further dramatic rise could be delayed.

However, what they can say now is that something between three and fifteen centimetres of further sea level rise seems likely in the western tropical Pacific in the next ten years.

And in the long run, the range is much bigger, between 30 centimetres and 2 meters by the year 2100.

Scientists also say that it is very difficult for societies to make decisions about how to prepare for sea level rise when the range of possibilities is so large.

They further explained that natural cycles in the oceans may cause temporary declines in the future and this may last several years or even decades, although it is highly unlikely that levels will again be as low as they were in the first half of the 20th century.

They say that sea level rising and for all practical purposes, these changes cannot be reversed.

Personal experience APJC AusAid ALA Fellowship


Photo provided by VR

I am priviledged to be part of the APJC reporting climate change and the environment fellowship from October 24 to November 25, 2011.

At first I thought the five weeks would drag but it certainly passed by so fast that we are now on the final week_ hooray! The friends and exposure I have had during this time cannot be measured by money and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this program.

It is indeed a valuable experience for me and a great boost to my career as a journalist as I walk away here better informed and with a wider knowledge about Climate Change. I have in the past been involved with climate change writing but this specific training opportunity will certainly enrich my writing skills on the subject.

Speakers like reporter Joe Chandler of the Age who were able to relate climate change to her experiences in countries like Afrika, PNG and Afghanistan, the visit to CSIRO and the talk with scientists was very engaging. Special thanks to Torrey Orton for personal development training_ it was good to know that stress levels of journalists from th Pacific, Inonesia, East Timor and our good frond from Papua were at explosive levels compared to journalists based in Australia! Climate change is a critical subject for journalists like me in the region as we struggle daily to adapt to its effects unfolding right bfore our eyes and to tell our stories an.

It’s not new and my colleagues will agree that our traditional farmers back home and our fellow villagers know that changes are occuring all around them. In fact with warming temperatures and extreme weather conditions this is a daily topic of discussion around the yaqona tanoa back at home.

They can tell you stories about sea level rise and the changes to the traditional calendars as clearly as scientists do except that they do it in simple terms and relate it to their daily simple experiences!

I must mention that I enjoyed all aspects of the training in Australia and found it to be a learning experience both in Melbourne and Tasmania. The trip down to Tasmania was especialy exciting and eye opening.

The visit to the Styx Valley, Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park,Port Arthur Historic Site, Environment Defenders Office, Austraian Antarctic Division, The Mona Museum as well as the Symposium on Environmental Politics and Conflict in an Age of Digital Media were all a breath of fresh air and an experience in itself.

Such refresher courses and attachments out of the normal newsroom atmosphere back in our home countries helps journalists lift their level of understanding and in turn writing on such complex topics like Climate Change to another level. I believe neighboring countries like Australia should also take time out to learn about the effects of Climate Change in countries in the Pacific so it can make their mitigation experiences more real.

It is only when they take time to learn what is happening in the Pacific and how these small economies are struggling to adapt will the message flow and others around the world will realise the importance of reducing emissions!

The keynote address by Senator Christine Milne of the Australian Greens at the Environmental Politics and Conflict Symposium was touching.

I admire the way she acknowledged indigenous people, how they were marginalised all over the world and also how they were the very population affected by Climate Change.

I must say it was warming to know that at least someone in the Australian Parliament bothers to know what is happening to the people in the Pacific and that countries like Australia she says needs to do more to help our region adapt to Climate Change.

Thank you APJC for the great learning experience and I hope AusAid gives you more funding to train journalists in the region who are feeling the direct impacts of Climate Change so they can do a better job raising awareness as their communities struggle with adaptation policies.

After all it is through the media that our people would be able to tell their stories and make a difference in this global village we share. Once again Vinaka Vakalevu to John Wallace, Alex, Catherine, Putri, Budi, Laura,Gee, Philip and all those that made this experience a memorable one.

My APJC Training Experience

APJC Fellows with The Age Senior Environment Journalist Adam Morton at the University of Tasmania

The Climate Change Reporting Fellowship carried out by the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre, APJC, in Melbourne and Hobart in the last five weeks have been a fruitful and informative one for me as a pacific journalist. It was also a memorable trip with visits to some of Australia’s famous locations such as the Mona Museum and Port Arthur in Tasmania.

I also particularly found the personal leadership skills workshop with Torry Orton, the Psychologist and Leadership specialist in the first week of the training very valuable as it made me know more about what kind of person I was and the stress levels I had. It also helped me understand myself more.

The various presentations of how stories could be generated from climate change issues were also helpful with The Age Senior Writer, Jo Chandler really driving the nail home with her suggestions of getting stories from rural areas but also verifying if the effects they were suffering from were from climate change or caused by man- made activities not related to climate change.  She also emphasized the importance of humanizing and simplifying stories.

Professional visits to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation,  CSIRO Aspendale Office also were very informative with new information and data collected from their observations in the changing climate in pacific island countries, while the visit to Tasmania’s CSIRO centre -also known as Australia’s gate-way to Antarctica was also an exciting one with us having a video conference with one of their Scientists at the Casey Station.

Sessions with Phil Chubb were also very helpful and it made me understand more Australia’s debate on Carbon Tax – we were here when it was passed – and also what it meant for big companies, the Australian government and the public.

From this workshop – I take with me better skills to report properly on climate change in Solomon Islands, a better understanding of myself,  more knowledge of the Australian debate on climate change and how it actually determines the nation’s prime minister , an understanding of how climate change is a complex issue that involves the biggest international organisations such the United Nations right to the people on the remote islands back at home. I have also established a network of professional people which include the Indonesian Reporters at the workshops, various journalism academics, Australian journalists and scientists whom I was privileged to meet, I know these connections will be useful to my work on environmental reporting in the future.

I would also like to thank the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre, the Australian Government and the Pacific Alliance for Developmental Journalists who have made this training possible!!! I have learnt a lot of new things and also established a new network!Thank you for the opportunity!! 🙂