Tonga Media Assoc. Lashes Out At Foreign Media
MEDIA ASSOCIATION LASHES OUT AT FOREIGN MEDIA
NUKU'ALOFA (RNZI/Pacific Media Watch): The Tonga Media Association has gone on the offensive over what it calls inaccurate, irresponsible and culturally insensitive criticism of the government by overseas media.
Association president Sangster Saulala complained to the New Zealand Press Council that the New Zealand media had "falsely depicted corruption" in the kingdom's government and caused dissent among Tongans.
He said the foreign media was recklessly campaigning on behalf of the pro-democracy movement.
Much of the criticism came in stories covering the government's recent ban on the Auckland-published Taimi 'o Tonga newspaper, which resumed sales last week after being shut out of Tonga for nearly four months.
The government was forced to release confiscated copies of the newspaper by court order after earlier efforts to ban the newspaper in the country were overruled by Fiji courts.
Saulala said the Tonga Media Association (TMA) would formally protest to the New Zealand government over what it calls offensive comments made in a report to Foreign Minister Phil Goff by former High Commissioner to Tonga Bryan Smythe.
The government-run Tonga Broadcasting Commission, meanwhile, also hit out at what it called the distorted picture given of Tonga by the foreign media.
It said it was for Tongans to solve their own political and economic issues.
But Kalafi Moala, publisher of Taimi 'o Tonga, which does not belong to the conservative Media Association, said it was a government-controlled organisation set up to muzzle the media.
PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE http://www.pmw.c2o.org
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 based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).
(c)1996-2003 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
Watch at: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9,
Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, PO Box 78028, Auckland
1002, New Zealand. New website: www.pmw.c2o.org