Murdered Man's Brother Pleads For Media Balance
SUVA (Pacific Media Watch): The brother of murdered Fiji Red Cross director John Scott has condemned media coverage of the double killing and pleaded for sensitivity by journalists, according to news reports.
The Fiji Times reported on 27 July 2001 that Owen Scott asked in a news conference that the media report the case in a manner that was sensitive and not salacious, and that the story be confined to hard facts.
He was referring to a Daily Post report on July 24 headlined "Ex MP in porn tapes" which claimed that a prominent local politician, some local lawyers and local media personalities were featured in allegedly pornographic tapes seized from the home of Scott.
Scott and his partner, New Zealand-born Gregory Scrivener, were hacked to death on July 1.
Owen Scott described the report as an example of a news story "based on rumours which had been denied by Assistant Police Commissioner Moses Driver" before the story was published.
"He [Driver] flatly denied the claim stating that any personalities had been identified in any tapes or photos, or that the police had contradicted themselves," Scott said.
"There appears to be a vast gulf between what is being said and what is being reported."
Also reporting the news conference, the Daily Post quoted Scott as saying: "A number of video tapes and photos were scrutinised in the process of investigating the murders.
"The material recorded family holiday activities."
The Sun said Scott had been informed by Driver that no pornographic material had been found at the home.
Fiji Television reported that Scott was filing a complaint with the Fiji Media Council over the reporting of the murder inquiry.
* Background on the media controversy - a Radio Australia Pacific Beat report on July 17: http://www.asiapac.org.fj/cafepacific/resources/aspac/fiji3278.html
PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE: http://www.pmw.c2o.org