This book is about newspapers and the power of press to sway opinion.
The main narrative voice is that of W.C., a somewhat hapless war correspondent, posted to Tasmania to cover the conflict between the Pakana people of Lutruwita and the British, in the years 1814 to 1856.
In old age, comforted by malt and his scruffy dog Bent, W.C. looks back and 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 under the byline The Pakana Voice, in which he encourages his readers to see what is not being reported in the conventional press. Despite technology with its fancy gadgets, 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’.