RE: PETER LOMAS COMMENTS ON

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

September 21, 2002

PACIFIC MEDIA "GATEKEEPERS"

I am always amused by the degree of self-delusion, deception and hypocrisy displayed by one Peter Lomas. But with his latest rantings [http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2002/September/09-20-25.htm] (he usually shelters behind the names of his business colleagues) about the recent Public Right to Know conference in Sydney, he has let fly with a knee-jerk reaction to two documented papers that he has never even read [http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2002/September/09-19-22.htm

It is unfortunate that somebody who, in his own words, has no desire to "debate" and, in any case, seems incapable of rational discourse, has a role in journalism training in the region. Instead, he launches into a spiteful and defamatory smear against a Solomon Islands journalist, Duran Angiki, and lauds his self-serving mates while failing to address any of the issues raised at the conference.

Incidentally, to correct just one of the many Lomas distortions, Duran is not my "pupil" any more than scores of Pacific journalists working in the region over the past decade who chose to be "educated" and independent rather than ill-informed and compliant. He was also the student of Francois Turmel, Philip Cass, Ingrid Leary, Bob Wandstraat -- all very different styles of teachers, and the winner of USP's regional Storyboard Award in 1999. I was merely one of his lecturers in his final degree year. I applaud Duran for having the courage to speak out.

Pacific journalism deserves better than dinosaurs like Lomas. All over the world journalism theory and practice is debated. Yet Lomas, an expatriate New Zealander turned "Pacific Islander," would have Pacific journalists remain trapped in a time warp far removed from global realities. One day his bubble will burst and his years of disinformation and propaganda will be exposed for all to see. And then Pacific journalism will no doubt move ahead.

Anybody seeking independent facts and perspectives on Pacific media can browse Pacific Media Watch at its Sydney website: www.pmw.c2o.org 

David Robie Co-convenor Pacific Media Watch Sydney, Australia Web: www.pmw.c2o.org 

Senior Lecturer in Journalism School of Communication Studies Auckland University of Technology Auckland, New Zealand Email: david.robie@aut.ac.nz 

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