PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH: Pacific Journalism Review Highlights Island Media Actions

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 16, 1999 - Pacific Media Watch/Pacific Journalism Review/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Fiji’s government buyout of the Daily Post and attempts to take over the Post-Courier in Papua New Guinea by financial interests close to the Skate government have been highlighted in the latest edition of Pacific Journalism Review.

The 153-page issue of the regional publication, the first to be published in Fiji, carries several articles debating the issue of the Post takeover so close to Fiji’s general election next month.

Views include critics of the sale such as columnists Sir Vijay Singh and Ingrid Leary, and a media lawyer, Richard Naidu, a former journalist who acts for the rival Murdoch-owned daily newspaper Fiji Times, and editors of the paper defending the purchase.

The March 1999 issue of the journal also features media gags (recently lifted) imposed by French Polynesian authorities on the independent news and culture magazine Tahiti-Pacifique and the pro-independence radio station Te Reo o Tefana.

Research articles and industry documents examine television policy in both Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Sean Dorney, former PNG correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, describes how government attempts to repress the media in PNG have failed; Astor Award-winner Savea Malifa outlines Samoa government pressure on his newspaper, the Samoa Observer; David Robie reports on the Rali controversy in Papua New Guinea; Patrick Craddock gives insights into the "SPICOL" leadership and media training program at the University of the South Pacific; and Australian Press Council chair Professor Dennis Pearce analyzes media and the elections in a Suva presentation.

UNESCO assisted publication of this edition of PJR, published in association with the Journalism Program, USP, and the Pacific Writing Forum, USP.

More details are available on the updated Pacific Journalism Review’s website: http://www.asiapac.org.fj/PJR/

Title -- 2051 REGION: Pacific Journalism Review highlights Fiji media takeover

Date -- 16 April 1999 Byline – None Origin -- Pacific Media Watch Source -- Journalism, University of the South Pacific, 16/4/99 Status -- Unabridged

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organization 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.

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