The Pakana Voice
Dr Ian Broinowski
This book is about the power of the press to sway opinion. The voice is W.C., a hapless war correspondent, posted to Tasmania to cover the conflict between the Pakana people of Lutruwita and the British, from 1814 to 1856. In old age, comforted by malt and his scruffy dog Bent, W.C. shares his press clippings of graphic accounts of the events that unfolded in the early days of the colony. He reveals his impassioned love for Lowana, a Pakana woman who haunts his dreams forever. W.C.’s perspective on these events is not without its biases. He tries to temper his feelings as he shares with us letters, articles and opinion pieces from his collection. He includes of his own postings, The Pakana Voice, in which he encourages his readers to see what is not being reported in the press. Despite technology little has changed in two centuries of media and its influence over the minds of people, W.C.’s words still ring true: ‘I fear the old adage that we learn from history is indeed a misnomer’.