CURRENT HEADLINES Wednesday, 21 January 2009
- FREE EXPRESSION
WRITER LATEST VICTIM IN CRACKDOWN ON CYBER-DISSIDENTS
Pacific Media Watch/RSF: 20 December 2002
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) has voiced its outrage at the arrest of writer and poet Liao Yiwu, the latest cyber-dissident to fall victim to the current crackdown by the Chinese authorities. Liao was arrested by officers of the public security ministry at his home in Chengdu, in the southwest province of Sichuan. Officials have not yet said why he was arrested.
RIVAL PACIFIC MEDIA BODIES TO MERGE
Radio Australia's PacificBeat: 12 December 2002
The two major media organisations in the South Pacific - the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and the Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association (PIBA) - seem set to merge, ending what at times has appeared to be almost a war between their respective secretariats.
AUSTRALIA'S HIGH COURT RULING JEOPARDISES FREE EXPRESSION ON INTERNET
Pacific Media Watch: 12 December 2002
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières) has voiced deep concern about the Australian High Court's ruling yesterday that online publishers can be sued for libel in the countries where they are read and where the plaintiff's reputation is at risk, rather than in the countries where the publication originates. The decision was taken in connection with Australian mining businessman Joseph Gutnick's libel suit over an article published online in August 2000 by the US magazine Barron's, owned by the Dow Jones news group
THINK JOURNALISM: JOURNALISTS ON JOURNALISM
University of Queensland Journalism Programme: 11 December 2002
Five student journalists - two Australian, two Norwegian and one South African - at the University of Queensland have set up a website on what makes journalists passionate about their profession. This is course project as part of a multimedia journalism module. They have interviewed 12 international journalists for the project - Amy Bowers - cameraperson; Carlito Caminha - print journalist Talitakum; Evan Benn - staff writer The Miami Herald; Darrell Giles - print journalist The Sunday Mail; Dirck Halstead - photojournalist/editor The Digital Journalist; Michael Kennedy - freelance journalist; Trish Lake - journalist/producer/editor; Julian McKinlay King - freelance journalist; Susan Maushart - print columnist The Weekend Australian Magazine; Rosemary Neill - print journalist The Australian; David Robie - senior lecturer in journalism, Auckland University of Technology; and Iden Wetherell - print journalist Zimbabwe Independent.
'TONGAN THREE' AWARDED US$26,000 IN DAMAGES FOR WRONGFUL JAILING
Taimi 'o Tonga/Pacific Media Watch: 9 December 2002
Two Tongan journalists and a leading pro-democracy MP have been awarded US$26,000 in damages by Tonga's Supreme Court against the Government of Tonga and Police Minister Clive Edwards for a "grave injustice" in 1996. Kalafi Moala, now an Auckland-based newspaper publisher, Filo 'Akau'ola of the Taimi 'o Tonga newspaper, and pro-democracy MP and publisher 'Akilisi Pohiva were awarded the damages by Supreme Court Justice Ford for general and aggravated damages for their wrongful imprisonment.
NEW RAINBOW WARRIOR DOCO MAKES 'UNEASY VIEWING' IN PACIFIC
Pacific Media Watch: 4 December 2002
A new Canadian television documentary about the sinking of the Greenpeace environmental ship Rainbow Warrior by French state terrorists in 1985 has shed fresh light on the conspiracy. The 47-minute programme, Death of a Warrior, produced by Barner-Alper Productions Inc as part of the Canadian History television series, includes interviews with former New Zealand prime minister David Lange and then chief police investigator Alan Galbraith.
MADANG POLICE BEAT UP PNG JOURNALISM EDUCATOR
The National/Pacific Media Watch: 2 December 2002
Police have assaulted and verbally abused a prominent Papua New Guinean newspaper columnist and journalism educator for reporting on their role in evicting settlers from Madang town. Kevin Pamba, The National's columnist and a Divine Word University lecturer who covered the eviction exercise carried out last week, said he feared for his life.
TREASON TRIAL TO 'ESTABLISH LINKS' BETWEEN REBEL JOURNALIST AND POLITICIAN
Pacnews/Pacific Media Watch: 26 November 2002
The state prosecution in the Fiji treason trial will attempt to establish that the two defendants, politician Ratu Timoci Silatolu and journalist/publicist Jo Nata, knew about the planned overthrow of the Fiji Government in advance. State prosecutor Peter Ridgeway in his opening statement said evidence to be tendered during the trial would include phone records that showed Silatolu and Nata were in constant contact weeks before the coup and "so many times on the night and morning" of 19 May 2000.
FORMER PM MORAUTA TO SUE THE NATIONAL
The National: 19 November 2002
By Yehiura Hriehwazi
Papua New Guinea's former Ombudsman Commissioner Angau Wangatau yesterday refused to comment on an alleged meeting in 1999 between himself, ex-prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta and former NPF chairman Jimmy Maladina. Morauta, who is now Opposition Leader, said in a one-paragraph statement that he had instructed his lawyers to "begin defamation proceedings against The National newspaper, its editor (Mr Yehiura Hriehwazi) and Mr Jimmy Maladina.
The contentious report >>
FIJI NEWSPAPER STAFF WALK OFF JOBS
Pacnews/Pacific Media Watch: 19 November 2002
About 60 unionised staff at Fiji's Daily Post newspaper have walked off their jobs in protest at working conditions, Pacnews reports. The workers, all members of the Fiji Public Service Association (FPSA), are demanding the removal of general manager Yashwant Goundar. They say the Post has breached the country's labour laws by failing to pay them superannuation and other entitlements. The strike has halted production on the paper.
PACIFIC STUDENT REPORTERS HONOURED IN USP AWARDS
Pacific Media Watch: 18 November 2002
Third-year Fiji journalism student Joe Yaya has won the Tanoa Award for the journalism student of the year at the annual University of the South Pacific journalism awards. Yaya also won the the Caines Jannif Best In-depth Reporting Story Prize for 2002 "for investigative research and reporting of a consistently high standard in covering the ACP summit, the USP student association finances and the mahogany industry".
PORN VIA SATELLITE
ABC's Pacific Beat: 15 November 2002
By Isabelle Genoux
Satellite television has brought the world to the remote islands of the Pacific but is it a blessing or a curse? TNS - Tahiti Nui Satellite TV - is a multi-channel service funded by the territorial government in French Polynesia. It was launched two years ago to provide a variety of television programs to the outer islands, and it now boasts 10,000 customers. But in the so-called bouquets, or clusters of channels on offer, there is some unwelcome - yet apparently very popular - programming.
SUN LOOKS ABROAD FOR SKILLS. MENTORS
Pacific Media Watch: 14 November 2002
By Cordula Greuel
Recruiting journalists from overseas is one of the options being considered by the new publisher of Fiji's The Sun, Michael Richards, to make up for what he says is a lack of skills and experience available locally, reports Wansolwara.
'CRITICS SLAM PINA NIUS ONLINE 'HYPOCRISY
Pacific Media Watch: 8 November 2002
By David Robie
Rival Pacific news services and media critics are fuming over a Fiji-based news magazine's columnist, accusing her of self-serving bias, misrepresentation and hypocrisy. The column, "Here is the news about all [that] regional news", written by Islands Business editor-in-chief Laisa Taga in the latest edition of her monthly magazine, purported to be a review of the region's news agencies.
Open letter by Mat Oakley, of Pacnews >>
FIFTEEN ELITE FIJIAN SOLDIERS FOUND GUILTY OF MUTINY
Pacific Media Watch: 6 November 2002
A military court in Fiji has found 15 elite soldiers guilty of mutiny. The men, all members of the Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit, had attempted to overthrow the leadership of Commodore Frank Bainimarama in November 2000, by launching an assault on the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in which eight soldiers died.
"Rebel soldier gets life for instigating mutiny" >>
ASSISTANT INFORMATION MINISTER SIMIONE KAITANI'S CLAIM 'LAUGHABLE'
Pacific Media Watch: 6 November 2002
A claim by Fiji's Assistant Information Minister Simione Kaitani that he is an innocent and does not understand why a visa to the United States has been rejected as "laughable, Fiji's Daily Post reports. Fiji Labour Party spokeswoman and deposed minister Lavinia Padarath says Kaitani must already know the problem he is facing is trivial compared to the 37 days -- 56 days for my colleagues -- we spent as hostages in the Parliamentary complex.
MONOPOLY OR COMPETITION? THE CASE OF FIJI TV
Asia Pacific Network: 6 November 2002
By Dr Mahendra Reddy
The Fiji Parliament was recently enlightened with a debate on whether Fiji TVs monopoly status should be abolished or not. Government argued in support of Fiji TV promising the use of regulation to deliver what would otherwise be delivered by market forces. Is this possible? Should Fiji TV be allowed to maintain its monopoly status?
Also published in the Fiji Times, 2 November 2002
THE 'BLACK WORLD' SECRET WAR
Asia Pacific Network: 4 November 2002
Frustrated by intelligence failures, the Defence Department is dramatically expanding its 'black world' of covert operations. The Defence Department is building up an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organisations are being created.
"The Secret War" (LA Times) >>
GOVERNMENT DUPED BY 'US INVASION' WEBSITE SATIRE
Pacnews/Pacific Media Watch: 1 November 2002
A story about plans by the United States to invade Kiribati that has caused widespread concern in Tarawa and Christmas Island came from a New Zealand satirical website. Pacnews reports that the story, which led the Office of the President to issue a series of public broadcasts assuring the population that the planned "invasion" was not true, came from Spinner, a website featuring satirical "news" stories.
"Bush to invade Kiribati" >>
FOURTH ESTATE: OF CROAKING TOADS, LIARS AND RATBAGS
Wansolwara (USP)/Pacific Media Watch: 1 November 2002
By Shailendra Singh
Fiji seems determined to impose media legislation: "Over time, allegations of misconduct damage the media's integrity and credibility in the eyes of the public. By not taking heed of the grievances about standards, the media in Fiji can become its own worst enemy... Ultimately, addressing ethics seriously could be the media's best weapon against those who have a vested interest in controlling the media and are using the issue of media performance towards this end."
NEW RUSSIAN ANTI-TERRORISM LAW TIGHTENS GRIP ON MEDIA
Pacific Media Watch: 30 October 2002
Amidst the fallout from last week's hostage crisis in Moscow, which killed 117 people, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) are calling attention to growing restrictions on Russian media, including a new law restricting the media from reporting on anti-terrorist operations and publishing statements by terrorist groups.
Guardian Unlimited report on the new law >> | Other terrorism and media links >>
THE BALI BOMBING - ANTARA'S SPIN, BLAME ON WESTERN COUNTRIES
Pacific Media Watch: 27 October 2002
The Bali bombings could well have been the work of a foreign power because they showed not only good organisation but also signs of having been carried out by skilled demolition experts, say two local intelligence observers cited by Antara news agency. Big powers like the United States have a vested interest in controlling Indonesia because they know the country's strategic position, its natural resource and social richness, they say.
CPJ PROTESTS OVER SHOOTING ATTACK ON AUSTRALIAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST'S HOME
Pacific Media Watch: 27 October 2002
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the October 23 attack on Australian journalist Hedley Thomas and his family at their home in Brisbane, Thomas is a reporter with the Courier-Mail. An unidentified gunman fired four shots at Thomas' home, according to Australian media reports. No one was injured, although one bullet missed Thomas' wife, Ruth Mathewson, by only centimetres.
Sydney Morning Herald report on the attack >>
TVNZ NEWS STAR PAUL HOLMES BLASTS 'REIGN OF FEAR' BOSS
NZ Herald/Pacific Media Watch: 24 October 2002
Television New Zealand's highly paid current affairs host Paul Holmes has taken a swipe at departing TVNZ chairman Dr Ross Armstrong, saying he was feared within the company. Holmes described Dr Armstrong's reign at state-owned TVNZ as that of a "prissy bed-and-breakfast owner with a world view".
THE HELEN, ROSS AND ENRON SHOW - PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
Scoop: 23 October 2002
Archive of links to Scoop coverage of New Zealand's Ross Armstrong, Public Private Partnerships controversy: John Howards End: Creeping Encroachment Of Unaccountable Capitalism - For all their flaws, government institutions are at least partly controlled by democratically elected representatives, but if power leaks away from these institutions to unaccountable private institutions, then important decisions - including decisions for peace or war - might also escape public control altogether."
HIDDEN AGENDAS -- PALESTINE IS STILL THE ISSUE
John Pilger's website: 21 October 2002
John Pilger's latest film, Palestine Is Still The Issue, has been broadcast by ITV1 in the UK and SBS in Australia. It is due to be shown on TVNZ's One network on Monday, 21 October 2002. The film saw Pilger return to the Middle East, 25 years after first reporting from the region, to ask why Palestinians are still refugees in their own land.
TVNZ showing >> More about the film >>
- BALIBO FIVE
COOK IS JOURNO CALLS FOR FULL JUDICIAL INQUIRY ON MEDIA DEATHS
Pacific Media Watch: 19 October 2002
A Pacific journalist has expressed his dismay over what he describes as the hypocrisy over the Australian government's alleged role in a cover-up of the killings of the Balibo Five journalists by Indonesian soldiers in East Timor in 1975. Cook Islands-based Jason Brown says that Australia is in danger of being seen as "America's Pacific poodle".
JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH AND THE INDONESIAN CONNECTION
ABC Asia Pacific's Bali Report: 17 October 2002
Is the publicly available evidence sufficient to link Jemaah Islamiyah and its leader AbuBakar Ba'asyir to the Bali bombings? US and Australian governments argue normal laws of evidence cannot apply to terrorism cases. Islamic studies specialist at the Australian National University, Dr Greg Fealy is not convinced.
LETHAL HYPOCRISY - JOHN PILGER ON INDONESIA, THE BALI BOMBINGS AND IRAQ
John Pilger's website/Pacific Media Watch: 17 October 2002
For 40 years, Australian governments have colluded with state terrorism in Indonesia. Now, the Bali outrage allows John Howard to distract attention from his hypocrisy. The Australian prime minister says the atrocity on the island of Bali is "proof" that "the war against terrorism must go on with unrelenting vigour and with an unconditional commitment". What he means is that he will continue to perform his holier-than-Blair role as George W Bush's most devoted, if not universally recognised, foreign gang member.
- BALIBO FIVE
BALI TO BALIBO -- 27 YEARS OF LIES OVER THE DEATHS OF FIVE JOURNALISTS
Pacific Media Watch: 17 October 2002
by Shirley Shackleton
"The headlines scream: "Murder. Mayhem. Injury. Outrage - Australians Bombed in Bali". That this has occurred in the year of the 27th anniversary of the outrageous murders of five Australians in Balibo, East Timor, is a horrible irony of the first degree. Add two letters to Bali and imagine the following scenario ... "
Cook Is journalist Jason Brown's response >>
ABC ASIA-PACIFIC'S SPECIAL REPORT ON THE BALI BOMBING
ABC Asia-Pacific: 16 October 2002
Archive of updates, news reports and latest analysis on the fallout from the terrorist bomb attack on tourists in Bali, Indonesia.
MUSLIM CLERIC UNDER RENEWED PRESSURE AFTER BALI BOMBINGS - FILES $108m LIBEL SUIT AGAINST TIME MAGAZINE
Associated Press: 16 October 2002
By Ali Kotarumalos
The spiritual leader of an Islamic extremist organization has filed a US$107.6 million lawsuit against Time magazine for a report alleging he has links to terrorism. The lawsuit was filed as Indonesia comes under increasing pressure to arrest the cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir, on suspicions that his group, Jemaah Islamiyah, was involved in the October 12 deadly blast at a Bali nightclub. More stories >>
INVESTIGATORS PROBE BALI TERROR ATTACK
BBC World Online: 14 October 2002
Investigations have begun into the bomb blast on the Indonesian island of Bali that ripped through a nightclub on Saturday night, killing 187 people and injuring 309.
PEACE JOURNALISM MODEL FOR CONFLICT REPORTING
Pacific Media Watch/The Jakarta Post: 13 October 2002
By Soeryo Winoto
"It is not easy for a reporter to cover conflicts and report on them in a neutral manner that is capable of pleasing and satisfying both warring groups, without the insertion of personal opinions based on the reporter's religion and ethnicity. Whereas media reports are expected to contribute in toning down the situation on the battlefield, reporters, editors and media owners are said to have their own "visions and missions". Following various conflicts across the world, the term "peace journalism" was coined in a bid to remind the media to side with humanity and, at the least, not to contribute to the worsening of a conflict situation."
STUDENT NEWSPAPER IN GUN OVER DRUG RAPE ARTICLE
Pacific Media Watch/New Zealand Herald: 10 October 2002
By Dita De Boni
Police are investigating a complaint about a drug-rape article in the Auckland University student newspaper Craccum. The article, entitled "Craccum rates the rape drugs: a guide to getting a quality lay for the old, the ugly, the poor and the uncool", was published on 16 September 2002, shortly after the university's week-long Womensfest celebrations.
CONTROVERSY OVER PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT 'REORGANISATION'
Pacific Media Watch/PIR: 9 October 2002
Professor emeritus Ron Crocombe, author and a former centre director of the University of the South Pacific, has become the latest regional commentator to express support for Pacific Islands Report in the controversy over 'reorgabisation' of its website.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE PACIFIC: DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER
Asia-Pacific Network/Pacific Weekly Review: 30 September-October 6, 2002
By David Robie
Many Pacific Islands neophyte journalists face a baptism of fire. It often takes raw courage to be a journalist in the Pacific. The former USP journalism coordinator writes about media issues after recently ending a decade of journalism education in the region.
TONGAN PRESS CRUSADER KALAFI MOALA WINS MEDIA FREEDOM AWARD
Pacific Media Watch: 28 September 2002
A New Zealand-based Tongan newspaper publisher who has crusaded for democracy in his island kingdom and been jailed for contempt of Parliament has been awarded the new Pacific Media Freedom Award. Kalafi Moala has been presented with the inaugural award by the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) at an Auckland dinner after being earlier in the day re-elected chairman of the year-old group.
David Robie's Pacific web publishing workshop >>
MEDIA IN CONSTANT BATTLE OVER PRESS FREEDOM, SAYS PACIFIC WEEKLY
Pacific Media Watch: 27 September 2002
Pacific news media is waging a "constant battle" against government pressure and sometimes within itself - but remains a vital barometer of the region's well-being, reports Pacific Weekly Review. A six-page cover story on press freedom by the new Port Vila-based regional newspaper focuses on Cook Islands attempts to stifle scrutiny, the "big lies" of politicians over the Pacific solution on asylum seekers and the war on terrorism, and a bitter exchange between media commentators.
SAMOAN PUBLISHER CHALLENGES POLITICIANS TO 'TRUST' PACIFIC MEDIA
Pacific Media Watch: 27 September 2002
Outspoken Samoan publisher Savea Sano Malifa has called on Pacific politicians to trust the region's media and to have more respect for the role of press freedom in democracy. Asking whether there was such a thing as media freedom in the Pacific at a conference of islander news people, Malifa cited various constitutions, saying "but in most of these nations, this freedom appears to be found only on paper".
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
Asia-Pacific Network/The Independent/the Listener: 28 September-October 4, 2002
By Robert Fisk
George Bush wants you to forget some rather inconvenient facts about our new old enemy. The result can only be catastrophic. America's case for war built on blindness, hypocrisy and lies.
- WEST PAPUA
MOUNTING EVIDENCE INDONESIAN MILITARY ARE BEHIND KILLINGS
Green-Left Weekly: 28 September 2002
By James Balowski
Three weeks after the fatal shooting of two Americans and an Indonesian from the Freeport gold and copper mine in Indonesia's eastern-most province of West Papua, the identity of the perpetrators is still unclear. But there is mounting evidence that the Indonesian military are responsible.
LOCAL NEWS GROUPS, PINA GAG PEOPLE FIRST NET
Pacific Media Watch: 18 September 2002
Local news media groups have gagged People First Net, a Solomon Islands non-government organisation website carrying news and current affairs for grassroots community use. The UNDP-supported website posted a statement that it had been stopped from carrying locally sourced news, saying that "a free press and media is indeed struggling against a downward sliding economy".
PACIFIC 'GATEKEEPERS' CONDEMNED AT CONFERENCE
Australian Centre for Independent Journalism/Pacific Media Watch: 17 September 2002
Some Pacific news media industry leaders are manipulative and hostile towards the region's education and the Solomon Islands media is dominated by ethnic Malaitan gatekeepers, an Australian public right to know conference has been told.
Attack by PINA's Peter Lomas | Reply by David Robie | Reply by Duran Angiki
FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT BLASTS 'POLITICAL LIES'
Australian Centre for Independent Journalism/Pacific Media Watch: 16 September 2002
Leading Australian foreign correspondent Jeff McMullen has warned against being fooled by the "big lies" of politicians about the war on terrorism. Speaking at a Public Right to Know conference sponsored by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at the weekend, McMullen also blasted lies about the secret training of Digger troops as strike breakers, the Pacific "solution" on asylum seekers, and the lock-out of the media over harsh treatment of refugees in desert concentration camps.
POLICE ACCUSED OF COVER-UP IN MUTINY COURT MARTIAL
Wansolwara Online: 5 September 2002
Police in Fiji have been accused of intentionally destroying an interview tape of alleged mutiny leader, Captain Shane Stevens, which contained information against Police Commissioner Isikia Savua, some top military brass and politicians.
MOVES TO CURTAIL PRESS FREEDOMS
Radio Australia/Pacific Media Watch: 4 September 2002
In Indonesia, freedom of the press is under the spotlight with controversial plans by the government to prevent the rebroadcast of certain foreign programs on local media. Opponents say its a crude attempt at censorship. If the legislation gets through parliament later this month, it'll directly impact on news services from the BBC, Voice of America and Radio Australia.
PACIFIC ADVOCATE BLASTS FIJI TIMES OVER HIV/AIDS COVERAGE
Wansolwara Online/Pacific Media Watch: 4 September 2002
By Tara Chetty
Prominent Pacific HIV/AIDS advocate Maire Bopp Dupont has bitterly criticised a Fiji daily newspaper - the Fiji Times - over its "insensitive reporting" published with pictures today.
KILLINGS TEST CASE FOR TRANSPARENCY
The Australian: 3 September 2002
The shocking murder of three employees of the giant US-owned Freeport mine in West Papua on the weekend underscores the instability of our neighborhood. The portents are ominous.
MORE ON THE LISTENER AND NZ JOURNALISM IN THE PACIFIC
Fiji Times/PRI: 3 September 2002
By Michael Field
"Remember that infamous day in May 2000 when the New Zealand reporters ran out of Suva believing George Speight and his boys were out to get them? They fled to Pacific Harbour and filed their reports while the New Zealand Herald's team of five went all the way home to Auckland to be hailed as heroes -- by their own newspaper. Owned by Irish newspaper magnate Tony O'Reilly, a Herald subsidiary, the national weekly Listener magazine, last month returned to Fiji -- to slag it off."
Listener editor hits back at Michael Field
USP STUDENT JOURNALISTS COVER PACIFIC YOUTH CONGRESS
Wansolwara Online: 2 September 2002
By Matelita Ragogo and other USP journalists
Former University of the South Pacific journalism student, Maire Bopp, opens the Pacific Regional Youth Congress on HIV/AIDS, which has at least 250 participants from the region. Bopp was diagnosed with the HIV/AIDS virus towards the completion of her Bachelor of Arts degree in Suva. She revealed she contracted it from her boyfriend.
MEDIA BILL WILL PUT 'SPY' IN JAKARTA TV, RADIO
Pacific Media Watch: 1 September 2002
By Devi Asmarani
A Bill that involves placing a government 'spy' in broadcasting agencies here is likely to be passed next month by Parliament to regulate the electronic media. The Bill has been deliberated in the House for the past two years to regulate the rapidly growing broadcasting industry but is being opposed widely by operators of television and radio stations.
'SHABBY SUVA' AND OTHER TALES
Pacific Media Watch: 31 August 2002
Fiji's capital Suva is described as a "shabby dump" and the country portrayed as having a depressing future under the current regime in next week's edition of the Listener.
COURAGEOUS JOURNALIST LIVED ON THE EDGE
NZ Herald: 26 August 2002
By Ainsley Thomson and agencies
Alastair McLeod, the New Zealand journalist killed in a vehicle accident in Afghanistan, was an adventurer who thrived on taking risks, say friends and colleagues.
- SOLOMON IS
FORMER POLICE COMMISSIONER FRANK SHORT SETS RECORD STRAIGHT
Pacific Islands Report: 23 August 2002
By Frank Short
"When speaking at the World Media Freedom Day seminar held at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, during May this year, Dr Tarcisius K Tara, the well-known Solomon Islands politics lecturer, spoke about the Pacific media's democracy role... It became a common theme of journalists like Michael Field of AFP and even Mary-Louise O'Callaghan of The Australian, to add to their articles on the unfolding Solomon's crisis, that 'I had done most of my policing in apartheid South Africa,' or references to being 'straight out of South Africa'."
NZ's NIU FM NATIONAL NETWORK READY TO HIT AIRWAVES
NZ Herald: 22 August 2002
By Louisa Cleave
New Zealand's first Pacific Island radio network is counting down the days to its first broadcast.The government-funded Niu FM will broadcast mainly in English and initially reach 85 percent of the country on 103.8fm, when it is launched on Saturday.
PACIFIC'S POWERFUL CHIEFS CLASH WITH DEMOCRACY
Pacific Islands Report/AFP: 21 August 2002
By Michael Field
Pacific Island chiefs, resentful about sharing power with commoners, like to call democracy a "foreign flower" and this week the Commonwealth tried to persuade them they needed it.
UNSTABLE GOVERNMENT FACES IMMEDIATE PRESSURES
World Socialist Website: 21 August 2002
By Will Marshall
Papua New Guinea's longest serving politician, Sir Michael Somare, has emerged as prime minister after the most violent and corrupt elections in the country's 27-year history. Heading an unstable coalition of 13 parties and 20 independent MPs, he immediately confronts demands from business and Australia, the former colonial ruler, for drastic austerity measures that will lead to further social breakdown.
CLARK'S ACID REFLECTS CAMPAIGN BITTERNESS
NZ Herald: 17 August 2002
By Audrey Young
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark appears to find journalists disagreeable at present, especially if they are Australians. A reporter from the radio station 2UE covering the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji found this at a press conference.
Michael Field on Pacific leaders' fight over officials, Greenpeace influence
33rd Forum communiqué
PACIFIC SUMMIT CONSIDERS ISSUES, IDENTITY AND CRISIS WITH AUSTRALIA
Pacific Islands Report/AFP: 14 August 2002
By Michael Field
One of the world's smaller summit organizations, born out of anger over French atmospheric nuclear testing, will hold its 31st annual gathering this week puzzled at its meandering slide into irrelevancy. It has s created its own problem by successfully farming out to other institutions all its once big issues -- economic, fisheries, environment, tourism and education. And now its biggest problem is whether to give its top job to an Australian.
LETTER FROM ELSEWHERE - BACK TO THE FUTURE
Scoop (NZ): 14 August 2002
By Anne Else
"Where you as bemused as I was by the New Zealand election? All of sudden, thanks mainly to a media beat-up about the way 100 undecided Auckland voters twiddled their knobs, an virtually unknown little designer party called United Future NZ shot up from almost nothing to over 6 percent. The final tally was eight MPs, most of them formerly associated with what was once the Christian Coalition."
- EAST TIMOR
GUSMAO WANTS TRIAL OVER DUTCH JOURNALIST'S MURDER HELD IN EAST TIMOR
Scoop (NZ): 14 August 2002
East Timor President Xanana Gusmao says any trial for the murder of Dutch journalist Sander Thoenes should be held in his country.
WELCOME TO THE PACIFIC CENTURY ... AND THE FIRST ISSUE OF PACIFIC WEEKLY REVIEW
Pacific Review Weekly/Pacific Media Watch: 13 August 2002
By Ben Bohane
The Pacific Weekly Review will be uniquely placed to offer a variety of Pacific perspectives on the issues affecting us all. It will canvass the views of Big Men and grassroots alike and aims to be a community newspaper where everyone can have a say.
SOMARE ABANDONS PRIVATISATION
The Australian: 12 August 2002
By Mary-Louise O'Callaghan
Papua New Guinea's new Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has halted the controversial multi-million-dollar privatisation programme of his predecessor, Mekere Morauta. In his first major policy move since taking office a week ago, Somare says that the freeze will include the A$50 million sale of Telikom to a consortium led by its Fiji counterpart, finalised just days before he took office.
NEW CHAPTER FOR PACIFIC MAGAZINE - IT'S BACK TO THE FUTURE
Pacific Magazine: 11 August 2002
By Floyd K. Takeuchi
In the 20 months since Pacific magazine and Islands Business have published in tandem under the "Pacific" banner, "we've both learned from the partnership. As is the case in all relationships, we've learned what works and what doesn't work. Our experience - unique in contemporary Pacific Islands publishing, we think - has led us to go back to the future with this issue of our magazine. As of this month, we are restoring the Pacific Magazine banner as it used to be."
SOMARE SET TO DUMP AUSTRALIAN ASYLUM DEAL
Sydney Morning Herald: 10 August 2002
By Mark Forbes
Papua New Guinea is not prepared to detain more asylum seekers for Australia and is likely to end the agreement to hold them in a camp on Manus Island when it expires in October, says the new Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.
PUBLISHER KALAFI MOALA ACCUSES TONGAN AUTHORITIES OF PERSECUTION
Asia-Pacific Network: 2 August 2002
By David Robie
A Tongan newspaper publisher once jailed for contempt of Parliament in the autocratic Pacific kingdom has accused royal authorities of persecuting political dissidents and independent news media. And he says in a new book that the Tongan establishment viewed the Supreme Court judgement in 1996 that set him and his two fellow political detainees free from their Parliament-ordered imprisonment as a "New Zealand conspiracy".
PNG JUDGE SEVUA REJECTS VOTING EXTENSION
Courier-Mail/PIR: 31 July 2002
By Jim Baynes
A Papua New Guinea judge has slammed the electoral commissioner as the National Court rejected a last-minute bid for another extension to the disastrous national election. Electoral Commissioner Reuben Kaiulo suddenly asked the National Court if the results for 15 seats in the strife-torn Highlands could be submitted up to four days late.
- MEDIA: 'M-L' - JOURNALIST WITH A PACIFIC BEAT
Pacific Media Watch: 28 July 2002
By Ian Boden
"For choice, she lives on a tiny South Pacific island named Bellona. That's Mary-Louise O'Callaghan's slice of heaven, one that she shares with her husband Joses Tuhanuku and their four children. Not that she gets to see as much of home as she would wish, for this journalist calls the whole South Pacific her beat, and stories can crop up anywhere from French Polynesia to Indonesian Papua, and just about every little atoll in between."
- MEDIA: SURABAYA POST, INDONESIAN OBSERVER CLOSE OVER FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
Pacific Media Watch: 23 July 2002
The Surabaya Post, a long-running daily newspaper published in East Java, and Indonesia's oldest English language daily, The Indonesian Observer, have folded because of financial problems.
- DEVELOPMENT: SOUTH PACIFIC REPORT CRITICISES AUSTRALIAN POLICY
ABC News Online: 19 July 2002
By Graeme Dobell
So much for the fabled South Sea island paradise. An Australian defence think-tank says the South Pacific is turning into a slow-motion disaster of ethnic and tribal violence, economic decline and political corruption. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute says the Solomon Islands is a failed state and Papua New Guinea is dysfunctional.
- ECONOMICS: SOUTH PACIFIC NATIONS AT THE CROSSROADS
Oceania Flash: 19 July 2002
By Patrick Decloitre
Pacific nations along with their African and Caribbean partners explore ways of setting up a new kind of economic partnership with its major partner and benefactor, the European Union.
- MEDIA: JOURNO'S JOURNO EDITS NEW PACIFIC ISLANDS REGIONAL NEWSPAPER
The Independent (NZ): 17 July 2002
By David Robie
As newspapers in the South Pacific struggle to remain afloat in the face of political and economic crises, a new independent regional weekly is about to take on all-comers. Mock-ups of the new Vanuatu-based Pacific Weekly Review reveal a stylish newspaper with wide-ranging political, economic, business and social content and dramatic photojournalism.
- TERRORISM: US PROBE EYES FIJI
Washington Post.com: 16 July 2002
US diplomats in Fiji are investigating media reports that two of the September 11 hijackers were living in this South Pacific nation before taking part in the terrorist attacks, according to embassy sources. State-owned Radio Fiji broadcast that US intelligence agencies believe two of the terrorists entered the United States from Fiji, where they had lived for six months. It did not name the alleged terrorists or the source of the report.
- TERRORISM: ABU SAYYAF LIKELY TO "RISE AGAIN" IN PHILIPPINES
Pacific Islands Report: 15 July 2002
Growing poverty, lack of education and ineffective leadership in the Southern Philippines will make it easy for Abu Sayyaf to recruit and emerge once again to raise fear in residents there, says an expert on Mindanao. "The Abu Sayyaf is too weak to be a force now, but they will rise again if conditions remain the same," says Marites Danguilan Vitug, editor-in-chief of Newsbreak, a leading news magazine in the Philippines. "It's happened before."
- MEDIA: WORLD IN CRISIS, MEDIA IN CONFLICT
MediaChannel: 14 July 2002
The battle for hearts and minds continues as war and terrorism threaten worldwide. How can we understand the role of the media in this global crisis? Vital reports, insightful commentary and key resources from the global MediaChannel network.
- MEDIA: THE PINA PAPERS
Pacific Islands Report/Radio Australia: 12 July 2002
In response to an article by Pacnews reporter Mat Oakley and circulated on the news service following a bitter attack by Islands Business publisher Robert Keith-Reid against the USP Journalism programme and David Robie broadcast on RA's Pacific Beat, PINA distributed a propaganda sheet. Both Mat Oakley and David Robie responded on Pacific Islands Report and questioned the credibility of PINA's regional training planner Peter Lomas and the role of aid donors.
- TERRORISM: JOHN PILGER ON THE SIEGE OF IRAQ
Pilger.Carlton.com: 10 July 2002
By John Pilger
"Freedom of the press" is a phrase that sounds well. But in the world of George W Bush and Enron, freedom is not meant to be that free. "George W Bush's policy of bomb first and find out later has killed double the number of civilians who died on 11 September. The USA is now the world's leading rogue state."
- HEALTH: END OF IDYLL AS AIDS SOARS IN SOUTH PACIFIC
The Independent (UK): 10 July 2002
By Kathy Marks
The South Pacific is just beginning to grapple with the problems that the West faced 20 years ago. The South Pacific, thanks to its relative isolation, is the last part of the world to be hit by the virus. The first cases were reported less than a decade ago, and the spread was initially slow. But Aids has now gained a significant foothold and is causing increasing concern, particularly in Papua New Guinea, where an African-scale tragedy is feared.
- MEDIA: COMMUNITY BROADCASTING 'SCARY' FOR INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT?
Pacific Media Watch: 8 July 2002
By Arya Gunawan
Is community broadcasting so scary in the government's eyes? State Minister for Communication and Information Syamsul Muarif has said that community broadcasting can provoke racial, ethnic, and religious conflicts in such a diverse nation like Indonesia.
- MEDIA: MEDIA FREEDOM DEPENDS ON BETTER TRAINING, COMMITMENT - AND PAY
Pacific Media Watch: 5 July 2002
"There can be no press freedom if journalism exists in conditions of corruption, poverty and fear," declares the website of the International Federation of Journalists in a message that resonates with the South Pacific. This is timely, with journalists at a Port Vila, Vanuatu, media workshop this week being told how vital enterprising journalism and reporting is in uncovering corruption in the region.
- MEDIA: BEATEN INDONESIAN PHOTOGRAPHERS ASKED TO IDENTIFY POLICE INVOLVED
Pacific Media Watch: 5 July 2002
Four photographers who have been beaten by police during a demonstration in Jakarta will be summoned by police to help identify the alleged attackers.
- MEDIA: PACIFIC REPORTING
Radio Australia's Pacific Beat: 5 July 2002
By James Panichi
Journalism standards in the Pacific are under fire, as an outspoken media lecturer leaves Fiji. Since the early 1990s, the University of the South Pacific's School of Journalism, in Fiji, has been one of the most important training grounds for aspiring Pacific reporters. The school's emphasis on investigative reporting and government accountability has produced a generation of young journalists, now working at media outlets throughout the region. But for the man behind the course, New Zealand journalist David Robie, it hasn't always been smooth sailing. Online report following up on earlier audio report.
- MEDIA: JOURNALISTS WELCOME LANDMARK VICTORY FOR UNION RIGHTS
Pacific Media Watch: 4 July 2002
The International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists' organisation today welcomed the European Court of Human Rights ruling in favour of British journalist Dave Wilson. Wilson, a former Daily Mail subeditor who was denied a pay rise for refusing to sign a contract preventing him from being represented by a union, has won his case at the European Court of Human Rights.
- MEDIA: TEMPO SUES LAWYER FOR SLANDER
Pacific Media Watch: 3 July 2002
The weekly news magazine Tempo has countersued lawyer Lucas, saying he damaged the magazine's reputation and obstructed press freedom.
- MEDIA: TUVALU MEDIA TOLD TO BE MORE VIGILANT
Pacific Media Watch: 30 June 2002
Non-government organisations insist Tuvalu government's tight control over the local media industry is stifling the freedom of expression in the country.
- MEDIA: ROBIE'S LEGACY OUTLASTS CRITICS
Pacnews/Fiji Daily Post/Pacific Media Watch: 30 June 2002
By Mat Oakley
During his time at the University of the South Pacific, Journalism Coordinator David Robie endured numerous attacks from some senior sections of the Fiji press and one Pacific media organisation. What was behind it and why were they so intent on getting rid of him? Just before Robie left Fiji, he told his side of the story and why he believes personal agendas are corrupting media in the Pacific.
- MEDIA: TUVALU GOVERNMENT DENIES TV DEAL WITH AH KOY
Pacific Media Watch: 30 June 2002
The Tuvalu Government has denied working with Fiji businessman Jim Ah Koy to set up a nationwide television service.
- MEDIA: RADIO FREE BOUGAINVILLE BACK ON AIRWAVES
- Pacific Media Watch: 28 June 2002
Bougainville rebel leader Francis Ona's clandestine radio station Radio Free Bougainville has resumed broadcasting during the PNG election amid renewed tensions between ex-combatants.
- MEDIA: GUNS, GOONS, GOLD ... AND GOD - NEW BOOK
Pacific Media Watch: 28 June 2002
Filipinos know that traditional politicians keep a tight rein on their offices through guns, goons and gold. In the case of the Ecleo family of Surigao del Norte, add one more element: god. A profile on a new book.
- MEDIA: FIJI PUBLIC SERVICE WARNS CIVIL SERVANTS AGAINST MEDIA DISCLOSURES
Pacific Media Watch: 28 June 2002
Fiji's Public Service Commission has warned civil servants from disclosing their problems to media. This follows media reports on alleged abuse of public money by the Public Service Credit Union.
- MEDIA: SKATE DEPLORES BAN ON MEDIA
Pacific Media Watch: 26 June 2002
Former Papua New Guinea prime minister Bill Skate has embarked on courting the international community by pledging to end the outgoing Morauta Government's policy to refuse international journalists from entering the country.
- PNG: GENERAL ELECTION UPDATES AND ANALYSIS
Radio Australia's Asia-Pacific: 22-29 June 2002
General analysis, commentary and special reports on the PNG general election.
- MEDIA: MURDOCH GROUP CLOSES NZ'S LAST METRO DAILY
Pacific Media Watch: 25 June 2002
The Rupert Murdoch newspaper chain in New Zealand is closing the country's last metropolitan evening newspaper in what is being described as a "merger" by the publishers and an "axing" in a Radio New Zealand report. According to the New Zealand Herald, Wellington's two major newspapers will be merged to create a new morning newspaper, the Dominion Post, from next month.
- MEDIA: EDITORIAL - WORLD DENIED NEWS ON PNG POLL
Pacific Media Watch/Post-Courier: 18 June 2002
The international community is being denied news about the conduct of the Papua New Guinea general elections and no one in Government has offered any explanation for this. Overseas journalists, mostly Australians, have applied for PNG visas weeks ago to cover the elections for Australians as well as the rest of the international community.
- MEDIA: DAVID ROBIE AND ROBERT KEITH-REID CLASH OVER THEIR OPPOSING VIEWS OF PACIFIC JOURNALISM
Radio Australia's Pacific Beat: 17 June 2002
Compiled by James Panichi
Journalism standards in the Pacific are under fire, as an outspoken media lecturer leaves Fiji. Since the early 1990s, the University of the South Pacific's School of Journalism, in Fiji, has been one of the most important training grounds for aspiring Pacific reporters. The school's emphasis on investigative reporting and government accountability has produced a generation of young journalists, now working at media outlets throughout the region. But for the man behind the course, New Zealand journalist David Robie, it hasn't always been smooth sailing. Particularly in Fiji, Robie's uncompromising approach to reporting has attracted fierce criticism from local media practitioners. And now, David Robie has announced he will return to New Zealand, to take up a teaching post at the Auckland University of Technology. James Panichi examines his legacy.
- NEW CALEDONIA: INTERNET MONTAGE SPARKS RACISM CONTROVERSY
Oceania Flash/Pacific Media Watch: 14 June 2002
By Patrick Decloitre
The discovery of a racist internet-spread picture slide show including derogatory montage pictures of "Miss Kanaky" has sparked a controversy in New Caledonia. The digital document, a montage of the body of a Kanak woman in swimsuit, whose head had been replaced by that of a monkey, has stirred major protests in the French-ruled territory.
- MEDIA: MURDOCH MEDIA AND FIJI EDITORIALS HIGHLIGHTED IN LATEST PACIFIC JOURNALISM REVIEW
Pacific Journalism Review: 14 June 2002
Murdoch and other foreign domination of the New Zealand media, Fiji coup editorials, the Pacific "non solution" on refugees, and rural publishing in Papua New Guinea are featured in the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review released this week. "If the concentration of media control in Australia in 1993 was leading to a loss of liberty to dissent at a critical time in Australia, it is even more true of New Zealand today," writes researcher and analyst Bill Rosenberg.
- MEDIA: DAVID ROBIE TALKS TO THE DAILY POST ABOUT 'TOO MUCH LIP SERVICE' FOR TRAINING BY THE INDUSTRY
Daily Post: 11 June 2002
As told to Ana Tudrau
Several important developments have occurred in recent months strengthening an enhancing the University of the South Pacifics Journalism programme in its relatively young life. Senior lecturer David Robie, who has been coordinating the journalism programme since 1998, leaves shortly for New Zealand. He tells why he is leaving, what the programme has achieved and its future plans.
- MEDIA: FORGET MEDIA FREEDOM RHETORIC - IT IS TIME TO ACT
Wansolwara (USP): June edition 2002
By David Robie
At this time of the year, there are the usual platitudes and rhetoric about "media freedom". The Fiji Times, for example, complained in an editorial about politicians with a "misguided theory" that Fiji was not ready for a critical and aggressive media because of the traditional system of values and its developing nation status. Quite rightly, the paper cited "countless examples of politicians in this country using the shoot-the-messenger tactic to soften the impact of their blunders or lies".
- MEDIA: $250,000 BUILDING PROJECT PLANS FOR USP JOURNALISM
Wansolwara (USP): June edition 2002
By Tara Chetty
Work on a new F$250,000 building for the University of the South Pacifics journalism programme is expected to start early next year. The new building including Radio Pasifik will be a major boost for the rapidly growing programme, and is the result of hard lobbying by departing coordinator David Robie. We will soon have a new building, which is being planned at the moment. We hope it will be ready by the time of the South Pacific Games next July, Robie told Wansolwara. So things are looking pretty good in terms of facilities.
- MEDIA: USP FAREWELLS OUTGOING JOURNALISM COORDINATOR
Wansolwara Online: 4 June 2002
The University of the South Pacific community has officially farewelled its outgoing coordinator of the journalism programme, David Robie, at a luncheon hosted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra and the universitys management staff. Senior Lecturer in Journalism Robie, 57, is moving to New Zealand for health and family reasons and will be joining the largest communications school in New Zealand the School of Communications Studies at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) after developing the University of the South Pacific's fledgling Journalism programme for almost five years.
- FIJI: RACIAL PARADOX - BRIDGING THE ETHNIC DIVIDE BY WIDENING THE GULF
Asia-Pacific Network: 4 June 2002
By Sanjay Ramesh
Is it the widening economic gulf between Indo-Fijians and indigenous Fijians the root cause of the events of 2000? The Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party (SDL) led Coalition seem to have developed a theme around this question to justify first the 'blueprint for supremacy' and then the Social Justice Bill. But at a closer look, the gulf between the two communities remains because of failed indigenous Fijian leadership.
- SOLOMON IS: MILITANTS TURNED STUDENTS: 'GIVE UP THE GUN' PLEA TO COMRADES
Wansolwara: 4 June 2002
By Florence Kuali and Moffat Mamu
Two key former Solomon Island militants from opposing camps - who are now University of the South Pacific students - have called on their former comrades to give up arms and come together in forgiveness, reconciliation and nation-building. In an exclusive interview with Wansolwara, George Gray of the Isatabu Freedom Movement and Eddie Konairamo of the Malaita Eagle Force said the crisis had dragged on long enough. The arms amnesty ended on May 31.
- POLITICS: FIJI COUP FADES BUT RIVALRIES STAY
The Australian/Pacific Islands Report: 28 May 2002
By Mary Louise O'Callaghan
Where are they now, the faces of Fiji's coup? The shaven-headed, fast-talking, camera-loving George Speight? The frail and ageing former president Ratu Kamisese Mara? The smooth-talking, fast-thinking Lieutenant Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini? Two years after Fiji's parliament was stormed by gunmen, the tourists are back, fresh elections have been held and the economic outlook is bright (latest forecasts put Fiji's economic growth higher than that of Australia's at 4.4 per cent) but much remains unresolved in the South Pacific nation.
POLITICS: NEW ZEALAND - HOW SHOULD IT VIEW ITS PACIFIC NEIGHBOURS?
New Zealand Herald/Pacific Islands Report: 25 May 2002
By Greg Ansley
he first coup in Fiji took us by surprise. So did the second. Then, more than a decade later, we were again staggered by George Speight's insurrection. The crisis in the Solomons came as a bolt from the blue; Tonga has astonished us with reports of corruption and arms smuggling aboard ships flying its flag; Nauru, Niue and Vanuatu face OECD sanctions over the laundering of billions of crime dollars; and Tuvalu is threatening to sue polluting nations whose greenhouse gas emissions are submerging its islands.
- TONGA: MEDIA, POLITICIANS FACE CHARGES FOR LETTER ON KING TAUFA'AHOU TUPOU IV'S WEALTH
Agence-France Presse/Pacific Media Watch: 14 May 2002
By Michael Field
A Tonga court is due to begin hearing sedition charges against politicians and journalists accused of forging a letter said to have revealed a secret multi-million-dollar fortune held by King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV. At a preliminary hearing in Nukualofa, Magistrate Faletau Mohenoa will determine whether there is a case to answer before a higher court. The government failed in a bid to have almost all of the preliminary hearings held in secret.
- FIJI: BUSINESSMEN CALL FOR EXPAT POLICE CHIEF
Asia-Pacific Network: 29 April 2002
By David Robie
Leading Fiji businessmen are fed up with slackness in the country's post-coup law enforcement and have called for an expatriate police chief - "preferably an Englishman".
- FIJI POLITICS: TWO LAND BILLS PASSED AMID CLAIMS OF 'SINISTER MYTHS'
Pasifik Nius/Wansolwara Online: 27 April 2002
Two controversial bills over Fiji indigenous land have been passed by the Senate amid claims that the Indo-Fijian tenant community had been cast as a scapegoat as a 'hidden, sinister threat". Academic, researcher and filmmaker Dr Atu Emberson-Bain, an opposition Labour senator, told the Upper House there had been no dispute over the critical issue of indigenous land rights.
- MEDIA: FIJI POLICE RAID AND THREATS AGAINST JOURNALISTS UNDER FIRE
Pacific Media Watch: 23 April 2002
A police raid on a journalist's home and a threat of arrest against a senior reporter in the past week have stirred widespread condemnation, according to news reports. Both journalists threatened in an attempt to force them to reveal their sources are on the staff of the Daily Post, one of Fiji's three national daily newspapers
- MEDIA: ROW OVER 'OPEN' REPORTING AT AUSAID-FUNDED FIJI MEDIA WORKSHOP
Pacific Media Watch: 20 April 2002
A Fiji Times reporter has been ordered out of an Ausaid-funded media workshop designed to "open up" communication between journalists and cabinet ministers in an incident stunning local news people, according to reports. Reporter Frederica Elbourne was excluded from the workshop by an angry Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association (PIBA) chief executive, Jese Sikivou, who was unhappy with her front page report about reporters being barred.
- EAST TIMOR: PRESIDENT-ELECT XANANA GUSMAO AND LEADERS LOOK TO THE FUTURE
BBC Online: 18 April 2002
East Timor's President elect, Xanana Gusmao, has met the future Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, in an attempt to smooth the troubled relations between himself and Alkatiri's Fretilin party. In a meeting attended by the UN chief in the territory, Sergio Vieira de Mello, they agreed to discuss the transition to independence on 20 May and the celebrations themselves, as well as prepare for a meeting at the UN Security Council.
- EDUCATION: ACADEMIC FREEDOM ROW ROCKS MAJOR NZ UNIVERSITY
Pasifik Nius/AUS Tertiary Update: 18 April 2002
A New Zealand Herald editorial says the Vice-Chancellor of Auckland University, Dr John Hood, was "skating on the thinnest of ice when he told staff they would be fired if caught making disparaging comment about colleagues to outsiders". Noting that while "speaking with one voice" is the cultural norm of successful companies, the newspaper says it is one that is alien and inappropriate for universities.
- MEDIA: HOW FREE IS THE PNG MEDIA - AN ETHICAL CONTROVERSY OVER REFUGEE PICTURES
Pacific Media Watch/Radio Australia's Pacific Beat: 18 April 2002
By James Panichi
Media coverage of the Australian governments Pacific solution has sparked a debate over ethics and secrecy. The issue has been raised today by an Australian television journalist, who says the PNG government has deliberately denied foreign journalists visas to avoid scrutiny of its asylum-seeker detention center.
- LAND: THE LAND CONFLICT - SPECIAL USP JOURNALISM REPORT
Wansolwara Online: 17 April 2002
By Steve Sharp et al
An in-depth series of reports and analysis of the land issues facing Fiji prepared by University of the South Pacific journalism students in the wake of a three-day land symposium at the Laucala campus.
- MEDIA: WANSOLWARA PROFILES ON LEADING PACIFIC JOURNALISTS
Wansolwara (USP): April 2002 * Pictures
'Just the gun being pointed at you is scary' ... quote from Fiji Times photojournalist Asaeli Lave. The Bougainville photo is one of his award-winning pictures. The Wansolwara Insight Report also profiles Netani Rika, Virisila Buadromo, Ulafala Aiavao,Mary-Louse O'Callaghan, Savea Sano Malifa and Vasemaca Rarabici.
- LAND: WOMEN 'UNAWARE OF TENURE RIGHTS'
Pasifik Nius/Daily Post: 13 April 2002
By Earnest Heatley
Land and property ownership in Fiji is still mostly held by men while rural Indo-Fijian women continue to labour in the farms, have little say in family decision-making, and are mostly unaware that they have equal legal rights to men under the 1997 constitution.
- REFUGEES: ASYLUM SEEKERS WAITING IN THE PACIFIC
Radio Australia: 10 April 2002
By Kathy Leverett
How long will 1500 asylum seekers have to wait in detention in Nauru and Papua New Guinea? The Australian government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)has announced that more than 300 asylum seekers held in Pacific island detention centers have been found to be genuine refugees.
- POLITICS: ETHNO-NATIONALISM VITAL NEW FORCE IN FIJI, SAYS FIJIAN ACADEMIC
Wansolwara Online: 10 April 2002
Ethno-nationalism is going through fundamental changes in Fiji and is a powerful new force at the basis of political conflict in the country, says Dr Sitiveni Ratuva, research fellow at the Australian National University. He highlighted this during a seminar at the University of the South Pacific, entitled "The anatomy of a Frankensteinian monster: Rethinking ethno-nationalism and political conflict in Fiji".
- FIJI: INCEST AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE CRIMES STIR FIJI SOUL-SEARCHING
Asia Pacific Network: 4 April 2002
By David Robie
A recent spate of incest and violent sexual crime cases in Fiji has sparked unprecedented national soul-searching over the issue. But community bodies are undecided about whether there has been an actual increase in such crimes since the 2000 coup or women's non-government groups have become more effective in highlighting them along with pressure to reform Fiji's archaic laws.
- POLITICS: WHERE HAVE ALL THE PACIFIC JOURNO GRADUATES GONE
Wansolwara: April 2002
By Akka Rimon
Forty seven go into news or media-related jobs. Others opt for 'better career paths' in their double major options.
- MEDIA: PACIFIC ETHICS: ARE PUBLISHERS' POODLES THE WAY?
Wansolwara: April 2002
By David Robie
The Fiji Media Council's revised Code of Ethics is now posted on its new website. Comparisons with codes of ethics in other countries, including Papua New Guinea are at the International Journalists Net. The USP Regional Journalism Programme's independent resources on media law and ethics are on Pacific Journalism Online.
- POLITICS: TORIKA RAWLINSON SPEAKS OUT ABOUT LIFE WITH COUP FRONTMAN GEORGE SPEIGHT
Wansolwara: April 2002
By Kelera Muavesi and Lisa Tamanisau
Fiji's attempted coup d'etat on 19 May 2000, has left behind scars that can never be forgotten. This is the third time a coup has left untold damage, pain and suffering in the lives of those who have lost their loved ones and left many people jobless. Two women in the centre of the crisis tell their story.
- ENVIRONMENT: PARTNERS IN CRIME - MALAYSIAN LOGGING
Greenpeace: March 2002 *pdf 688k
Malaysian loggers, timber markets and the politics of self-interest in Papua New Guinea. A new Greenpeace report.
- FIJI: CITIZENS GROUP CONDEMNS QARASE OVER FIJI CONFLICT
Wansolwara Online: 19 March 2002
A Fiji civil society lobby group has condemned Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase for making Fijian language speeches fuelling controversy and conflict over the constitution. The Citizens Constitutional Forum also criticised the country's news media for adding confusion, claiming they lacked depth in reporting constitutional issues.
- MEDIA: JUSTICE OFFICIALS CONDEMN FIJI TIMES OVER INCEST HEADLINE
Pacific Media Watch: 16 March 2002
Fiji's Director of Public Prosecutions Office has branded a headline in the Fiji Times on an incest case as "another example of irresponsible, sensationalistic journalism", reports the Fiji Sun. Fiji news media have reported a spate of incest cases appearing before the courts in recent weeks, generating intense public debate about the social problem.
- MEDIA: CONTRADICTIONS OF CURRENT AFFAIRS JOURNALISM
(RN) The Media Report: 14 March 2002
with Mick O'Regan
"This week, we're trying to work out what makes a good current affairs story. What elements combine to make an item compelling? What are the angles and ideas behind contemporary reporting? What you can and can't say. In the immediate aftermath of Robert Mugabe's controversial election victory in Zimbabwe, we'll analyse a contentious Australian current affairs piece that effectively became part of the campaign. And later in the program I'll discuss current affairs with one of Australia's most distinguished television reporters: Chris Masters, from Four Corners. He's just written a fascinating book about the stories he couldn't put to air and how an idea is processed by the conventions of television journalism."
- MEDIA: FIJI SUN CHALLENGES 'DISTURBING NEWS' MOTIVES
Pasifik Nius: 14 March 2002
The Fiji Sun has challenged the timing of "disturbing news" in the Pacific country, linking the reports to a possible planned impact on a series of crucial constitutional cases. The newspaper also cited in an editorial a letter by resigned controversial officer Lieutenant-Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini that accused some in the military of continuing to "exploit the public feeling of insecurity" following the May 2000 putsch to "cover up abuse and excesses" in the country.
- HUMAN RIGHTS: FIJI SUN ALLEGES EXTORTION, TERROR BY FIJIAN LANDOWNERS
Wansolwara Online: 2 March 2002
The Fiji Sun newspaper has alleged a clan of Fijian landowners was extorting and terrorising Indo-Fijian farmers, and that a cabinet minister had tried to suppress the story. In a front page banner headline, "Censored: The story we weren't supposed to tell", the paper has exposed the plight of 85 Indian farmer families in the Sigatoka River valley.
- REFUGEES: ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC - THE IMPLICATIONS OF AUSTRALIA'S PACIFIC REFUGEE SOLUTION
Oxfam Australia: February 2002
At the beginning of the Tampa crisis in August 2001, the Australian government approached a number of neighbouring countries in the Pacific region, including Nauru, to establish offshore detention centres - the so-called "Pacific Solution". There are over 1,550 people currently held in detention centres in the Pacific who were seeking refuge in Australia. Independent visitors to the camp in Nauru have noted the harsh physical conditions, and the trauma and uncertainty faced by the asylum seekers - conditions that have sparked protests, riots and acts of self-harm in detention camps in Australia.
- MEDIA: INDONESIAN TEAM TO LEAVE FOR EAST TIMOR TO PROBE JOURNALIST'S MURDER
Pacific Media Watch: 27 February 2002
A team of Indonesian state prosecutors has gone to East Timor to investigate the murder of a Dutch journalist in September 1999. Barman Zahir, spokesman for the attorney general's office, said the four-member team was being led by the head of the West Timor attorney general's office, Abdul Muis Gassing.
- FIJI: BATTERED AND BRUISED, FIJI LEFT WONDERING WHAT COUP WAS ALL ABOUT
Agence France-Presse: 20 February 2002
By Michael Field
The plotters are in jail, the soldiers are in their barracks, Indians are leaving and the one big question is unanswered about the 2000 Fiji coup is unanswered -- what was that all about? Like some Pacific Napoleon Bonaparte in exile on Elba, Fiji's George Speight and his close lieutenants sit in luxury on a small tropical island awaiting yet another deal which will see them quietly released in due course.
- JUSTICE: PARDON MOVES UNDER FIRE FROM CCF
Wansolwara Online (USP): 19 February 2002
A pro-democracy Fiji citizens group has condemned a move to pardon coup frontman George Speight after he pleaded guilty to treason in the High Court and was given a mandatory death sentence. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison, but it is unlikely he will serve the full sentence. Citizens' Constitutional Forum executive director Rev Akuila Yabaki says: "It will mean that in future any person can commit treason in the name of indigenous nationalism and expect [a] pardon or reduced sentence from the head of state." Yabaki says the treason charge must apply to everybody who took an oath of loyalty, or administered an oath of loyalty, to anything other than the Fiji constitution after the Chaudhry government was taken hostage on 19 May 2000.
- JUSTICE: JAIL FOR FIJI REBELS
BBC Online: 19 February 2002
By Phil Mercer
Ten nationalist rebels who helped Fiji coup leader George Speight overthrow the country's first ethnic-Indian-led government have been jailed for periods of between 18 months and three years.
- JUSTICE: SPEIGHT DEATH PENALTY WAIVED
FijiLive: 18 February 2002
Fiji's Prerogative of Mercy Commission has commuted coup leader George Speight's death sentence and reduced it to life imprisonment. Earlier, Speight had been sentenced to death by hanging - the mandatory sentence for treason - after pleading guilty in the High Court before Justice Michael Scott.
BBC: Reprieve for coup leader
AFP: Coup leader Speight sentenced to death
- JUSTICE: FIJI APPEAL COURT RULES QARASE GOVERNMENT BREACHING CONSTITUTION
Agence France-Presse/PIR: 15 February 2002
By Michael Field
A five man panel of judges has plunged Fiji back into political instability by ruling that the Pacific nationÕs government was breaching its constitution and must include in its cabinet ranks members of the Labour Party whose government was deposed in a 2000 coup.
Commentary by Sanjay Ramesh
Full Court of Appeal judgment
- JUSTICE: TREASON JOURNALIST SUSPECT ASKS FOR BAIL
Pacific Media Watch: 15 February 2002
Rebel media spin doctor Josefa Nata, a former prominent journalism trainer, has asked the High Court to dump the treason charges against him and let him out on bail, according to the Fiji Times.
The press and the putsch controversy
- MEDIA: RABUKA DENIES FIJI TIMES JOURNALIST'S PATERNITY CLAIMS
Pacific Media Watch: 12 February 2002
Former Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka denies that he fathered a controversial Fiji Times journalist's child in spite of a paternity test presented as evidence, local newspapers report. While both the Fiji Times and The Sun reported on 12 February 2002 that Rabuka was called before Chief Magistrate Salesi Temo in his chambers in "an unusual move", the Daily Post reported in a front-page story the hearing was in the Domestic Court.
- MEDIA: FIJI TIMES BLASTS CHAUDHRY OVER 'HATE' MESSAGE
Pacific Media Watch: 11 February 2002
The Fiji Times has published a stinging attack on former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry over what it claims was a "message of hate" over neglect of the west - the country's economic heartland. "Chaudhry has no shame," said the paper in an editorial, saying that the Labour Party leader openly advocated provincialism at the weekend opening of a new $200,000 chiefly bure for Tui Ba Ratu Sairusi Nagagavoka.
Chaudhry replies - accuses Fiji Times of editorial malice
- MEDIA: 'NEW' RADIO PASIFIK HITS COMMUNITY AIRWAVES IN FIJI
Wansolwara Online: 11 February 2002
Radio Pasifik, the University of the South Pacific's campus-based station, has begun broadcasting with a fresh community and eclectic music style. "We want to be very distinctive and different from the mainstream radio stations in Fiji," new station manager and broadcaster Vilisi Nadaku told Wansolwara Online.
- TIME TO TALK: CORRUPTION AND THE RULE OF LAW IN THE PACIFIC
The National: 2 February 2002
The pressure to 'bend the rules' has been faced by many Pacific Island administrators. With new resource projects in logging, mining and commerce, corruption for the benefit of a few is on the rise. But what is corruption? Where does it fit within the wantok system and other kinship obligations? And can the legal system treat everyone equally?
- FIJI: New book: GOVERNMENT BY THE GUN
Pluto Press: January 2002
By William Sutherland and Robbie Robertson
An unresolved indigenous question surfaces with unprecedented intensity and virulence to fracture Fijians as never before. Now Fijians fight Fijians.Government by the Gun: The unfinished Business of Fiji's 2000 Coup examines the twists and turns of the 2000 putsch. It digs into Fiji's past to argue that Fiji's problems will never be resolved until its leaders abandon scapegoating and confront the real causes of Fijian disadvantage.
Sanjay Ramesh review:
Authors challenge orthodox view of indigenous Fijian identity
- HUMAN RIGHTS: JOHN PILGER BLASTS AUSTRALIAN POLICY OVER ASYLUM SEEKERS IN PACIFIC
The National: 25 January 2002
By John Pilger
Alas, all those warm millennium feelings towards Australia at the time of the Olympics are long forgotten as the Government of John Howard has, at a stroke, demolished the national image with racist and inhumane policies, shamelessly and aggressively implemented, currently against desperate refugees.
- BOUGAINVILLE: AUTONOMY VOTE PUT OFF IN PARLIAMENT
The National: 23 January 2002
By Thomas Kilala
The Papua New Guinea Government has been forced to abandon a vote on the Bougainville legislation in Parliament after it emerged that the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Matters had failed to meet to clear the proposed constitutional amendments relating to Bougainville. And with the numbers in the chamber not exceeding 70 at any one time when Parliament resumed at 2pm on Tuesday, a vote would have failed anyway.
- FLASHBACK 1: PARACHUTE JOURNALISM AIDS PLOTTERS' PROPAGANDA
Green-Left Weekly/Pacific Media Watch: 23 January 2002
By Nick Fredman
The organisers of the 19 May 2000 coup in Fiji were astute in choosing an articulate and media-savvy front person in George Speight (note flashback date in 2000). Speight's ability to repress dissenting voices while manipulating much of the local and international media coverage played an important role in strengthening the terrorist gunmen's position, as did widespread false assumptions about the nature of the struggle.
- FLASHBACK 2: HUNTING FOR RENEGADES AFTER THE POST-SPEIGHT MUTINY
PlaNet/Pacific Media Watch: 23 January 2002
By Alan Marston and David Robie
"This morning" (note flashback date in 2000) Kim Hill from RadioNZ interviewed Sitiveni Rabuka, giving him unwarranted legitimacy as some sort of neutral party. Such actions show a very low level of understanding about what is going on in Fiji and who is going off, and/or the traditional media doesn't care about justice and democracy as long as they get their story. Either way, there are lessons to be learned not only about Fiji in all this.
- MEDIA: FIJI'S FORMER DAILY POST EDITOR LANDS PLUM INFORMATION MINISTRY JOB
Pacific Media Watch: 22 January 2002
Former Daily Post acting editor and Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase's cousin Mesake Koroi has taken up a special appointment in Fiji's Ministry of Information, the Daily Post reports. But Minister for Information Joseva Vosanibola says Koroi's attachment had nothing to do with his relationship with Qarase.
- REGION: MYSTERY OF RAFTS CARRYING SKELETONS
BBC Online: 21 January 2002
Investigators in the Federated States of Micronesia are mystified by bamboo rafts carrying sun-bleached skeletons, which have been washing up on their shores. Police have asked the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for help in discovering the origin of the rafts, which are made of giant bamboo.
- PNG: GOVERNMENT AGREES TO TAKE IN ANOTHER 784 'REFUGEES'
The National: 18 January 2002
By Thomas Kilala
More asylum seekers are coming to Papua New Guinea - and they will stay for a longer period than the previous batch, says Foreign Affairs Minister Dr John Waiko. Dr Waiko told reporters that Cabinet had approved a request by the Australian Government for Papua New Guinea to take an additional 784 asylum seekers to be brought to Lombrum Naval Base, Manus, for processing, bringing the total number of asylum seekers there to 1000.
- PNG: TALE OF THE TWO MINES
Green Left Weekly and Asia Times: 18 January 2002
By Max Watts and Danielle Knight
Two writers present their views on Panguna mine on Bougainville and the lawsuit being choked by the PNG Government and Ok Tedi mine - "the scene of the crime".
- MEDIA: VOICE OF LEFT NOT RIGHT FOR MIND POLICE
Pacific Media Watch: 17 January 2002
By Andre Malan
There is a whiff of thought control in a decision by a Federal Government-funded body, the Australia-Indonesia Institute, not to support an international conference in Perth next month because it doesn't like the views of one of the speakers. London-based Australian John Pilger is probably the most controversial journalist in the world. A tireless gadfly who has been annoying the Establishment for decades with his undisguised Leftist views, Pilger is also a brave man who has been prepared to risk dangers to expose injustices and corruption in countries from Burma to the Balkans.
- PNG: BRING IN PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM, SAYS NAROKOBI
The National: 17 January 2002
By Colin Taimbari
Acting Governor General and Parliament Speaker Bernard Narokobi believes the Papua New Guinea Parliament has become weak under the Westminster model and that it should now adopt the presidential style of government.
- MEDIA: ALTERNATIVE AND NON-COMMERCIAL WEBSITES GUIDE
WACC: 13 January 2002
The World Association for Christian Communication's alternative and non-commercial media websites for the real information that matters. Check them out.
- EDUCATION: PERUVIAN WRITER MARIO VARGAS LLOSA VISITS TAHITI
Tahiti Presse: 11 January 2002
Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa will stay in French Polynesia from January 13 to January 27, 2002. During his stay, he will become hornorary doctor of the University of French Polynesia and will go to Hiva Oa (Marquesas islands) in French painter Paul Gauguin's footsteps.
- EDUCATION: FIJI STUDENT FAILURES ARE GREATEST WORRY - QARASE
Fiji Sun/PIR: 8 January 2002
The failures in Fijian education are without question the system's biggest problem, says Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. Qarase described it as a darker side to education -- a mark of shame for the nation.
- MEDIA: FORGOTTEN FIJI
MediaChannel: 6 January 2002
The George Speight attempted coup in Fiji in May 2000 began with live internet coverage but soon disappeared from the world's media. This group of articles delves into what happened. See also The Press and the Putsch controversy.
- FIJI: FREED PRISONERS 'WERE TO KIDNAP PM'
Daily Post/FijiLive: 6 January 2002
Korovou inmates would have been let loose to carry out the kidnapping of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase.The group who plotted the kidnapping had plans to first capture Attorney General Qoroniasi Bale and hold him captive at Korovou Prison. They then aimed to let the prisoners loose to create anarchy by rioting through Suva City.
- FIJI: POLICE DROP CHARGES AGAINST KEY FIGURE IN ALLEGED PM KIDNAP BID
Michael Field's website/AFP: 4 January 2002
By Michael Field
Authorities in troubled Fiji have dropped major charges against a key rebel who with three others they had arrested and charged with conspiring to kidnap the nationÕs leaders. The latest move underlines the erratic and increasingly unstable nature of the country which has had three constitutions since 1970 and three coups since 1987.
- FIJI: PLOT TO KIDNAP PM QARASE UNCOVERED
BBC/Pacific Islands Report: 3 January 2002
Police in Fiji say they have uncovered a plot to unseat Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and free the jailed indigenous leader, George Speight. Four men appeared before a magistrates court in the capital, Suva, charged with planning to kidnap Qarase and the army chief, Frank Bainimarama.
- POLITICS: SWORD OF DAMOCLES HANGS OVER MORAUTA'S HEAD
Asia Times/Pacific Islands Report: 3 January 2002
By Alan Boyd
Of all the leaders who will guide the Pacific's destiny during 2002, perhaps none faces a greater challenge than Sir Mekere Morauta of Papua New Guinea. In July voters will pass judgment on 12 months of tough institutional reforms that must work if the country is to stave off a poverty crisis and prevent the collapse of its key government institutions.
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