JOHN MENADUE. The international press at Panmunjom for the KIm-Moon Summit were much more impressed than the Australian press.

I was  struck by the response, amazement and obvious excitement  of the international press at Panmunjom, near Seoul last Friday.  See link. 

But the media interest in Australia seemed remarkably low key and almost disinterested.  At least our media was not as sulky and cynical as the Japanese media,

This summit meeting was surely the most gripping and important that we have had in our region for many years, and possibly decades.  I found it particularly moving to see Kim Jung-un and Moon Jae-in receiving each other so cordially and skipping like school boys across the dividing line between North and South Korea and back again.

But the Australian media does not seem to have grasped the importance and the promise of the occasion.  We have had years of media coverage in Australia of the confrontation between North and South Korea, missile firings that would threaten Australia and the US, and nuclear tests.  But when we saw glimpses of possible peace breaking out on the Korean peninsula our media has not shown much interest.

Is it because bad news is always more interesting than good news?

Or is it that with our media  still joined to Washington, New York and London media as with an umbilical cord  we refuse to grow up ?  In our dependant state  it is  not surprising that our media and Australians generally have little interest or even knowledge about important developments in our region.

There is a long way to go in achieving peace and prosperity in and around the Korean peninsula, but the meeting last Friday was surely quite remarkable. Our media did not think so.

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John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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