Asia-Pacific Network

2000 NEWS ARCHIVE (until mid-May)

Asia-Pacific Network provides independent journalism on social, political, environmental, media and development issues in the Asia-Pacific region. The following is a selection of some of the articles and links to other articles and sites. Seek permission from the editor before republication.

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Copyright © 1996-2000David Robie and the authors. PO Box 78028, Auckland 2, Aotearoa/New Zealand, or c/- Journalism, University of the South Pacific, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji.



ARCHIVE HEADLINES


PMW
  • MEDIA: FIJI SUN CONDEMNED IN SENATE OVER PHOTO
    Pacific Media Watch: 6 May 2000 *Link
    Fiji's newest daily newspaper, the Fiji Sun, has been condemned in the Senate for misrepresentation over a front-page photograph and caption depicting two senators, according to radio and press reports.
  • Daily Post slams Fiji Sun, Fiji TV ethics
  • World Press Freedom Day reports on Pacific Journalism Online (USP)
  • World Press Freedom Day reports on Pacific Islands Report
  • FIJI: I CAN'T SACK PM, SAYS RATU MARA
    Pasifik Nius/Daily Post: 6 May 2000
    By Mitheleshni Gurdayal President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara will not dismiss Prime Minister Mahenda Chaudhry's government despite mounting pressure last month from the revived Taukei Movement, his office indicated in response to questions from the Daily Post.

  • TIMOR LOROSAE: THE SHACKLETON-COLEMAN LETTERS
    Asia Pacific Network/Joyo: 3 May 2000
    Stephen Coleman, who claims to be a former Australian secret service agent, has attacked Shirley Shackleton with personal abuse in email messages through Joyo@aol.com following the AFP article with the heading WIDOW DEMANDS MURDER CHARGE AGAINST FORMER INDONESIAN MINISTER. Shackleton has asked for the correspondence to be made public.

  • POLITICS: CHAUDHRY SAYS FIJIAN COMMUNITY 'WILL NOT BE FOOLED'
    Pasifik Nius: 30 April 2000
    By Sudesh Kissun
    Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry responds to the indigenous Fijian protests against his government by saying the Fijian commmunity would not be fooled, and did not want a repeat of the coup year of 1987.

  • POLITICS: RABUKA OF FIJI - A BIOGRAPHY OF CONTROVERSY
    Asia Pacific Network: 29 April 2000
    By Sanjay Ramesh
    The Rabuka biography traces various stages of the controversial soldier and politician. This review gives insights and analysis of his interpretation of the events leading up to the coups of 1987, and seven years as a Prime Minister and constitution reformer.

  • TIMOR LOROSAE: WIDOW DEMANDS MURDER CHARGE AGAINST FORMER INDON MINISTER
    Agence France Presse: 26 April 2000
    The widow of one of five Australian journalists killed in East Timor 25 years ago has called for charges to be laid against a former Indonesian minister blamed for the deaths.

  • TIMOR LOROSAE: OPINION - ASHES TO ASHES, DUST TO DUST
    Sydney Morning Herald: 26 April 2000
    By Shirley Shackleton
    After 25 years of pain and anguish, Shirley Shackleton has finally come face to face with an eyewitness to the murder of her journalist husband, Greg, in Balibo, East Timor.

  • MEDIA: REVAMPING OF DAILY POST IN FIJI READERSHIP WAR
    Pacific Media Watch/The Review: April 2000 *Link
    By Tamarasi Digitaki
    Late last year, when Fiji's third national newspaper was launched, things were expected to heat up in the media industry. The Fiji Sun, was hailed by its creators as the newspaper that would shake up the market. But while response to the paper has been lukewarm, it has certainly achieved one thing - shaking up the market.

  • MEDIA: TIMORESE JOURNALISTS STILL STRIVE FOR INDEPENDENCE
    Pacific Media Watch/The Melbourne Age: 22 April 2000 *Link
    By Wilson da Silva
    With the Indonesian military gone and independence looming, East Timor's journalists can now report freely. But it's not an easy task when your country is still a smoking ruin. Being a media baron in East Timor actually costs money. The economics of an independent media.

  • MEDIA: OPEN LETTER CHALLENGES DWU STALKING
    Pacific Media Watch: 20 April 2000 *Link
    After a long-standing campaign of stalking directed at current and former journalism staff of Papua New Guinea's Divine Word University, a disgruntled former staff member of DWU, Bill White, has sent an email to senior journalism staff of DWU, the University of the South Pacific, Queensland University and Bond University in Queensland making various allegations against DWU. Here, PMW puts these allegations in context with an open letter from Trevor Cullen, one of the targets of the attacks.

  • Luagalau
    Luagalau. TVNZ
  • SAMOA: POLITICIANS FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER
    BBC: 13 April 2000 *Link
    Two former Samoan cabinet ministers have been found guilty of murdering a fellow politician. Dismissed Women's Affairs Minister, Leafa Vitale, 57, and ex-Communications Minister, Toi Aukuso, 68, face the death penalty for the murder of Luagalau Levaula Kamu, 44, during a political gathering in July 1999.

  • AFP coverage
  • Earlier links
  • Samoa Live
  • Samoa Observer
  • MEDIA: WANSOLWARA'S APRIL EDITION INDEX
    Wansolwara: 13 April 2000 *Link
    Print and audio reports on Pacific USPNet 2000 telecommunications, Radio Pacific's future, regional reports, Fiji's street kids, "missing" $F27,000 in student funds, media coverage, regional student sports.

  • EAST TIMOR: JOURNALIST'S EXPERIENCE LEADS HIM ON A CRUSADE
    Mobile (Alabama) Register: 6 April 2000
    By Joe Danborn
    Noted freelance writer Allan Nairn hoped to prevent bloodshed in 1991 when he and another American journalist literally stepped between a line of Indonesian soldiers and a crowd of pro-democracy protesters, moments before the troops opened fire and slaughtered hundreds of the demonstrators. Nairn has returned to Indonesia at least three times since then, despite being banned from the country as a national security threat.

  • MEDIA: FIJI JOURNALISTS' SALARIES, FIMA UNDER SCRUTINY
    Pacific Media Watch: 5 April 2000 *Link
    Fiji's Assistant Information Minister Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi strongly criticises journalists' salaries and working conditions, and the collapse of the PINA affiliate Fiji Islands Media Association (FIMA) and blames media companies. He claims the starting salary of some journalists is below those of civil servants and garment workers.

  • MEDIA: TACKLING THE DINOSAURS OF PACIFIC JOURNALISM
    Wansolwara: 3 April 2000 *Link
    By David Robie
    Referring to an editorial attack by Islands Business on the journalism programme at the University of the South Pacific and other recent incidents, columnist David Robie reviews the state of ethics in the Fiji media and concludes: "It is the dinosaurs of Pacific journalism who should get to grips with the basics of journalism - facts, accuracy and balance."

  • HUMAN RIGHTS: ABOLITION OF MANDATORY JAIL LAWS GAINS SUPPORT
    Inter Press Service: 29 March 2000 *Link
    By Sonny Inbaraj
    A Northern Territory lobby group in Australia comprising lawyers has launched a civil disobedience campaign to highlight its opposition to mandatory sentencing laws for juveniles, which have been described as discriminatory. The members of the "Territorians for Effective Sentencing" are considering getting themselves arrested to dramatise their cause.

  • FIJI: COMMENTARY ON OPPOSITION, LAND AND RABUKA
    Pacific Islands Report: 29 March 2000 *Link
    By Sanjay Ramesh
    Apart from land and media, the debate over the coups of 1987 has once again rejuvenated by the former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, who launched his autobiography at the National Press Gallery in Canberra on March 15. The book Rabuka of Fiji -- written by Professor John Sharpham of Central Queensland University -- suggests that the President of Fiji, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, may have known about the coup beforehand. The President has been questioned in a number of previous publications and in 1992, The Daily Post of Fiji and Rabuka apologized for suggesting Mara's involvement. However, this time around, Rabuka remains steadfast in his claim..

  • FORESTRY: FIJI'S MAHOGANY FORESTS SET FOR THE CHOP
    Scoop: 29 March 2000 *Link
    By John Howard
    Fiji's plans to harvest part of its matured mahogany forests, claimed to be the largest in the world and worth billions of dollars in revenue, has been attacked by Fijians saying the Government is disposing of it at bargain prices.

  • MEDIA: MEGAPHONE FOR THE MASSES OR MORAL SINKHOLE?
    Inter Press Service: 26 March 2000 *Link
    By Mark Dery
    Matt Drudge is the best-known brand in the online retailing of hearsay and juicy half-truth. For many in the mainstream media, he represents the worst in online journalism. But views are polarised about cyberhype or the promise of more democratic media.

  • PMW logo
  • MEDIA: OUSTED ANTARA CHIEF PROTESTS AGAINST SMH
    Pacific Media Watch: 26 March 2000 *Link
    Parni Hadi, outgoing chief of Antara national news agency, has lodged a strong protest against the Australian daily the Sydney Morning Herald, which has accused Antara of spreading anti-Australia reports during the referendum process in East Timor.

  • MEDIA: COUNCIL ACTION COULD 'FORCE NEW LEGISLATION'
    Pacific Media Watch: 26 March 2000 *Link
    Fiji's Assistant Information Minister Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi claims that the Media Council has compromised its impartiality and the government will be forced to implement legilsation to address "bias".

  • POLITICS: THE CONFESSIONS OF A COUP LEADER
    The Press (NZ): 23 March 2000 *Link
    First it was President Bill Clinton. Now former Fiji coup leader Sitiveni Rabuka has a confession or two to make about other women. In Auckland, to promote his new biography, Rabuka, 51, who was ousted as prime minister last year, fronted up about his personal indiscretions: "I have admitted I'm no angel ... I have been weak in those areas," he said.

  • MEDIA: WAHID SACKS EDITOR AND DEMANDS 'HONEST NEWS'
    Pacific Media Watch: 22 March 2000 *Link
    By Lindsay Murdoch
    Indonesia's President Abdurrahman Wahid has ordered a shake-up of the country's official news agency, Antara, removing its editor-in-chief and demanding it be more independent. For months last year Antara published fiercely anti-Australian stories about the role of Australian troops in East Timor which prompted complaints from Australian diplomats in Jakarta about their accuracy.

  • MEDIA: ISLANDS BUSINESS SWIPES CONTINUE
    Pacific Journalism Online (USP): 19 March 2000 *Link
    Islands Business magazine publisher Robert Keith-Reid and his colleagues continue their misinformed swipes against the journalism programme at the University of the South Pacific - and against the Cafe Pacific publisher personally.

  • WEST PAPUA: FINDINGS OVER 'BLOOD ON THE CROSS'
    Tapol/Pacific Islands Report: 15 March 2000 *Link
    "Summary and conclusions of the investigation into the events of 9 May 1996 in Western Papua, entrusted by the ICRC to an outside consultant." Photo and Pacific Journalism Review on ABC Four Corner's "Blood on the Cross" programme

  • INDONESIA: APOLOGISTS ARE REVISING HISTORY TO ABSOLVE JAKARTA
    The Age, Melbourne: 15 March 2000 *Link
    By Scott Burchill
    Indonesia would not have been able to illegally occupy and terrorise East Timor for a quarter of a century without the support it received from the West, particularly Australia. The tactics employed by pro-integrationists in Australia to ensure Canberra's diplomatic collaboration with Jakarta were often crude, but they were remarkably effective.

  • MEDIA: ROCKET SCIENCE - HOW CORPORATE MEDIA SUBVERT DEMOCRACY
    Media Channel: 15 March 2000 *Link
    An outspoken critic of corporate media, Robert McChesney is also a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here he gives a wide-ranging account of private power, public broadcasting and how corporate media subvert democracy.

  • MEDIA: DEADLY DUTY - 1990s A DANGEROUS DECADE FOR JOURNALISTS
    Editor and Publisher Magazine: 13 March 2000
    By Joe Strupp
    Many foreign editors and overseas reporters from U.S. newspapers contend that covering military skirmishes and political upheavals has become more dangerous since 1990. Most say the danger has increased because many of the conflicts involve smaller, disorganised factions that don't have the same respect for international law and the Geneva convention as those in the past.

  • MEDIA: THE TRUTH ABOUT JOHN LENNON AND THE MI5 FILES
    The Nation: 13 March 2000 *Link
    The headline in the Sunday Times of London was spectacular: Lennon Funded Terrorists and Trotskyists. It was also erroneous. ABC News and other US media presented their own garbled versions of the story. But behind the errors lies a fascinating and significant story about a renegade former intelligence officer for MI5, the British intelligence agency, named David Shayler.

  • MEDIA: TOP NZ BROADCASTER JOINS USP JOURNALISM
    Pacific Journalism Online: 7 March 2000 *Link
    Pat Craddock, a broadcaster with three decades of experience with Radio New Zealand, the BBC and in the Pacific, is joining the University of the South Pacific journalism programme.

  • MEDIA: PJR PUBLISHES SPECIAL EDITION ON EAST TIMOR, WEST PAPUA
    Pacific Journalism Review/Pacific Media Watch: 1 March 2000 *Link
    Pacific Journalism Review has published a special issue on the troubles in East Timor, West Papua and the media's responses to them. The edition also features developments in Pacific media councils, Fiji Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry's war of words with the news media, health reporting, an attempt to censor a website and other articles.

  • MEDIA: PNG JOURNALISTS 'MOST QUALIFIED', SAYS NEW RESEARCH
    Pasifik Nius: 28 February 2000 *Link
    A Papua New Guinea newspaper reports on new research survey of 12 news organisations which shows that Papua New Guinea journalists are generally older, more experienced and more qualified than their counterparts in the Fiji Islands.

  • MEDIA: STRIKE BEGINS AT TAHITI'S RFO RADIO, TELEVISION
    Pasifik Nius: 27 February 2000 *Link
    A "roving" strike has begun at French Polynesia's state-owned Reseau France Outremer (RFO, France Overseas Network) radio and television station over understaffing issues, according to the daily newspaper La Depeche de Tahiti. Journalists and technicians from the station are protesting against the implementation of a 35-hour working week, which, they claim, leaves the station unable to cover all the shifts.

  • POLITICS: FIJI VICE-PRESIDENT SLAMS CONSTITUTION MOVE
    Pasifik Nius: 26 February 2000 *Link
    Vice-president Ratu Josefa Iloilo has criticised the Fiji Islands Government for wanting to amend the Constitution so soon after its promulgation. And he says the changes are likely to stir up racial tension.

  • MEDIA: INDONESIAN PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS CHALLENGED
    Pacific Media Watch: 22 February 2000 *Link
    By Kafil Yamin
    Indonesia's respected newsmagazine Tempo probably thought it was merely addressing an issue that many members of the local media had been dodging for months. But right after the popular weekly came out with an article in its Jan 31-Feb 6 issue that said the media had taken sides in covering the Christian-Muslim clashes in the Moluccas, furious complaints poured into the Tempo newsroom -- regarding the article's own alleged prejudices.

  • Timor
    Children in West Timor camp. Timor Today
  • TIMOR LOROSAE: WEEKLY'S STAFF WORKS WITHOUT PAY AS PRESS STRUGGLES TO EMERGE
    The Freedom Forum Online: 20 February 2000 *Link
    By Arnold Zeitlin
    "People are confused and relying on rumors," says Virgilio da Silva Guterres, chief editor of East Timor's first independence-era newspaper, Lalalok (or Mirror), a photocopied weekly publication that first appeared in January. Trained in Indonesia as a mechanical engineer, Guterres was arrested in Jakarta in 1991 and jailed for two years after a demonstration protesting the Indonesian army's shooting of demonstrators at a cemetery in Dili.
  • HUMAN RIGHTS: HOWARD'S DISREGARD FOR OBLIGATIONS SHOCKS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
    Amnesty International: 18 February 2000
    Amnesty News Service
    Prime Minister John Howard's repeated dismissal of Australian violations of international standards reveals a shocking disregard of his country's obligations, says Amnesty International. Highlighting the recent death of a 15-year-old Aboriginal boy serving a mandatory detention term, the human rights body says the Howard government has persistently refused to act on laws and practices which UN bodies have found inconsistent with Australia's human rights obligations.

  • MEDIA: FIJI SUN EDITORIAL BOARD RESIGNS OVER ETHICS
    Pacific Media Watch: 11 February 2000 *Link
    The two-member editorial board of the troubled Fiji Sun newspaper has resigned in an ethical dispute over editorial content, according to industry sources. The two journalists have confirmed that they quit in a row over a controversial editorial.

  • TIMOR LOROSAE: LETTERS EXPOSE THE MILITARY PLAN FOR FORCED 'EVACUATION' OF 250,000 PEOPLE
    The Independent (UK): 5 February 2000
    By Richard Lloyd Parry
    How secret letters have shown that the Indonesian military, after accepting the likelihood of defeat in East Timor, executed a plan for an "evacuation" the forced deportation of 250,000 people to Indonesian West Timor, after the vote for independence was announced in September 1999.

  • TIMOR LOROSAE: HOW JAKARTA'S GENERALS PLANNED THE CAMPAIGN OF TERROR
    The Independent (UK): 5 February 2000
    By Richard Lloyd Parry
    Documents obtained by The Independent in Dili, and analysed in Jakarta by Indonesian investigators and Western diplomatic sources, provide evidence of what has long been suspected, but never proved - that, for months before the referendum on East Timor's independence in August 1999, it was being systematically undermined by Indonesia's top generals.

  • MEDIA: VANUATU OMBUDSMAN CONCERNED ABOUT GAGGING BID AGAINST TRADING POST OVER SHIP DISASTER NEWS
    Vanuatu Trading Post/PMW: 1 February 2000 *Link
    Vanuatu's Ombudsman, Hannington Alatoa, says he is concern over the attempt by the Vanuatu Government to gag the Trading Post from carrying any further news on the sinking of an island ship with the loss of 27 people on board. He is also concerned over the delay in the release of the official commission of inquiry reports on MV Latua and the Vanair Twin Otter disasters.

  • MEDIA: JAKARTA'S PRESS CONCEALED ARMY'S CRUCIAL ROLE IN TIMOR LOROSAE
    Toward Freedom [U.S. political journal]: 48:7, January 2000
    By Marianne Kearney
    A week after the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence and hundreds of journalists and observers fled, one thing was obvious. The violence engulfing this half-island wasn't just the work of a ragtag group of pro-Indonesian militia, but rather reflected a highly organised campaign. Although obvious to Western reporters, that fact nevertheless escaped the notice of most of Indonesia's press.
    Indonesian view of Australian media coverage

  • TIMOR LOROSAE: CORONER FINDS INDONESIAN SOLDIERS PROBABLY SHOT DUTCH JOURNALIST
    Pacific Media Watch: 28 January 2000
    A coroner has concluded that a Dutch journalist, Sander Thoenes, who was killed in East Timor (Timor Lorosae) last year was probably shot by Indonesian soldiers. But he says the inquest has been hampered by a lack of witnesses from the Indonesian military.

  • MALUKU: WHILE ELEPHANTS FIGHT, THE PEOPLE OF MALUKU DIE
    Asia Pacific-Network: 27 January 2000
    By George Aditjondro
    The chain of sectarian conflict in Maluku now spreading throughout Sulawesi, Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara and Java has been triggered and fed by a number of provocateurs paid by the Suharto family and several cronies, according to monitoring by a sociologist and two human rights organizations, KONTRAS and Komnas HAM.

  • Luagalau
    Luagalau. TVNZ
  • JUSTICE: COVERAGE OF SAMOA'S ASSASSINATION TRIAL
    Samoa Live: 23 January 2000 *Link
    Alatise Vitale, the convicted murderer of the late Samoan Minister of Works Luagalau Levaula Kamu, has been spared the death sentence. The murder trials of his father, Leafa Vitale, and Toi Aukuso Cain, both former cabinet ministers, began on January 17 - follow the case on:
  • Samoa Live
  • Samoa Observer
  • Saga of murder and corruption dismays Samoans
  • TIMOR LOROSAE: FIRST TETUN NEWSPAPER HITS DILI STREETS
    Pacific Media Watch: 23 January 2000
    By Virgilio da Silva Guterres
    East Timor's first Tetun language news paper hit the streets on 18 January 2000. The weekly, titled Lalenok, was distributed free in Dili. The first editorial is scathing about the problems facing East Timor, the performance of aid agencies and the silence from political leaders.

  • WEST PAPUA: SOEHARTO FORCES 'BUILDING MILITIAS'
    Sydney Morning Herald: 21 January 2000
    By Andrew Kilvert
    Human rights activists warn that military authorities and political enforcers associated with the former Soeharto regime in Indonesia appear to be building up East Timor-style militias in the contested province of West Papua.
  • West Irian becomes Papua

  • MEDIA: CRITICS' BOYCOTT OF MALAYSIAN PRO-GOVT PRESS RAISES STAKES
    Inter Press Service: 20 January 2000
    By Anil Netto
    Stung by the Malaysian government's crackdown on a top opposition newspaper, its political critics have called for a boycott of selected pro- government media from Feb 1. The opposition-led boycott would be the second such campaign launched by opposition parties and different pressure groups since the ouster of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim in September 1998..

  • POLITICS: TITEWHAI HARAWIRA EDUCATES A NATION
    Scoop: 18 January 2000
    By Alastair Thompson
    Scoop discusses the ongoing debate over Maori Activist Titewhai Harawira's stand against New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark speaking out of turn on the Waitangi Marae and concludes that some good is coming of all the hot air.

  • MEDIA: FIJI TIMES APOLOGISES OVER 'FAT CATS' STORY
    Pacific Media Watch: 18 January 2000
    The Fiji Times, the country's largest daily newspaper and the only foreign-owned one, has apologised over a business "fat cats" story in its long-running dispute with Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry over media accuracy and professionalism.
    PM sues Fiji Times

  • MALAYSIA: NEW CRACKDOWN AGAINST OPPOSITION UNDER WAY
    Inter Press Service: 13 January 2000
    The arrests on sedition charges of four people linked to Malaysia's opposition, hours after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad left for an overseas holiday, have signalled what critics warn will be a wider crackdown soon. One of the arrested people is Karpal Singh, who is also the lead lawyer for ousted and jailed Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

  • MEDIA: UNIVERSITY WINS TOP JOURNALISM AWARDS
    Pasifik Nius: 12 January 2000
    The University of the South Pacific journalism programme has won two honours in Australia's 1999 Ossie Awards for the best student journalism in the region - and won an award in Fiji for human rights.

  • BOUGAINVILLE: NEW PAPERS REVEAL AUSTRALIAN ROLE IN USE OF FORCE
    Inter Press Service: 3 January 2000
    By Bob Burton
    Australia's role in the already shaky peace process for the Bougainville conflict in Papua New Guinea is likely to come under further challenge from independence supporters, following new revelations found in previously secret Australian government documents. They reveal that Canberra considered the use of military force to overcome landowner opposition to the development of the Bougainville copper mine.


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    9 September 2000

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