Asia Pacific

Indonesian, Pacific journalists explore mining impacts

August-September 2013

Journalists from Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands sharpened their skills for reporting on mining and its impacts during a five-week fellowship with the APJC in September 2013.

The Australian Awards Fellowship program, Mining, Media and Development: Regional knowledge-sharing, aimed to contribute to greater public understanding of mining in the journalists’ home countries, leading to more transparent and socially responsible mining practice.

Through an intense program of journalism and leadership workshops, field trips and a week-long seminar with the University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), the journalists developed reporting techniques and strategies for information-sharing among their colleagues and communities.

Key issues included improving economic literacy for news reporting on mining and related issues, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and mechanisms for sharing national wealth, health and environmental protection, community engagement, and best practice management of mines.

The group visited Rio Tinto’s Bengalla coal mine and assessed infrastructure development from the NSW Hunter Valley through to Newcastle’s Port Waratah, while a tour to the Moreton Bay Research Centre on North Stradbroke Island in Queensland highlighted the relationship between sandmining and the Quandamooka indigenous community.

The program concluded with the fellows assigned to various Australian broadcast, print and online news media organisations in Melbourne and Sydney, where they worked with journalists and editors to learn more about how Australian media reports on mining and business issues.

Tevita Vuibau, from Fiji, summed up the program: “A deeper understanding of the issues will add immensely to my news coverage, not only with angles but with presenting all sides to the mining debate in my own country and becoming a responsible social commentator and being a force to drive informed public debate on the issue.”

APJC Fellows:

  • Tommy Apriando, contributor, Mongabay Indonesia, Indonesia
  • Rickson Jordan Bau, reporter, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Solomon Islands
  • Gabriel Bego, senior journalist, National Broadcasting Corporation, PNG
  • Achmad Choirudin, reporter, blokBojonegoro Media, Indonesia
  • Dian Muhtadiah Hamna, journalist, BuyungMaksum, Indonesia
  • Gynnie Kero, reporter, The National, PNG
  • Wan Ulfa Nur Zuhra, reporter, Kover Magazine, Indonesia
  • Mapun Pidian, station manager, National Broadcasting Corporation, PNG
  • Lovina Soenmi, journalist, Riau Corruption Trial (Online Media), Indonesia
  • Duma Tato Sanda, journalist and editor, SKH Cahaya Papua and Voice of Human Rights Media, Indonesia
  • Tevita Vuibau, journalist, Fiji Times, Fiji