Welcome to PNG Echo, a website that is designed to do so much more than just report on the politics of Papua New Guinea (although we will do that too.)
Our aim is to wrest the reins of power from out of the hands of corrupt leaders and put them back into the hands of the people by exposing corruption, limiting the opportunity for the corrupt to retaliate and creating a context where corruption may no longer be carried out in secret..
With the help of the people of Papua New Guinea we will create a ‘Media Panopticon’. (Panopticon: All seeing) based on the idea below.
A panopticon (see picture) is a prison designed by philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the 19th century to more effectively control prisoners and modify their behaviour.
It ‘s a circular building with the prisoners’ cells arranged around the outer walls and facing inwards and exposed. In the centre is a tower. From the tower the guard can observe all prisoners. However, he is hidden inside the tower and cannot be seen. The prisoners never know if or when they are being watched or by whom – so have to assume that they are ALWAYS being watched. Hence their behaviour becomes self-moderating.
- …power should be visible and unverifiable. Visible: the inmate will constantly have before his eyes the tall outline of the central tower from which he is spied upon. Unverifiable: the inmate must never know whether he is being looked at at any one moment; but he must be sure that he may always be so. …in the peripheric ring, [of the panopticon] one is totally seen, without ever seeing; in the central tower, one sees everything without ever being seen.” (Foucault)
This Media Panopticon is analogous to Bentham’s prison: if we substitute ‘political leaders of PNG’ for ‘inmates’, that makes the people of PNG the guards in the tower – and finally , forming a barrier between the two, as did the tower, the PNG Echo.
HOW IT WILL WORK
Essentially, I am asking each and every one of you to become whistleblowers. You are the 7 million people (potentially) who will watch your leaders (MPs and people of influence) and report to the PNG Echo. You will retain your anonymity protected by the publication. No informants name will be attached to any published information Hence, no person of political influence will ever know when, who, or how many are observing them at any given time. There could be just two ‘whistleblowers’ in the tower – there could be two million – they’ll never know.
The uncertainty of potentially being watched constantly by 7 million PNGeans and the presence of the tower (ie PNG Echo) will, no doubt, make the corrupt nervous. Nervous enough to stop any corrupt dealings, it is hoped.
- To reach a wider audience, I ask that people who are able, to print out the relevant sections and distribute to your wantoks, in an effort to inform those without the internet. Anyone and everyone can do this.
Please see ‘contact’ for how you can play your part.