A veteran Australian photojournalist says the lack of Pacific coverage in major newsrooms in Australia and New Zealand is worrying given the latest geo-political shifts.
Ben Bohane who has been long based in Vanuatu has spent much of the past 20 years documenting the conflicts of Melanesia in places like Bougainville, Solomon Islands and West Papua which feature in his latest book The Black Islands.
He said while the Pacific has enjoyed relative peace and stability in recent years it was more important than ever to keep tabs on the region.
Mr Bohane said with independence referendums due in New Caledonia and Bougainville and with countries like China and Indonesia increasing their influence in the Pacific it was worrying that mainstream media in Australia and New Zealand were not taking an interest.
"The Pacific Islands have become hugely strategic again maybe for the first time since World War Two," Mr Bohane said.
"And we are seeing a very serious competition between the US and China for influence and maybe even control of the region and I don't think we should be taking anything for granted and so to me it is a bit of a mystery as to why the Australian and New Zealand media aren't really looking at these geopolitical shifts," he said.