A few weeks ago, the Solomon Islands went to the polls for the first time since Australia's 14-year security mission in the country ended in 2017. But if you get your news from the mainstream Australian press, you probably wouldn't know it. A Google search only shows up the few ABC stories published on its website -- the only Australian outlet with a correspondent in the region -- and local news.
The ABC's former Papua New Guinea correspondent Sean Dorney, who covered the region for 40 years, told Crikey that coverage of Australia's closest neighbours had "almost disappeared completely". "Cost is one factor, but it's the lack of interest which really disturbs me," he said. "Australian taxpayers paid an enormous amount to bring stability to the Solomon Islands, but you wouldn't believe anything had happened there if you were looking at the papers."