what $3m oz aid buys you

PACIFIC ISLANDS MEDIA What does roughly $3 million in australian aid dollars buy you these days? Not a lot, evidently, if the website formerly known as www.pacmcf.com is anything to go by. Announced with great fanfare as another leap forward for pacific islands media, the Pacific Media and Communications Facility promised a lot and delivered less. Starting life in an academic department, the facility aquired a dot com address, an undeclared link to multimillion consultancy factories worldwide, and wide sceptism. A pity. PMCF produced hundreds of pages on the media scene in 14 pacific island countries, regional overvews and global contexts. Now all this grand vision seems to have disappeared into the digital vapour. An extraordinarily blunt confirmation of what this agency forecast would be yet more acronym confetti from Australia. Disclosure: avaiki nius agency editor Jason Brown was country researcher for the Cook Islands part of the 2004 PMCF Situational Analysis and Needs Assessment for the AusAID funded Informing Citizens report. He was paid $2,500, including expenses.

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