Asia-Pacific Network

2001 NEWS ARCHIVE (until end of June)

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 websites. Seek permission from the editor of the copyright holder before republication.

Copyright © 1996-2001David Robie and the authors. PO Box 78028, Auckland 2, Aotearoa/New Zealand, or PO Box U5, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji.

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    ARCHIVE HEADLINES


  • RSF
  • MEDIA: THE ENEMIES OF THE INTERNET
    Reporters Sans Frontieres: 3 March 2001
    Sitting in a cybercafé, a single person can tell the whole world about repression in their country. In just a few minutes, a newspaper suffering from censorship can publish itsarticles on French or American servers. The Internet has radically changed the traditional balance of power between governments and those who produce information. Governments are on the defensive; they all want the Internet, but dream of a network under their control. This dilemma has engendered an arsenal of repressive solutions.
  • FIJI: REGIME IS ILLEGAL, SAYS COURT AFTER BATTLE OF QCs
    Guardian (UK): 2 March 2001 *Link
    By Clare Dyer and Patrick Barkham
    The Fiji Court of Appeal has declared the military-backed government illegal, after a court battle which pitted two of Britain's leading human rights lawyers against each other.

  • FIJI: MEDIA WELCOME RULING AS REGIME STALLS
    Pasifik Nius: 2 March 2001 *Link
    Fiji's three daily newspapers have cautiously welcomed the historic Appeal Court ruling upholding the 1997 multiracial constitution, but the illegal regime has signalled it will not immediately resign.

  • FIJI: INTERIM GOVERNMENT TO 'REVIEW' COURT RULING
    Pacific Journalism Online (USP): 1 March 2001 *Link
    By Joe Yaya
    Fiji's interim regime says it will review the Court of Appeal judgement before making a decision, although interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase had earlier pledged the administration would abide by the outcome of the Court's ruling.

  • FIJI: SUMMARY OF COURT OF APPEAL JUDGEMENT
    Pacific Journalism Online (USP): 1 March 2001 *Link
    The Fiji Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court judgement in a case brought by Indo-Fijian refugee farmer Chandrika Prasad that his human rights had been violated. The constitution has been found to still be in force and the interim regime ruled illegal. Full text of judgement summary

  • FIJI: JUDGEMENT HAILED - BUT UNCERTAINTY FOLLOWS
    Pacific Journalism Online (USP): 1 March 2001 *Link
    By Joycelyn Narayan
    The Fiji Court of Appeal has ruled that the 1997 multiracial Constitution is still supreme law - but reaction has been mixed. Two University of the South Pacific politics lecturers consider the judgement a good one, but are cautious about how some in Fiji will respond.

  • FIJI: FIJI SUN CHALLENGES MEDIA FREEDOM 'INTERPRETATIONS'
    Pacific Media Watch: 24 February 2001 *Link
    Fiji's newest daily newspaper, the Sun, has challenged some of its rivals over "interpretations" of media freedom in the wake of allegations of suppression of information by broadcast news media during the Court of Appeal constitutional hearing this week.

  • racism
  • JUSTICE: FIJI DRIFTING AWAY FROM CIVILISATION, SAYS NZ JOURNALIST
    Scoop (NZ): 23 February 2001
    Fiji is daily drifting further and further away from being the civil society it could have become had it not been for deep-dyed racism within the indigenous Fijian tribal establishment, writes veteran NZ journalist Gordon McLauchlan.
  • FIJI: LAWYER WARNS OVER FIJI TIMES
    Pacific Media Watch: 23 February 2001 *Link
    Queen's Counsel Geoffrey Robertson, the lawyer for the internal refugee farmer Chandrika Prasad challenging the interim regime, has told the Court of Appeal to disregard press articles, particularly those appearing in the Fiji Times, the Fiji Times reports.

  • FIJI: POLICE FORCE FIJI TV TO DELAY LEADERS FORUM
    Pacific Media Watch: 22 February 2001 *Link
    Police threats to arrest media people and personalities involved in a "leaders forum" current affairs programme for broadcast by Fiji Television have forced the country's sole station to postpone the item, media reports say.

  • FIJI: THE MAN BEHIND THE CONSTITUTIONAL CASE
    Pasifik Nius/Fiji Sun: 20 February 2001 *Link
    By Shameel Prasad
    The respondent in Fiji's constitutional case, Muainaweni farmer Chandrika Prasad, feels confident he will attain another victory when the Fiji Court of Appeal finally makes a ruling on Justice Anthony Gates' decision to uphold the 1997 multiracial constitution, the Fiji Sun reports.

  • FIJI: CHAUDHRY CALLS FOR UNITY AS COURT SITS
    Pasifik Nius/Fiji Sun: 19 February 2001 *Link
    By Leone Cabenatabua and Shiwani Diwakar
    Fiji's deposed Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has called for commitment and unity. In a message to the nation, the leader of the Fiji Labour Party and the People's Coalition Government reiterated his party's commitment to work towards the restoration of peace, democracy and the rule of law.

  • Fiji soldier
  • JUSTICE: COURT COULD CONSIGN FIJI TO APARTHEID
    Guardian Unlimited (UK): 19 February 2001
    By Audrey Gillan
    A groundbreaking constitutional case opens in Fiji which will decide the legality of a regime widely criticised for quashing democracy and oppressing its ethnic Indian citizens after the May 2000 coup by the failed businessman George Speight.
  • FIJI: WHY IS CHERIE BOOTH'S MATRIX CHAMBERS SO KEEN TO DEFEND A DESPOTIC GOVERNMENT IN FIJI?
    The Observer (UK): 18 February 2001 *Link
    By Nick Cohen
    Matrix Chambers has made its choice. Tomorrow Nicholas Blake QC, its star barrister, will lever himself to his feet and tell the Fijian Court of Appeal in Suva that the island's racist government is above the law. It was born out of the invasion of parliament by gunmen, and is building what Amnesty International describes as a 'new Apartheid' in the Pacific. Nevertheless, he will argue, it is quite impertinent for the judiciary to describe the regime as illegal.

  • FIJI: STAGE SET FOR APPEAL COURT RULING
    Pasifik Nius: 18 February 2001 *Link
    The stage is set for the Court of Appeal sitting this week that will decide the future of Fiji in the wake of failed businessman George Speight's attempted coup last May. The court will rule on Justice Anthony Gates' judgement last November which declared the 1997 multiracial constitution was still the supreme law of the country and called for the elected Parliament to be reconvened to form a legal government.

  • MEDIA: 'I'M STAYING AWAY FROM FIJI UNTIL ...'
    New Zealand Herald: 17 February 2001 *Link
    By Gordon McLauchlan
    Excepting some brave and competent journalists, the local media are often an impediment to the march to Fiji enlightenment. Lately, the regime has been going after the messengers. And, courageously, the University of the South Pacific has recently upheld academic freedom and firmly opposed a deplorable attempt at censorship by journalists.

  • MEDIA: OSSIES RECOGNISE PROMISING TALENT OF THE FUTURE ...'
    PANPA Bulletin: 17 February 2001 *Link *Picture
    By Mark Pearson
    The United States has its Pulitzer Prizes. Australia has the Walkleys. And journalism education in the region has the Ossies, the Journalism Education Association's awards recognising excellent journalism produced by students. University of the South Pacific - especially the Fiji coup coverage - and New Zealand entries dominated the latest awards.

  • MEDIA: TONGAN GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS REPORT ON ROYAL FAMILY
    Pacific Media Watch: 15 February 2001 *Link
    The Tongan Government has criticised a report last month by the Agence France-Presse news agency alleging that senior Tongan Government officials and members of the royal family are involved in corruption and drug smuggling, Pacnews reports.

  • EAST TIMOR: WHY YUNUS WON'T STAND TRIAL OVER BALIBO FIVE
    Pacific Media Watch: 15 February 2001 *Link
    Indonesian Observer
    The Indonesian government will not allow United Nations administrators in East Timor to try retired three-star general Yunus Yosfiah on charges of killing five Australia-based newsmen there in 1975, says a senior minister.

  • pacjourn cover
  • BOOKS: THE PACIFIC JOURNALIST
    USP Book Centre: 12 February 2001
    Edited by David Robie
    "Why do Pacific Islanders want to become journalists? In spite of often tense relationships between governments and the media in the region, and poor pay and working conditions, growing numbers of young Pacific Islanders are choosing a career in journalism -- and usually seeking formal qualifications." Forthcoming title that looks at the practice and the politics of journalism.
  • FIJI: RUGBY FAILURE UNDERSCORES NEW ZEALAND'S PACIFIC DIPLOMATIC DISASTER
    Agence France-Presse: 11 February 2001 *Link
    By Michael Field
    When big rugby winger Jonah Lomu fumbled the rugby ball in a match against Fiji in February it signaled not just the embarrassing loss of a major match but also a serious botch-up in Wellington's foreign policy. Senior diplomats told AFP that New Zealand risks losing its reputation in the one area of the world it matters.

  • EAST TIMOR: Opinion: BALIBO KILLINGS: BEGINNINGS OF IMPUNITY?
    Pacific Media Watch: 9 February 2001 *Link
    By Ati Nurbaiti
    Indonesia's New Order liked to change local street names with that of its generals; in East Timor, journalists also saw it fitting to commemorate colleagues killed in the territory. A three-kilometer road from the Becora area in Dili to the old Mercado (market) now bears the name "Press Freedom Road". The name change has been made to commemorate at least nine journalists who have died on duty there - including the Balibo Five.

  • FIJI: INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS BLASTED BY INTERIM REGIME
    Pacific Media Watch: 7 February 2001 *Link
    Prominent independent Australian and New Zealand journalists have been attacked by Fiji's interim regime and sympathetic news media, embarrassed by the country's poor post-coup international image. Award-winning Australian investigative journalist Mark Davis came under fire over an SBS Dateline documentary on the plight of Indo-Fijian cane farmers. New Zealander Michael Field has also come under fire.

  • FIJI: ENCORE FOR A COUP
    ABC Radio National: 4 February 2001
    By Di Martin, of Background Briefing
    "George Speight, the public face of 19 May 2000, is being tried for treason. Yet Fiji's troubles are far from over, and it's now bracing itself for another wave of violence. In a fortnight, Fiji1s highest court will decide whether the post coup government is illegal. If it does, no-one's sure if that government will surrender control and there's no great confidence the army will carry out the court's wishes. This unelected government meanwhile is radically changing policy along classic Speight lines. It has vowed to introduce indigenous supremacy through a raft of racially exclusive policies."

  • MEDIA: 'PACIFIC EDITOR STIRS UP INTERNET STORM'
    Asia Pacific Network: 3 February 2001
    By "Peter Lomas"
    "A New Zealand academic and Fiji's feisty and diverse independent media have been slugging it out in a brawl spanning the internet," claims Pacific magazine in its February edition. What it doesn't tell its readers in the unsigned article, is that its southern edition editor-in-chief Peter Lomas is the person who stirred up the internet "brawl". Nor does it tell its readers that the magazine downloaded a copyright photograph of media academic David Robie from the USP journalism website Pacific Journalism Online without permission to illustrate the article. Read on

  • MEDIA: KEEPING THE BASTARDS HONEST
    Asia Pacific Network: 3 February 2001
    By Lawrence Gibbons
    Each week, Media Flash provides free, online insiders' information about Australia's media industry - an industry that is dominated by a handful of multi-billion dollar corporations. A profile on the website publisher Ash Long's campaign to "keep his head above water".

  • FIJI: 'COME CLEAN OVER LAND,' NLTB TOLD
    Pasifik Nius: 2 February 2001 *Link
    A development economist has appealed to Fiji's Native Land Trust Board to "come clean" on its real motives if a long-lasting solution to the land problem is to be found for the country. Condemning some landowners and the NLTB over "exploitation and intimidation" of mainly Indo-Fijian tenant farmers, University of the South Pacific's Dr Mahendra Reddy says the girmit era of indentured labour may return to Fiji.

  • FIJI: LAND AND THE ETHNIC CRISIS
    SBS Dateline: 31 January 2001 *Link
    Mark Davis
    A development economist has appealed to Fiji's Native Land Trust Board to "come clean" on its real motives if a long-lasting solution to the land problem is to be found for the country. Condemning some landowners and the NLTB over "exploitation and intimidation" of mainly Indo-Fijian tenant farmers, University of the South Pacific's Dr Mahendra Reddy says the girmit era of indentured labour may return to Fiji.

  • FIJI: FIJI SUN BLASTS NATIONALISTS OVER 'TERRORISM THREAT'
    Pasifik Nius: 31 January 2001 *Link
    The Fiji Sun has condemned Fijiian indigenous nationalists seeking a "selfish and narrow agenda" with the threat of terrorism such as experienced during last year's coup crisis. Responding to a Close-Up current affairs programme on Fiji Television on 28 January 2001, the newspaper singled out a nationalist leader, Ratu Esira Rabuno, for strong criticism in an editorial, saying people like him had an "awesome responsibility in working for peace and justice - truth - in this country".

  • MEDIA: CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR PACIFIC JOURNALISTS
    Pacific Media Watch: 28 January 2001 *Link
    Pacific journalists need a better understanding of the impact of their reporting on society and the responsibility of media in an age of rapidly changing new media technologies, says prominent Fijian editor and columnist Mesake Koroi.

  • MEDIA: MILITARY, OUSTED GOVERNMENT ACCUSE FIJI TIMES OF MISREPORTING
    Pacific Media Watch: 27 January 2001 *Link
    The Fiji military and the ousted elected government have both accused the Fiji Times of misreporting, appealing to the newspaper and other news media to be "more responsible", say local reports. Advertisements by the military describe the newspaper's failure to correct "misguided reports" as "contemptible".
    Earlier Fiji Times controversy

    (Hear David Robie on Radio Australia's Pacific Beat)

  • JUSTICE: FIJI'S APPEAL COURT TO DECIDE ON WHO GOVERNS
    Agence France-Presse: 25 January 2001 *Picture
    By Michael Field
    Fiji's Court of Appeal will have to rule on who is the Pacific nation's effective government now and not on the issues of the 2000 coup, says leading New Zealand barrister Anthony Molloy, QC, involved in the case. Pro-democracy opponents will have to show there is a "rival competing government" ruling or ready to rule.
    Gates' judgment

  • gunman
  • POLITICS: Analysis: USP, DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC: LESSONS FROM THE POLITICAL CRISIS
    Asia Pacific Network: 24 January 2001 *Picture
    By Dr Biman Prasad
    "The University of the South Pacific has become the centre of excellence in the region, as indeed any university of USP's nature should be. Apart from teaching and research, the university has in many ways become the critical conscience of the region. "
  • MEDIA: REGIME PM CRITICISES FIJI JOURNALISM AT PACIFIC MAGAZINE LAUNCH
    Pacific Media Watch: 24 January 2001 *Link
    Fiji journalists and news media have been criticised over journalism standards by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase of the military backed interim regime, saying that sometimes the results "compromise the ideals of a free press", local newspapers report.
    PINA Nius Online's view

  • EDUCATION: USP ACADEMIC TELLS OF 'CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE'
    Pacific Journalism Online: 23 January 2001 *Link *Picture
    The University of the South Pacific has been praised for its role as a defender of good governance and human values in the face of mounting political crises and pressures such as the Solomon Islands ethnic upheaval and the coup in Fiji. Economist Dr Biman Prasad describes the institution as having "in a way become the critical conscience of the region".
    Full paper

  • MEDIA: VANUATU DEPORTATION ORDER BACKFIRES
    Pacific Media Watch/Pacnews: 22 January 2001 *Link
    A decision to deport the expatriate publisher of Vanuatu's twice weekly newspaper, Trading Post, has backfired on the Vanuatu Government. British citizen Marc Neil-Jones, who was deported to Australia on January 19, is back in Port Vila after the Acting Chief Justice, Vincent Lunabek, issued a court order nullifying the deportation order.

  • HEALTH: HIV/AIDS IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC - A DIFFICULT STORY TO REPORT
    Pacific Islands Report: 22 January 2001 *Link
    By Trevor Cullen
    While a number of editors in PNG and the South Pacific should be highly commended for the way they have responded to the threat of HIV/AIDS in their countries, the time has come to step up coverage and allocate more space for information about prevention and to embarrass government officials into greater action. This is extremely difficult because of cultural sensitivities and financial sponsorship.

  • RELIGION: KOREA'S UNIFICATION CHURCH PUTTING ITS TOE INTO SOUTH PACIFIC
    Asia Pacific Network: 19 January 2001
    By Michael Field Korea's 'Moonies' are emerging in the Pacific and have nearly bought one government down and have linked up with another military backed regime. The Unification Church, headed by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, is following a well-worn missionary route through the Pacific where he is competing with deeply entrenched Christian churches operating in states which enshrine Christianity in constitutions.

  • MEDIA: THE DANGERS OF ONLINE JOURNALISM IN THE PACIFIC
    Pacific Islands Report: 18 January 2001 *Link
    By Craig DeSilva
    Digital technology, such as the Internet, has presented a variety of opportunities for journalists and news organizations in the Pacific. But it has also raised serious ethical concerns for the media in the region, says John V. Pavlik, executive director of the Center for New Media at Columbia University.

  • MEDIA: GREEN-LEFT WEEKLY 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
    Green-Left Weekly #432: 17 January 2001 *Link
    The inauguration on January 20 of George W. Bush as 43rd president of the USA will see the installation of a government consisting of some of the most reactionary capitalist politicians available. The 10th anniversary edition of Green Left Weekly examines the background and record of key figures in the new Bush administration and the implications for the poor of the world.

  • JUSTICE: LEGAL BIG GUNS HIRED TO DEFEND FIJI GOVERNMENT
    Agence France Presse: 17 January 2001 *Link
    By Michael Field
    Top British legal guns, including a Queen's Counsel who defended Chilean dictator Augusto Pincohet, have been hired by Fiji's military backed government to defend its legitimacy in the Pacific nation's courts.

  • MEDIA: FIJI TIMES CRITICISED OVER EDITORIAL OF 'REJECTING' GATES' RULING
    Fiji's Deposed Elected Government website: 15 January 2001 *Link
    The Fiji Times newspaper has been criticised by the deposed elected government's website for saying in an editorial that peace comes first and justice later, reflecting the position of the illegal regime over the Gates' judgment.

  • POLITICS: Commentary: ONGOING CIVIL STRIFE IN FIJI
    Pacific Islands Report: 9 January 2001 *Link
    By Dr Sanjay Ramesh
    The hijacking of an elected government in Fiji on 19 May 2000 and political developments thereafter suggest that plans by a close-knit group to muscle their way into power under the pretext of indigenous Fijian paramountcy failed miserably.

  • EDUCATION: POST-COUP CRIME AND TENSION HURTS FIJI'S SEAT OF LEARNING
    The Guardian/The Observer Education Unlimited: 9 January 2001 *Link
    By David Cohen
    Seven months after an ethnically inspired coup plunged Fiji into civil chaos, the Pacific's regional university continues to mirror the political tensions that have bitterly divided the 850,000 inhabitants of this one time British colony.

  • MEDIA: RSF REVIEW OF PRESS VIOLATIONS IN 2000
    Reporters Sans Frontieres: 4 January 2001 *Link
    While fewer journalists were killed or arrested in the year 2000 than in 1999, more than 300 media people or news organisations were censored.

  • FIJI: ACADEMIC STAFF THROW SUPPORT BEHIND JOURNALISM HEAD
    Radio Australia: 22 December 2000 *Link
    By Sean Dorney
    The Academic Staff Association at the University of the South Pacific has thrown its support behind the head of the university's journalism course, David Robie, whose latest clash with sections of the Fiji media has led to a call for his dismissal. The Staff Association alleges that several news organisations in Fiji are waging an orchestrated campaign against Mr Robie.
    Read the full "Press and the putsch" paper
    Updates

  • MEDIA: COUP COUP LAND: THE PRESS AND THE PUTSCH IN FIJI
    Journalism Education Association (JEA): 6 December 2000 *Link
    By David Robie
    On 19 May 2000, an insurrection led by failed businessman George Speight and six renegade members of the élite First Meridian special forces squadron engulfed the Fiji Islands in turmoil for the next three months. In the early weeks of the insurrection, the media enjoyed an unusually close relationship with Speight and the hostage-takers, raising ethical questions. This paper examines the reportage of the coup and the media controversy leading to the insurrection.
    Reaction

    (Hear David Robie on Radio Australia's Pacific Beat)


  • ARCHIVE INDEX


    21 July 2001

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