Friday, August 31, 2007

Fiji media inquiry hots up

The Fiji Human Rights Commission has warned the two Fiji dailies with expatriates in the key publishing jobs that "any further harassment" of the man conducting an independent media freedom inquiry will lead to legal action against them. In a letter addressed to Fiji Media Council chairman Daryl Tarte yesterday, Commission director Dr Shaista Shameem said she had reviewed the media coverage of the media inquiry it was conducting through Dr James Anthony, by the Murdoch-owned Fiji Times and the Fiji Sun as well as a recent exchange of letters between Dr Anthony and Tarte. She said she found the two dailies appeared to be willfully obstructing and hindering the performance of the Commission's functions, which breached section 47 (2) of the Commission Act. Cafe Pacific looks into some of the background on this issue.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Corporate media criticism ignored

An open letter to The Press, 17 August 2007:

It is disappointing that your coverage of the weekend's Journalism Matters forum (16 August, Perspectives) excluded critical comments of the corporate media made by Judy McGregor and other speakers. Instead, Karl du Fresne peremptorily dismissed such critique with irrelevant slogans such as "union-backed" and "politicised", and criticism of individuals involved.

There are crucial issues to be debated here. Four companies, all overseas owned, dominate the New Zealand news media. There is a near duopoly in two of the three main media - print and radio - a monopoly in pay television, and only three significant competitors in free-to-air television including the state-owned channels. Each daily newspaper has a near monopoly in its main circulation areas. As one of these, and owned by one of the big four companies, The Press has more than usual responsibility to ensure that debate on these crucial issues is not angled defensively to protect its owner.

Bill Rosenberg

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Simplifying the jargon

A response to a forwarded conference call for papers from AMIC/Queensland University of Technology: Convergence, Citizen Journalism & Social Change: Building Capacity:

May I suggest that a part of these sessions should be “Simplifying The Jargon” – this example is “clipped” from the incoming message:
"The era of the digital has led to the problematisation of a number of issues once taken for granted"
What the heck is “problematisation”?
"As well as providing the space to interrogate theory, this theme offers us an opportunity to interrogate the practices and pedagogies of the analogue and digital eras which inform our ways of thinking and doing"
Is this an example of precise writing?
The message could have been delivered in half the space and time.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Island media model of good governance?

Kia orana all,
After my last clumsy contribution to an email discussion regards issues facing the Cook Islands media industry I thought I would express apologies again to all concerned.
And try again!
In the end, I did not get around to making a submission to the select committee - too many parliaments not enough time. However I will try to get something to government in some form or another.
In the meantime, I am concerned that a senior member of the industry profession is saying he would not support re-establishment of a journalism association.
I can only compare this with the news that journalists in New Zealand are holding their first convention in twenty years this weekend.
Twenty years!
By comparison, journalists and media workers and managers in the Cook Islands and other island states have been a model of good governance, meeting dozens if not hundreds of times in the last decade. In retrospect, I think it is little short of astonishing what has been achieved nationally and regionally in a short space of time with very limited resources.
It is my hope that some debate can be continued centred around recognising those achievements and the fundamental fact that no industry is an island and needs to reach out to colleagues and even competitors.
Burying our heads in the sand is not an option. Too many hurricanes for a start.
Enough for now, but also like to pass on feedback from the media audience that coverage of corruption and other issues is proceeding in feisty fashion, on to it!
Kia toa,
Jason Brown

Monday, August 6, 2007

Youth justice stats deserve better media analysis

Dr Pita Sharples; Co-leader Maori Party
Tuesday 7 August 2007
Dr Pita Sharples called today for careful analysis regarding the latest report on youth justice system and Maori youth offending. [Youth Justice Statistics in New Zealand 1992-2006]
"The last thing this country needs is 'more demonising of Maori' said Dr Sharples".
"We have to forget about the headlines, and concentrate on giving the time to understand the causes of Maori over-representation in the youth justice system, come up with well researched facts - and then to come up with some solutions, and fast".
"New Zealanders deserve the full facts of the youth justice stats, including that:
* when population increases are considered, the apprehension rate of all young people between 1995 to 2006 has DECLINED;
* the percentage of 14 to 16 year olds apprehended who were Maori DECREASED from 1995 to 2002;
* the proportion of young people convicted in the District or High Court DECREASED from 11% in 1992 to 6% in 2003".
"While I am not saying the stats are all good news by any means, I think we have to take a responsible approach - and ensure that the nation knows some things are working well, some progress is being made" said Dr Sharples.
"Of course the tragedy of this latest report is the atrocious state of the numbers regarding apprehensions of Maori - some 47% of 14 to 16 year old young people apprehended in 2006 are Maori. We must all be concerned that the Maori apprehension rate is twice that of our Pasifika whanaunga and nearly three times that of other New Zealanders".