West Papua Background

a database for journalists


Hi and welcome to West Papua Background!

This website is a creative project, part of the Masters of Professional Communications course at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.

The project endeavours to show how one can use simple infographics to convey the background of a conflict zone. The aim is to see if this website is useful for young journalists who are unfamiliar with this particular conflict zone.

The reason I have chosen to concentrate on the West Papuan conflict is through my own experience. In late 2011 I was commissioned stories about the Freeport McMoran strike and the Third Papuan Congress. I found it difficult to source reliable information and piece together the puzzle that is West Papua.

Surely there had to be a better way than spending hours on Google and Wikipedia?

By using Rudyard Kipling’s “six honest serving men”  who, what, where, when, why and how as my guides, I have created this resource for journalists writing backgrounders about West Papua.

To find out how to use this website click here

Note: West Papua (also known as Western New Guinea) has been adopted by West Papua Background to refer collectively to the territory covering the western peninsula of the pacific island of New Guinea where the issue of Melanesian independence or self-determination is critical. Indonesia has administered the territory as two provinces since 2003 – West Papua and Papua. A former colony as part of Netherlands East Indies, Indonesia attempted to seize control with a seaborne and paratrooper invasion in 1963 with little success. However, it succeeded in incorporating the territory as part of Indonesia in the United Nations mandated so-called ‘Act of Free Choice’ in 1969 that has been disputed ever since by many Melanesian West Papuan.

– Taken from The Pacific Journalism Review, 2012

Cover images: Images from the Third Papuan Congress are courtesy of  West Papua Media Alerts. The old photo is an early ethnographic postcard from 1910 retrieved from Wikicommons, The Freeport McMoran Mine photo is also retrieved from Wikipedia.

Note: if you have any additional information you believe should be added to this website please comment at the bottom of the page or send me an email at jreczek(AT)our.ecu.edu.au


Creative Commons Licence:

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All the work on this site is licensed under: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia