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Vol 5 No 1, November 1998/March 1999

Contents

This edition was printed in Suva and has been assisted with funding by UNESCO. It is being published in association with the journalism programme and Pacific Writing Forum, University of the South Pacific.

Cover of PJR issue 5:1

Editorial: Media and free expression

Articles

    MEDIA BUY OUTS:
  • 1 THE DAILY POST SALE
    By John Kamea
    Opposition parties and media groups have protested over the Fiji Government's buying of a major stake in the Daily Post, one of the country's two daily newspapers. But the Government insists that it is for the benefit of the nation.

  • 2 TAXPAYERS IN BUSINESS
    By Richard Naidu
    'Whether the Post retains editorial independence remains to be seen. The Post's past editorial policy has supported media independence. Perhaps the first ominous sign is the Post's lack of editorial comment on the deal.'

  • 3 EDITORIAL: 'GIVE US A BREAK'
    By Fiji's Daily Post
    While the Daily Post was reluctant to comment publicly on the sale of its controlling interest to the Fiji Government, it was outspoken in its criticism of its rival, the Murdoch-owned Fiji Times, during debate over the deal.

  • 4 IS FREEDOM OF THE PACIFIC PRESS REALLY FREE?
    By Ingrid Leary
    The sale of the Daily Post and the draconian decision by a Samoan court to gag the Observer are worrying developments for the Pacific news media.

  • 5 POST MORTEM ON A BAD DEAL
    By Sir Vijay Singh
    'The deal is out of the ordinary. It flies so flagrantly in the face of the Government's own privatisation policy ... and Parliament was so blatantly bypassed, that it sprouts the persistent thought that there has to be much more to it than meets the eye.'

  • 6 EDITORS PLAY DOWN THREAT
    By Mithleshni Gurdayal
    The Daily Post's editor, Jale Moala, and news editor, Mesake Koroi, disagree with the view that the sale of the newspaper is a threat to media independence. In this interview, they make a rare statement, defending the Daily Post's independence.

  • 7 POST-COURIER STAYS PUT
    By David Robie
    The PNG Post-Courier is one of the most influential and independent newspapers in the South Pacific. Rumours of its likely sale to business and political interests close to Prime Minister Bill Skate stirred a recent controversy.

  • FREEDOM OF THE PRESS PROBLEMS IN TAHITI
    By Alex du Prel
    The editor of one of the best news and cultural magazines of the South Pacific, Tahiti-Pacifique, tells of the 18-month "freeze out" of his publication by the Flosse Government in Tahiti and how his editorial team finally came in from the cold.

  • FLOSSE APPEAL OVER TEFANA
    By Maire Bopp

  • FIJI TV'S STRUGGLE FOR GOOD SERVICE
    By Peter Wilson
    Fiji TV has behaved in the fashion of most commercial broadcasters: it has sought popular programming, and it has built a respected independent news bulletin. But politicians want news that is Government public relations and "worthy" programming.

  • HAVING FUN PLAYING GOD
    By Richard Naidu
    Fiji lawyer Richard Naidu filed a personal judicial review action against Fiji Islands Minister for Telecommunication Ratu Inoke Kubuabola's decision to direct Fiji TV to broadcast the Hongkong Sevens tournament live on Fiji One. The case for why the minister's direction set a dangerous precedent.

  • TV TALK IN PNG: A SEARCH FOR POLICY IN A WEAK STATE
    By Robert J. Foster
    The reasons for the nation-state's weakness are many, but the course of TV talk over the last 10 years in Papua New Guinea reveals one reason in particular: the sacrifice of long-term state-building to the immediate demands of electoral strategy.

  • SURFING, SINKING AND SWIMMING IN THE WTO
    By Patrick Craddock
    Experiences of student journalists covering SPICOL - the Student Pacific Island Conference of Leaders - at the University of the South Pacific Laucala campus on the future of the World Trade Organisation in the region.

  • SPICOL CONFERENCE REVISITED
    By Patrick Craddock

  • LIGHTING THE FIRE FOR MEDIA FREEDOM
    By Savea Sano Malifa
    'In Samoa, the media can be described as a tree that has no shadow. It offers neither shelter nor hope. It can be described as a flower that blooms but then quickly withers, as if afraid of the sunlight. Others see it as a confused animal; a sick dog which barks but won't bite because it is afraid.'

  • OUTWITTING REPRESSION OF THE MEDIA IN PNG
    By Sean Dorney
    'Papua New Guinea could possibly teach the rest of the world a thing or two about preserving press freedom. What has worked in the media's favour in PNG is the country's vibrant - you could say rampant - democracy.'

  • PNG STORIES WIN SIX WALKLEYS

  • INTERNET JOURNALISM AT USP
    By David Robie
    The universities of the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea have played pioneering roles in the development of media education resources in the South Pacific. One student training newspaper was the first online publication in the region and another, Wansolwara, was the first online newspaper in Fiji.

    INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM:

  • 1 COURSE FINDS PNG 'MECCA'
    By Mark Pearson
    Editors and news directors decided the controversial restructuring of operations at the University of Papua New Guinea was the story deserving deeper exploration. By week's end, journalists had produced a series of feature and news stories for media exposes.

  • 2 THE TOPUL RALI AFFAIR
    By David Robie
    In early 1996, a PNG news media cover-up was alleged over the so-called Topul Rali affair. An exposé by the student newspaper Uni Tavur led to a clash with the University of PNG administration and the journalism programme was closed down three years later.

  • 3 THE PITFALLS OF INQUIRIES
    By Simon Pentanu
    Discovering the "facts" - and the truth - means journalists must push, probe, pry, unsettle, expose, inform and report ... and pass judgement on others. But beware of these risks.

  • ELECTIONS AND THE MEDIA
    By Professor Dennis Pearce
    A look at the reporting of general elections from the perspective of the Australian Press Council presented at the University of the South Pacific with an eye to the Fiji election in May 1999.

    PROFILES IN MEDIA:

  • SAMANTHA MAGICK
    By Rosi Tamani

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