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

 

Media In Constant Battle Over Press Freedom

Media In Constant Battle Over Press Freedom, Says

* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links: http://www.pmw.c2o.org * Post a comment on PMW's Right of Reply: http://www.TheGuestBook.com/egbook/257949.gbook

MEDIA IN CONSTANT BATTLE OVER PRESS FREEDOM, SAYS PACIFIC WEEKLY

http://www.thepacificweekly.com

PORT VILA (Pacific Media Watch): 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.

"In the Pacific, there is a general acceptance of the need for a free press, which can help in nation-building and in creating open and accountable governments," Pacific Weekly said in an editorial.

"But as the number of incidents detailed in our cover story this week indicate, it remains a constant battle. One problem is that because the Ombudsman in many Pacific nations is weak or ineffectual, the press is forced to become the main watchdog for government corruption."

In the process, said Pacific Weekly, it was the press that often came out of it with a "black eye", rather than the semi-government agencies and police investigators who were tasked with this responsibility.

"Journalists are far from perfect - they argue, probably drink too much, can be compromised and at times be overly sanctimonious," the paper said.

"They have a responsibility to report fairly, accurately and with balance. Yet in the Pacific, journos are usually poorly paid, sometimes poorly trained and often face crises when their responsibilities as a journalist comes into conflict with clan or kastom loyalties.

"The press remains our daily barometer of the well-being of our local communities and the rest of the world.

"In the 21st century, faced with war and globalised economic competition, access to quality information can be a matter of survival.

"Press freedom is everyone's freedom."

Pacific Weekly said that as delegates gathered for the annual New Zealand-based Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) conference in Auckland today and tomorrow, there was likely to be concern raised about several attacks on the press - "and sometimes within the media itself".

The paper said that in the past two weeks the Suva-based Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) had issued two "alerts", one for threats made against Cook Islands Herald publisher George Pitt by a government that had suggested "Zimbabwe-style" press restrictions.

The other alert called on governments not to use the war on terrorism as an excuse to crack down on freedom of expression.

Pacific Weekly also reported on a clash of views between PINA regional training planner Peter Lomas and Auckland University of Technology senior lecturer and Pacific journalist David Robie.

Lomas had criticised Robie and Solomon Islands journalist Duran Angiki over statements they made in papers on Pacific media freedom and control presented at a Public Right to Know conference in Sydney.

+++niuswire

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, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and Pactok Communications, in Sydney and Port Moresby.

(c)1996-2002 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: delaro@clear.net.nz 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


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Myanmar: Stop ‘Widespread Violence’ Against Children, UN Officials Urge

Senior United Nations officials on Thursday strongly condemned the ongoing violence by Myanmar’s security forces against civilians, including children, as the members of the Security Council expressed alarm at the rapidly deteriorating situation in ... More>>

COVID-19 Origins Report Inconclusive: We Must ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’ – WHO Chief

The report from a team of international scientists assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine how COVID-19 first spread to humans was published on Tuesday, and was described by the UN health agency’s chief as a welcome start, ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>


Global Development: Responding To COVID-19 Pandemic, Young People Advocate For Bold Solutions

From climate action to addressing inequalities and building peace, youth leaders scale up efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 7 to 8 April 2021 Follow on UN Web TV Youth leaders, activists and youth-led organizations around the world ... More>>

SDG Action Awards: Winners Announced

Mobilizing, inspiring, and connecting individuals around the globe to #TurnItAround for people and planet Bonn, Germany, 25 March - The 2020 SDG Action Awards Ceremony, which took place on 25 March as a part of the fifth SDG Global Festival of Action ... More>>