World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


NZ Pen Protests Over Threat To Fiji Television

* See PMW items 2808, 2805, 2802, 2801, 2776, 2772, 2770, 2741, 2740, 2739, 2738, 2737, 2735.
Fiji TV May 29 Close-Up transcript:

SUVA (PMW): The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) has protested to Fiji's telecommunications authorities under the interim military regime over a threat to revoke Fiji Television's licence over a programme linked to a violent attack on the station last month.

The station, which broadcasts the Pacific country's only free-to-air television channel and two pay channels, was attacked and trashed on the night of May 28 following a Close-Up panel programme which discussed media coverage of the hostage crisis.

Rebel leader George Speight was strongly criticised in the programme, especially by one panellist. An armed mob attacked the station, causing a reported $500,000 worth of damage and cutting transmission for almost 46 hours.

The letter on 19 June 2000 to Telecommunications Director Josua Turaganivalu, signed by PEN president Jean Rosier Jones and chair Gordon McLauchlan, the NZ Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) "urges you and your staff not to frustrate the free flow of information through the media during the present political crisis in your country.

"We understand that you have threatened to revoke Fiji Television Ltd's broadcasting licence because a current affairs programme provoked an attack on the station by terrorists at present holding political hostages. It is extraordinary that a media organisation should be penalised because terrorists violently objected to programme content.

"We believe the right to convey information to the public and to express opinions based on that information will be critical to the future of your country. While we understand the difficulties Fijian society faces at the moment, we hope you will take a stand for freedom."



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and Pactok Communications, in Sydney and Port Moresby.

(c)1996-2000 Copyright - All rights reserved.

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.

Recipients should rely on their own inquiries before making decisions based on material listed in PMW. Please copy appeals to PMW and acknowledge source.

For further information, inquiries about joining the Pacific Media Watch

listserve, articles for publication, and giving feedback contact Pacific

Media Watch at: E-mail: or: Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, c/o Journalism, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji Website: New website:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


putin, trump scalpGordon Campbell: On The White House Romance With Russia

Tough on Europe over trade, at the G-7. Tough on Europe over defence, at NATO. And utterly smitten as usual by Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On This Week’s NATO Debacle

For someone routinely cast as a clown presiding over an administration in chaos, Donald Trump has been very consistent about his agenda, and remarkably successful in achieving it, in the short term at least. More>>


NZ Law Society: Rule Of Law Threatened In Nauru

“The recently enacted Administration of Justice Act 2018 is another clear sign of the deterioration of civil rights in Nauru,” the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee convenor Austin Forbes QC says. More>>


'Fixing' Family Separation: Executive Order Imprisons Families Indefinitely

Amnesty: President Trump signed an executive order today mandating for children to stay with their parents in detention while their asylum claims are processed. More>>