Saturday, November 15, 2008

5797 FIJI: Former Daily Post publisher criticises media council over letter ruling

Mr Singh lodged a complaint with the Fiji Media Council claiming that the Daily Post had failed to publish a letter that he had forwarded to the editor. The Media Council rejected the complaint as it is well established that editors have sole discretion in deciding which letters are published. Had Mr Singh lodged a complaint regarding the contents of an editorial or a published item then his complaint would have been dealt with in the normal way through our complaint procedure.

Executive Secretary
Media Council (Fiji) Ltd

Monday, October 13, 2008

Great PIMA stories!

Let me say that your coverage of the PIMA conference is fantastic - some great stories by your students online.
Peter Rees

Congratulations to the PMC students!

Congratulations to the PMC students on their rich and diverse reporting
of the PIMA event!


Dr Evangelia Papoutsaki
Senior Lecturer
School of Communication, Unitec

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mohan Balaji's Fiji article - factual errors

Mohan: re: pmw5701 re: Fiji's political development

Good article on Fiji but some factual errors.

Three corrections:
First Coup 1987 (not 1986)
Independence 1970 (not 1969)
NZ did not impose Transit Visa bans - to the contrary, it lifted these bans
for the purpose of the Fiji delegation attending the Forum.

Also, the opinion on the Constitution and Electoral System is incorrect - the current 1997 Fiji Constitution (and its electoral system) was put together after wide discussion, consultation and debate.

It is not the Constitution or the voting system that is flawed, but the people who take the law into their own hands when the system does not deliver into Parliament them or their preferred 'partners'.

The Fiji Constitution has provisions for ethnically balancing the composition of Parliament, and has power-sharing mechanisms which allows for successful major political parties to form Governments in partnership.

It is not the Constitution that is Fiji's problem, but successive bad (and corrupt) leadership, lack of transparency, unethical practices, and poor governance. The current illegal regime is no exception.

Kind Regards

Nik Naidu

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Robert Fisk on PMC's YouTube

If you missed out on the inspiring luck with British foreign affairs journo Robert Fisk at AUT University on Tuesday, then check us out at the Pacific Media Centre YouTube channel and also our stories on PMC Online. Te Waha Nui has also provided some coverage by its editor, James Murray. Fisk's video about the US "Warrior Ethos" was been top-rated within a couple of hours of it being posted.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A breathtaking view from the PMC's guy in China

Hi all,

Here's a pic of the breath-taking Great Wall that quite literally does stretch further than the eye can see. Really amazing - thin and even quite low in some places, it once stretched over 5000km over the tops of the tallest hills. Some parts have been fixed, others not really.

Then come the Terracotta Warriors. For those of you that don't know, they were made by the king who first unified China over 2000 years ago. He got arrogant and wanted to continue ruling even after his death, so he had 170,000 people work on building this army of life-sized, individualised (right down to facial expressions and ranks, see the pictured general - you can tell rank by armour and headress) and battle ready (in formation, once upon a time armed with real weapons and wooden chariots, which disintegrated etc). There are over 6000 warriors in one pit but most are still buried (they were placed in tunnels just under ground level and found in 1974 by a farmer digging a well, poor guy sits in site shop signing books all day).

Once they were fully painted but within three days of being unearthed the paint faded, they have left most buried till they can work out technology to keep the paint.

Shortly after the king died suddenly during an inspection, one of his generals led a revolt and his men found and looted the Terracotta Warrior halls, stealing the weapons and destroying most of the warriors so most of the ones seen today have been fixed up. There are in fact three pits - one command centre, one fast response unit made up of calvary, chariots and archers, and one mostly comprising the military and chariots with the main army in battle formation.


Now some of the media stuff I'm doing if you are interested. Here's a link to see our multimedia news output:

Also, follow this link for a column piece written about why I think the Chinese - and most internationals - support Obama:

I hope you're all well,

Dylan (in Beijing)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Yvonne joins PMC team for a week

By Dominika White: Pacific Media Centre
Yvonne Sargayoos is getting a taste of Pasifika as a student journalist at the Pacific Media Centre this week – and she hopes this will help provide a ticket to a career in international reporting.
Completing her postgraduate diploma in journalism at University of Canterbury this year after earlier completing a degree in political science and mass communications, Sargayoos volunteered for the first internship after hearing about the new AUT University-based research centre earlier this year.
After being involved with Te Amokura – the red-tailed tropic bird, as the centre is known - for only three days, Sargayoos says she has already built up more contacts than during her first semester at university and is enjoying the experience.
Sargayoos, 23, says she has also gained knowledge about the Pacific region - something she believes is important for New Zealand journalists. Full story and photo by Dominika White.

Pacific Media Watch - an antidote for parachute journalism

By Dominika White/Pacific Media Centre
Parachute journalism is inevitable, says co-editor Selwyn Manning. However, he believes AUT University’s unique new media database may help provide more depth to covering Asia-Pacific issues.
The DSpace digital database, named Pacific Media Watch, was launched by AUT’s Office of Pasifika Advancement director Pauline Winter on June 9.
Manning says it is an “exciting” resource that contains accurate information for journalists to use and will help the quality of regional journalism by identifying issues in topics in which journalists have little knowledge.
Manning’s own experience in Fiji in 2006 proved to him how valuable online information is to international journalists.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pacific Media Watch - the A-G summons to the Fiji Times

To Whom It May Concern,
Re: A-G Summons: A quick question to clarify the relationship here between the Fiji government and the media: Is there not public information or public relations personnel working for the government? Shouldn't this rather be their job instead of the leaders?
Thanks for the article,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Congratulations to the CI News team!

Congratulations to John Woods for his new role!
And especially to Phil and Wendy for keeping the Cook Islands News daily going through an economic crisis - something I wasn't able to do - and providing one of the stronger examples of media independence in the face of years of political interference in the industry.
Look forward to hearing some day what will be their next venture.
But in the meantime, some well deserved rest is long overdue!
Kia manuia,
Jason Brown

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Goro Nickel halts pipeline construction

Further comment on the Goro Nickel waste pipe closure in New Caledonia. For the last few weeks pressure has been mounting on Goro Nickel to stop the development of a pipline that will pour toxic waste into the Havannah Chanel. Protests culminated in a tense meeting between Goro director Jeff Zweig and residents of Ile Ouen on Saturday. Groups in Noumea believe a decision to either continue or abandon the pipeline will happen on Friday. Residents of Ile Ouen that I talked to today were happy that the pressure they and others (like the CoDefSud group) have put on Goro looks like it is finally paying dividends.
Amateur footage of Saturday's meeting is posted below.
Jim Marbrook

Pacific Media Watch report:

Friday, February 8, 2008

Our local Jakarta sweatshop

I live in a rumah kos, student accommodation that resembles a motor lodge back home with rows of rooms. My neighbours are mostly Indonesian students, generally well off, because from what I'm told this is an expensive place at 1.5 million rupiah a month - about NZ$200. Amazingly cheap by Auckland standards. To get to the kos you have to negotiate the maze of alley sized streets that make up the local kampung, village.
Just down the street is a place we refer to as a sweatshop. A small metal door that leads off the alley shows a small cramped room about 5m by 5m filled with desk and sewing machines, always humming. Every morning when we wander past we get followed by friendly salamat pagis that carry on even when we are long gone, in the evening its salamat malams. A friend that works for the Jakarta Post interviewed a few of the friendly workers one day and this is what she found. First of all it is a legitimate, to a point anyway, factory and the people are, as it seemed, happy. Unfortunately it is one of the many workplaces in the informal sector, meaning it doesn't fall under labour laws, although at least the people have jobs in a nation with soaring unemployment where 70% of people work in the informal sector.
The girl she talked to, through an interpreter, is one of the millions who have moved from the country to Jakarta in a hugely centralised country. The 20-year-old moved in with her husband last year to try and make money. She now lives above the factory for free, a huge bonus, and shares a room with her husband while the others sleep five to a room.
The young Indonesian girl works a whopping 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. For this huge week she earns a meager Rp 200,000, about NZ$30, sowing beautiful rainbow coloured nightgowns for export to UAE, Malaysia and Australia.
During an average day she get breaks from 12-1, 3-4, 6-7 (for prayers and eating) and in her small amount of spare time she sleeps and rests or wanders to the local mall.
She lives on the Asian staple of nasi, rice, which costs about Rp3000 a meal. Currently her life exists of little more than the cramped factory and whatever she can reach by walking in any time off that she is not sleeping in. What I see as the biggest shame about her story is that she almost had the chance to live a better life - she studied English for three semesters at university, usually a ticket to better pay, but couldn't afford to continue.
And she is well off compared to many here. How lucky we are.
Photos: Our local sweatshop, and one of the guys working on the beautiful nightgowns.
Dylan Quinnel

Dylan's YouTube video post Suharto's death

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The contradiction that is Indonesia

Indonesia is considered to be a developing country and looking at the statistics and lives of a majority of the population, this seems bang on. A huge percentage are uneducated, a striking 50%, over 100 million people, live under the poverty line of US$2 per day and 70% of those employed work in the informal sector where they are not protected by labour laws.
Many in this 70% earn strikingly little and work very hard (more about that later in another post about a sweatshop near our Kos, student boarding house).
The contradiction is that a tiny minority are wealthy beyond anything we in New Zealand can fathom. Our richest man, Stephen Tindall would barely feature in their company. One rich son I have been told of owns two of the newest Bugatti cars each worth more than US$1 million. Neither of which he drives because they are one seaters and everyone here has a driver to negotiated the crazy traffic. One of these cars he has never actually sat in but says his friends think it looks good in the garage.
There are shopping malls here which beat the best NZ has to offer hands down. There you can buy the latest Gucci or Prada and a Starbucks Coffee costs exactly what it does in NZ. And I'm ot talking one or two either. What makes it even stranger is that the shacks and mansions, Bugattis and hand drawn carts are right next to each other and use the same pot-holed roads. But then that is the legacy of the developing world when capitalism, and in Indonesia's case, corruption, gets hold.
And yet they are all, except the super rich, some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
Go figure.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bruce Jesson journalism award gets facelift

New Zealand's only award for critical journalism is being revamped to link in with a growing movement for more democratic local media. The Bruce Jesson Foundation, set up after the death of journalist-politician Bruce Jesson in 1999, has provided up to $3000 a year since 2004 for “critical, informed, analytical and creative journalism or writing which will contribute to public debate in New Zealand on an important issue or issues”.
A review after its first four years has concluded that the award should continue, with a slight change in the criteria to cover publishing, as well as producing, critical journalism. Foundation chair Professor Jane Kelsey says experience to date shows that the barrier to good journalism is not always in the actual production of the work, but in finding an outlet in our commercialised market that is willing to publish it.
Kelsey says the award is now part of a growing recognition that the commercial imperatives of our largely foreign-owned media, increasingly focused on celebrities and consumerism, need to be balanced by a deliberate community-based effort to provide journalism on public issues – issues that affect us as citizens and workers as well as consumers.
The union representing most journalists, the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), is organising a public review of NZ journalism this year, seeking submissions on issues such as media ownership and commercial pressures.
A Movement for Democratic Media is also being formed to bring together journalists and other citizens who want to produce and promote public issue journalism.
"Our award is more important than ever now," Kelsey says. "We hope we can support some of the other initiatives to produce more public issue journalism, and we hope that the growing recognition of this gap in our society will spur more journalists and citizens to apply for our
The award covers living costs and direct costs such as phone calls and travel to enable New Zealanders to investigate and report on issues in depth. Applications for the 2008 award close on 30 June.
Past winners and applications - further information:

  • Chair: Prof Jane Kelsey, 09 373 7599 x 88006 or 021 765 055
  • Senior lecturer Joe Atkinson, 09 373 7599 x 88094
  • Simon Collins, 09 483 5911 or 021 612 423
  • Rebecca Jesson, 09 521 8118 or 0274 714 690
  • A/Prof David Robie (joined 2007), 09 921 9999 x 7834 or 021 112 2079
  • Jon Stephenson (joined 2007), 09 368 4689

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dylan's Jakarta diary - volcanoes and explosive soccer !

Hi guys, The journo gang all went away for the weekend to a beachside town. Offshore is a volcano, Krakatoa, which erupted in 1874, creating a tidal wave that killed people as far as 200km in land and sent ash 2000km away. We created a huge stir when a bus load of bule foreigners turned up and after some hard bargaining and a 2v2 soccer game against some local guys (which me and an Aussie mate from Tassie lost 3-0), we bumped out the volcano on a fleet of 4 speedboats, took a 1.5 hours but was good fun.
Anak Krakatau, son of Krakatoa, is still active and kept sending up huge plumes of ash on our way there.
Next thing I know, we're standing on the beach with the volcano exploding over the top of us and it is raining ash (Aroha Treacher in the pic).
The beach and volcano was ash covered and when you swam the top meter of the water was ash they below that a beautiful blue. Everyone here is a 'tour guide' and that night our guide, whom I became friends with, took us to a friend's restaurant then a friend of his organized accommodation and put on a party for us.
The next day we went snorkeling, which was good but not the best I've done, and managed to get back to Jakarta to catch the second half of the national soccer final - for free as it turned out. A few of us watched the semifinal between a Jakarta team and team from Papua which got violent partly, I think, for political reasons, partly because Jakarta lost.
I have never seen so many riot police in my life and got some good pics. luckily no one was seriously hurt. Don't worry we were safe.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Jakarta diary from Dylan

Salamat Natal dan Tahun Baru
Three NZ graduating young journos are in Jakarta for an international reporting practicum scholarships sponsored by the Asia: NZ Foundation and Pacific Media Centre at AUT. They are Aroha Treacher and Dylan Quinnell (pictured) from AUT's School of Communication Studies and Will Robertson from Massey University. A brief email update from Dylan:
This is an amazing place reminds me a lot of new SA, just chaos everywhere. On the road there appear to be almost no rules, apart form a few traffic lights, you turn when you want or cross main roads and people just slow down to let you do so. motor bikes are buzzing in and out of traffic all over the place, and everyone hoots a lot but not to express anger rather say "hey, buddy just swerving past up you right side".
A lot of stuff is amazingly cheap with taxis costing a few dollars and meals the same. Gotta watch the chilli tho, damn hot and burns going in and out. The people are really friendly when you greet them and the language learning is coming on well. I played some soccer with little kids down one of the tiny alley streets, and got some good pics near where I'm staying with a classmate from NZ in his cousin's house.
They have six full time staff including three maids on at any one time, a driver on call and a security guard. Back yard looks a bit like Africa with barbed wire on the top of a massive concrete wall. They also have a pool, very comfortable but strange getting used to having people doing everything for you, friendly tho.
Today I move into the hotel with my two new room mates and stay for a while till I can find a kos or little apartment where you rent a room off someone for about $150 a month often with breakfast and washing thrown in. Learning the language is going well as the maids are very willing teachers who find my attempts so funny; they thought it was hilarious when I asked one to teach me how she folds the washing so well.

Jakarta scholarships