Pacific Islands

Digital Generation in Papua New Guinea Emerges

November 29, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #194 – Next month, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr will make his maiden visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG), Australia’s nearest neighbour and second largest recipient of Australian foreign aid. This visit comes 10 months after the then brand-new foreign minister threatened PNG with sanctions following suggestions from within the PNG government that national elections might be delayed. Not surprisingly, these threats did not go down well with Papua New Guineans. But ironically, Foreign Minister Carr can take partial responsibility for inspiring a new, digital generation of Papua New Guineans to engage in public discussion. […]


Pocket Social Networking in India – SMS GupShup Expands

November 15, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #190 – The communication revolution has spread to small towns and even villages in India through a Twitter-like Small Message Service (SMS) social marketing networking alternative called GupShup. The low-cost text messaging service for phone, web, or mobile communication facilitates “pocket social networking” for people without smart phones. It is estimated to currently process two billion messages per month in India, compared to 480 million a year ago. […]

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Japan’s Culture Industries: Cool or Cruel?

May 1, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #152 – The world loves sushi, J-pop, and manga. Now the Japanese government is in on the act. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has a Cool Japan / Creative Industries Policy, and in January 2012 launched Cool Japan Daily, a blog introducing Japanese pop culture. Behind all this are ambitious plans to increase Japan’s share of the global market for culture industries. It tends to be uncritically assumed that pop culture will enhance the Japanese national image, too. The current popularity of music groups such as AKB48 outside Japan indicates the potentially lucrative and beneficial aspects of pop culture promotionalism. But evidence from some international media suggests the need for caution. […]

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Beyond Censorship in China’s Media and Cyberspace

February 14, 2012 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #131 – On January 9, 2012, the People’s Daily led with a glowing feature celebrating Chongqing’s attempts to achieve “common prosperity.” 30 years of market-driven reform, “letting some people get rich first,” has created one of the most unequal societies in the world. Chongqing’s innovative strategies have deep implications for China’s future, and an intense debate is currently playing out in Chinese media, old and new. […]

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OECD’s PISA, Media Sensationalism, and Education Reform in Japan

January 13, 2011 Asia Pacific Memo 0

Memo #47 – The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), conducted every three years, has become a major event shaping education policy in many of the participating nations. The PISA report provides a comprehensive set of comparative data on 15 year old students’ performance, but its national rankings based on mean test scores in particular attract the most attention. Various policy actors use the rankings to affirm or scandalize ongoing education reform. The media is one of the key actors determining PISA rankings’ domestic impact, as they interpret them for the public. […]

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