PACIFIC MEDIA URGED TO REVIEW JOURNALISM APPROACH

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PACIFIC MEDIA
URGED TO REVIEW JOURNALISM APPROACH

By Jack Metta

SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 10, 1999 – The National/Pacific Media Watch/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---The media industry in the Pacific has been urged to seriously look at a developmental approach with the aim of retaining the essence of journalism but at the same time taking into account the sensitivities of the region.

"Businesses, government and sometimes the media slavishly follow Western reporting standards, which are sometimes less than truthful," said Simon Swanson, the General Manager of Colonial Fiji - a prominent Fijian corporate citizen with stakes in Fiji's Daily Post and Communications of Fiji, Ltd.

Speaking to participants at last week's Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) convention during a luncheon his company hosted here, Mr. Swanson aid he had noted in Asia that Western media focuses on issues that are not newsworthy.

He cited the example of how the Western media would talk about Imelda arcos' shoes and how influential she was in politics when in reality she was a "has been" as far as Filipinos were concerned.

Mr. Swanson said the role of the media is more pronounced in small and close-knit societies like those in the Pacific region where kinship, culture and tradition are interwoven with modern governance.

"Life for some of you . . .could even be discomforting when your bosses are government leaders as media organizations in most of the islands are government-owned.

"You have to conscientiously tread a fine line between your universal duty to report accurately and fairly on the one hand and not to antagonize leaders who tend to be less enthusiastic about transparency and accountability on the other."

However, the Pacific region, he said, must be commended for maintaining a relatively free and vibrant media.

"Technology, particularly Internet technology will play a big role in the media in the future and it is imperative that all media organizations keep abreast of it," he said.

Mr. Swanson urged the media to ensure that they select solutions that work in their environment.

"Western solutions are imposed on Pacific problems and that ends up being in no one's interest.

"It is my opinion that Pacific values and beliefs need a little help and I believe it is incumbent upon the media to provide a little assistance to display the successes of Pacific Islands people and culture," Mr. Swanson said.

Title -- 2500 REGION: Pacific media urged to review news values Date -- 21 October 1999 Byline -- Jack Metta Origin -- Pacific Media Watch Source -- The National (PNG), 20/10/99 Copyright -- The National Status -- Unabridged

 

FIJI SUN'S EDITOR CONNIE CHEW RESIGNS

* See PMW reports 2501, 2406.

SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 22, 1999 – Pacific Media Watch/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---The editor-in-chief of the month-old Fiji Sun newspaper, Connie Chew, has resigned, according to news media reports.

Fiji Television reported in its news bulletin on October 21, 1999 and Fiji's Daily Post reported in a front-page report on October 22 that Ms. Chew had handed in a resignation letter to the newspaper's management board.

No reasons were given but the newspaper has been at the center of a bitter controversy this week over being fined $3,000 for contempt of court over a news report about a rape and indecent charges case involving an Australian businessman.

The Fiji Sun itself carried no report of the resignation, but Ms. Chew's name was missing from the editorial page imprint box on October 22. Only publisher Tony Singh was listed.

According to the Daily Post, Ms. Chew said in a statement: "I wish the newspaper and all its staff success. I believe the Fiji Sun has been an exciting addition to the Fiji media."

Ms. Chew also appealed to the Fiji Islands government to ease its overall restrictions on work permits for experienced expatriate journalists.

"There is a genuine dire shortage of experienced journalists in Fiji," she was quoted by the Daily Post as saying in her statement.

"Experienced expatriate journalists, especially sub-editors, are needed to provide the in-house training to help the development of our many young journalists," she said.

Title -- 2502 FIJI: Fiji Sun's editor resigns Date -- 22 October 1999 Byline – None Origin -- Pacific Media Watch Source -- PMW/FS/FT, 22/10/99 Copyright – PMW Status – Unabridged

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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.

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TV BOSS GETS WORK PERMIT EXTENDED

SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 21, 1999 – Fiji Village News)---Fiji Television's Chief Executive Kenneth Clark's work permit has been extended by two years by the Chaudhry government.

It is understood the extension was effective beginning yesterday.

For additional reports from Fiji Village News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Fiji Village News.

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