UNESCO/PINA PACIFIC JOURNALISM DEVELOPMENT CENTRE

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PINA PACIFIC MEDIA NIUS Serving the Pacific Islands and the World Giving the News the Pacific Way!

Journalism Training; Freedom of Expression; Media Development

Welcome to the 18 December 2000 edition of the online news service from the UNESCO/Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Pacific Journalism Development Centre, Suva, Fiji Islands. The centre was set up under the UNESCO IPDC/PINA Project PACTRAINER.

1. Big Pacific Islands media conference planned for Papua New Guinea 2. Radio still the one, regional workshop opening hears 3. National association leaders approve a model code of ethics 4. Book by journalism students documents human side of Aitape tragedy 5. Pacific journalists feature in Women Against AIDS booklet 6. Commonwealth group alarmed by persecution of Commonwealth journalists 7. Fiji editors say charged journalists were only doing their jobs 8. PNG Media Council condemns attack on journalists 9. Briefly: More Christian broadcasting; more Niue news 10. Site to watch: http://www.pngvillage.com

 

1. BIG PACIFIC ISLANDS MEDIA CONFERENCE PLANNED FOR PAPUA NEW GUINEA

SUVA, Fiji Islands (PINA Nius Online report)---Get out your diaries, media people. The next major conference of the Pacific Islands news media will be held in October in Papua New Guinea

The event: The Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) biennial convention, bringing together executives and journalists from radio and TV, newspapers, magazines, and national media associations throughout the region.

The theme: The role of the news media in the development of Pacific Islands children.

The venue: The coastal town Madang and the capital city Port Moresby.

The dates: 14-21 October.

The programme: Participants arrive in Port Moresby, and travel straight on to Madang for the main events. They then return to Port Moresby for media visits and the closing dinner.

Madang? Madang is a growing centre for tourism on the Papua New Guinea mainland’s north coast. A gateway to the Highlands, Sepik, diving and the New Guinea islands regions. Madang harbour is described as one of prettiest in the South Pacific.

Madang is also the home of Divine Word University, which runs a thriving regional journalism education programme and is an active PINA member.

The hosts: PINA’s Papua New Guinea members through their Papua New Guinea Media Council. This is chaired by Peter Aitsi, general manager of PNG FM, operator of the popular Nau FM and Yumi FM stations.

The organisers: The council’s PINA PNG 2001 organising committee is headed by Tony Yianni, managing director of the country’s oldest daily newspaper, the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier. PINA vice-president Oseah Philemon is editor of the Post-Courier and is also an organising committee member.

The progress: Council secretary Justin Kili met with PINA president William Parkinson, PINA administrator Nina Ratulele, and UNESCO/PINA Pacific Journalism Development Centre coordinator Peter Lomas during a recent visit to Fiji. They discussed convention arrangements.

The word: "The wantoks are really well organised," said Ratulele. "This is going to be a wonderful convention. If you’re anyone in the Pacific Islands news media - or with an interest in the Pacific Islands news media – you’ll want to be in PNG in October."

The contact: If you’re interested in being at PINA PNG 2001, contact Nina Ratulele on pina@is.com.fj to make sure you get regular updates.

 

2. RADIO STILL THE ONE, REGIONAL WORKSHOP OPENING HEARS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (PINA Nius Online)---Television, newspapers, and the Internet have growing reach. But radio remains the most important news media in the Pacific Islands, regional broadcasters heard in Suva.

Radio provides a "lifeline" to people in the rural areas and islands, AusAID Pacific Media Initiative Project Advisory Group chairperson Geoff Adlide said.

He was opening an AusAID/Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) workshop on commercial radio engineering and information technology management.

The workshop was coordinated by the UNESCO/PINA Pacific Journalism Development Centre and hosted by Communications Fiji Limited, operator of stations in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

"Radio is of critical import in the Pacific Islands countries because it can do things that other mediums cannot," Mr. Adlide said.

"For many of the people of the region, living in the rural areas and outer islands, it is radio which is the lifeline to information about what’s happening in their country and the world.

"I think the recent and continuing political upheavals in Solomons and here in Fiji illustrate just how vital information is."

"Last week there was landmark High Court decision. The interpretation of that decision by villagers in the interior and outlying islands may well be critical for the immediate security and stability of the nation.

"In the absence of proper information... that other medium for which the Pacific is so well known - the coconut wireless - takes over and often with dangerous consequences.

"So what’s needed is good information to ensure that all the people of Pacific islands countries can make informed decisions about their lives and their children's futures.

"No one is more important than radio in fulfilling that responsibility."

Mr. Adlide stressed the role of broadcasting engineers and information technology specialists in ensuring news and information get out to the people.

Journalists and announcers can be the best in the world but their work is wasted if people cannot hear them or reception is bad, he said.

Mr. Adlide’s comments were echoed by Communications Fiji Limited managing director and PINA president William Parkinson.

Mr. Parkinson stressed PINA’s commitment to providing training for the total radio station so as to have financially viable and well-managed stations able to fully serve their communities.

The intensive six-day workshop was conducted by an AusAID consultant, William Tibben, and a PINA counterpart trainer, Shiu Nath.

Mr. Tibben is a veteran of Australia's national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and was its broadcast engineering senior planner. He now lectures in communication and information technology at the University of Woollongong. Papers he has written on Pacific Islands broadcast engineering and information technology issues have been published in leading journals. He is a former winner of the Fujitsu Australia prize.

Mr. Nath is the former chief engineer of Radio Fiji. He is now a regular consultant on engineering issues for such organisations as Communications Fiji Limited, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and the BBC in the Pacific. He has constructed FM stations in Fiji and Solomon islands.

Issues covered in the workshop included:

· Matching technology to station requirements.

· Digitalisation: Opportunities and Threats?

· Understanding technology management in relation to changing business contexts and digitalisation.

· The Net: Opportunities and Threats?

· Creating a Financially Viable Technology Plan

· Organising and Communicating a Strategic Plan.

· The Practical Implications of Maintaining an FM Station

· Human Resource Development: Managing Diversity

· Future training requirements.

Participants came from stations in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga and Cook Islands.

It was the latest of a series of AusAID Pacific Media Initiative/PINA workshops for commercial radio stations. All have been hosted by Communications Fiji Limited.

 

3. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION LEADERS APPROVE A MODEL CODE OF ETHICS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (PINA Nius Online report)---Leaders of national media associations affiliated with the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) have approved a model code of ethics.

It follows a regional workshop organised by the UNESCO/PINA Pacific Journalism Development Centre. It was funded under Australia’s major regional media development programme, the AusAID Pacific Media Initiative.

The model code will be included in a Pacific Islands National Media Associations Handbook and posted on the UNESCO/PINA Pacific Journalism Development Centre website.

During the 1990s PINA ran a series of workshops on developing codes of ethics. These were led by Floyd Takeuchi, a prominent Hawai‘i journalist and news executive with extensive Pacific Islands experience. PINA members decided because of the big differences and diversity in cultures, development and size of the Pacific Islands it would be better for each country to develop its own code rather than have a single regional code.

However, some national associations have recently shown interest in having a model regional code which they can then adapt.

Senior executives from Cook Islands Media Association, Fiji Islands Media Association, Journalists Association of Western Samoa, Media Association of Solomon Islands, Media Group Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea Media Council, Pres Klab blong Vanuatu, and Tonga News Association took part in discussions.

They adopted the following as the model code:

### A regional model for Codes of Ethics and Standards for Pacific Islands National Media Associations

Preamble

The Pacific regional media model for Codes of Ethics and Standards recognises there are universal principles of reporting that should be adhered to. These relate to core values of accuracy, balance and impartiality.

Because of a diversity of traditions and cultures in Pacific Islands countries and their different stages of progress, the following important factors should be taken into account.

Culture, tradition and religion should not be used as excuses to avoid reporting on the truth especially when it can help improve the quality of people’s lives.

These principles apply to all forms of "publishing" such as print, radio, television and the internet.

A regional model for a Codes of Ethics for national media associations:

· Media people have a responsibility to report news and information accurately, impartially and in a balanced way within a reasonable period of time.

· Media people will be mindful of the current standards in the community and of religious beliefs and attitudes of the public.

· Every media organisation has an obligation to give a fair opportunity to reply.

· Confidential sources shall not be disclosed.

· The individual’s right to privacy will be respected except when it has a direct bearing on the public interest.

· Media people will not "publish" news or information in a manner that accrues hidden financial gain. Sponsorships or contributions in cash or kind will be acknowledged.

· Media people should take particular care when dealing with issues relating to Pacific cultures and traditions. Special care will be taken when dealing with children, women, ethnic groupings, the aged, mentally impaired and convicted criminals.

· Media people shall display and practice the same levels of transparency and accountability that they demand from others

### A regional model for a code of standards for national media associations:

The difference between a code of ethics and a code of standards was that ethics will always endure whereas standards will always change.

It was felt that standards were too diverse across different Pacific Islands for any regional code to be of much use and that individual national media associations should draw up their own codes of standards.

 

4. BOOK BY JOURNALISM STUDENTS DOCUMENTS HUMAN SIDE OF AITAPE TRAGEDY

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PINA Nius Online)---Divine Word University journalism students have produced the first book to document the human side of Papua New Guinea’s 1998 tsunami tragedy.

The book, Aitape: the road to recovery, has been well-received.

Aitape’s Catholic Bishop Austen Crapp described it as a remarkable achievement.

He said it gave hope to people still recovering from the trauma of an event which killed more than 2,000 and displaced thousands more.

The book was the result of a weeklong field trip to Aitape in March by journalism students from the Communication Arts Department of the university, which is in Madang.

Twenty journalism degree and diploma students were accompanied to Aitape by three lecturers, including Communication Arts Department head Joe Weber.

They travelled widely through the area, including to the Sissano Lagoon, and their interviews were processed over a six-month period into the book.

In his preface, Mr. Weber said Aitape: the road to recovery was, in a small way, a tribute to the hundreds of people who had worked away quietly and efficiently to rebuild the community.

"It is an attempt to tell their story," he said.

Helen Kassman, a student who took part, said: "Aitape was an unforgettable experience. The book is an achievement and a token of our trip there."

Another student, Dominic Krau, said: "It was pretty hard work interviewing all those people, but I feel great about the book."

David Scoullar, a journalism lecturer who accompanied the students, said: "It’s a credit to them, and a terrific memento recording part of the history of this country."

Speaking at the book’s launch, Bishop Crapp said: "This is a memorial to all people in the tsunami.

"It’s a record of their courage from the time of the tragedy till now as they pick up the pieces."

"It’s a memorial to their great human spirit."

Bishop Crapp said the book brought back many memories and emotions for him as it recalled the trauma of the tsunami and the actions of the victims.

"For the people in the area it will be a wonderful record. In later years those who were too young to remember will be able to read and understand what happened," he said.

The Aitape Rehabilitation Committee invited the students to document its work in the period following the tsunami.

#Aitape - the road to recovery. Published by DWU Press. Large format paperback. 96 pages. 50 black and white photos. Price Kina 20 plus Kina 2 per book for post and packaging. Available by mail order from Divine Word University, PO Box 483, Madang, Papua New Guinea.

 

5. EIGHT PACIFIC JOURNALISTS FEATURE IN WOMEN AGAINST AIDS BOOKLET

SUVA, Fiji Islands (PINA Nius Online report)---What do Sylvia Low, Vasiti Waqa, Nanise Fifita, Faiesea Matafeo, Nina Ratulele, Makereta Komai, Lisaleilani Williams and Vasemaca Rarabici have in common?

Answer one: They’re all well known members of the Pacific Islands news media.

Answer two: Their work developing community awareness of HIV/AIDS issues has been recognised in a new booklet published by UNAIDS and launched in Suva.

The booklet, Pacific Women Against AIDS, says the challenges for the media are:

· how they can break the silence surrounding sex, sexual and reproductive health, sexuality and AIDS;

· how they can do this in a balanced way that provides knowledge and enlightenment, and helps improve the lives of people while meeting the need to sell advertising space in order to survive and

· to do this in a way that can lead to understanding, tolerance and compassion rather than promoting ignorance, fear and discrimination.

The booklet adds: "The media in the Pacific has over the last few years risen to this challenge. It has done this by humanising the stories on HIV/AIDS and making them relevant to the circumstances of people’s lives rather treating cases as just statistics and prescribing one solution for all."

UNAIDS has been working closely with the media through the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA). The booklet features the following women it says are playing key roles:

· Sylvia Low, a Fiji television journalist who produces stories on development issues, including adolescent and women’s health problems, teenage pregnancies and HIV/AIDS.

· Vasiti Waqa, now news director of Radio Fiji after a respected career as senior writer for the regional news magazine Islands Business. During this she was named PINA Pacific Journalist of the Year. She started writing about HIV/AIDS issues after meeting an HIV-positive woman in 1994.

· Nanise Fifita, news director of Radio Tonga and Tonga Television and a member of the UNESCO/PINA Pactrainer network. She was a trainer in a series of UNAIDS/PINA workshops on Reporting Sensitive Issues, held in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in 1998. She has covered major international conferences on population issues for PINA Nius Online.

· Faiesea Matafeo, who was an award-winning Samoan TV journalist before joining the United Nations Development Programme. She produced the documentary "Peati’s Story," about a woman’s efforts to break the silence over HIV/AIDS after losing members of her family to the deadly virus.

· Nina Ratulele, PINA administrator and editor of PINA Nius Online, the region’s most widely distributed news service. She sends out feature articles on development issues - including HIV/AIDS - seven days a week. She coordinated the series of UNAIDS/PINA workshops.

· Makereta Komai, a regional journalist who regularly covers HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infection issues for another regional news service, Pacnews,

· Lisaleilani Williams, a former Cook Islands newspaper journalist and TV producer now working for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s Pacific Women’s Resource Bureau as communication officer. She has been active in reporting HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections issues.

· Vasemaca Rarabici, a Fiji newspaper journalist, who writes regularly on HIV/AIDS issues, and has done features about HIV-positive people in several Pacific countries. She has also done work with the AIDS Task Force of Fiji.

# Pacific Women Against AIDS. Published by the United Nations Development Programme, Suva, Fiji Islands. Edited by Steven Vete. Copies available from Steven Vete, UNAIDS, UNDP Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji islands.

 

6. COMMONWEALTH GROUP ALARMED BY PERSECUTION OF COMMONWEALTH JOURNALISTS

BRIDGETOWN (PINA Nius Online)---Some Commonwealth governments and other institutions are obstructing and persecuting journalists acting in the line of duty, leading publishers and editors say.

And they have called for the protection of media freedom, freedom of expression and the citizens right to information to be put on the agenda for the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

The decision came at the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) biennial conference and Commonwealth editors' forum, held in Barbados.

Three Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) editors took part in the editors’ forum as speakers.

They were Sinaitakala Vaka’uta (Taumu’a Lelei, Tonga), Laisa Taga (Islands Business, Fiji) and Marc Neil-Jones (Vanuatu Trading Post).

In a message to Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth Press Union conference said the editors and publishers condemn the continuing use by certain Commonwealth governments of repressive measures, such as licensing of journalists and newspapers, arbitrary arrests, torture and murder.

They said these are designed to curb freedom of expression, citizens’ right to information and generally to interfere with media freedom.

The message says: "Today, we unequivocally call on all Commonwealth governments to take the necessary actions to end the use of such measures and for the repeal of laws that restrict the freedom of the media and freedom of expression.

"The CPU editors and publishers note:

· That the Harare Declaration of 1991 excludes specific safeguards for the protection of media freedom, freedom of expression and the citizens right to information;

· And urge all Commonwealth governments as a matter of urgency, to place high on the agenda of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, the inclusion of these basic rights in the Harare Declaration on the lines of the Windhoek Declaration.

Vaka’uta, Taga and Neil-Jones’ role in Barbados continued the strong PINA editor participation in the CPU Commonwealth editors’ forum, which is held every two years.

Previous PINA editor participants include: Frank Kolma (The National, Papua New Guinea), Oseah Philemon (Papua New Guinea Post-Courier), John Lamani (Solomon Star), Samisoni Kakaivalu (The Fiji Times), Jale Moala (Fiji’s Daily Post) and Savea Sano Malifa (Samoa Observer).

More than 50 editors from throughout the Commonwealth took part in Barbados forum and then joined the main CPU conference.

CPU Commonwealth editors’ forum sessions focused on issues such as the use of the Internet, Human Resource Management; Media Management for the Modern Editor; Ethical Dilemmas; Press Freedom in the Commonwealth; and Environmental journalism.

 

7. FIJI EDITORS SAY CHARGED JOURNALISTS WERE ONLY DOING THEIR JOBS

SUVA, Fiji Islands (PINA Nius Online)---The editors of two Fiji Islands journalists charged with unlawful assembly with rebels said their reporters had been covering the takeover of an army camp by the rebels.

According to Russell Hunter, editor-in-chief of The Fiji Times, and Vasiti Waqa, news director of Radio Fiji, the unlawful assembly charge relates to the journalists covering meetings held inside the army camp after it was taken over by rebels.

Unlawful use of a motor vehicle charges they also face relate to getting a ride in a vehicle rebels were using. The reporters had done this because it was the only way to get to and from the camp at the time, Waqa said.

Police in the northern town of Labasa charged reporter Ruci Mafi, of The Fiji Times, and local Radio Fiji correspondent Theresa Ralogaivau. The journalists were released on bail.

Hunter and Waqa said their news organisations would vigorously defend their journalists. Waqa said both journalists had reported on the performance of police during the crisis after Fiji’s May 19 coup by indigenous Fijian gunmen led by George Speight.

The charges follow events in July and August when an army camp near the town of Labasa was taken over by rebel soldiers and local civilians.

Fiji’s Daily Post reported the two journalists were alleged to have sat through a meeting held by rebel soldiers and civilians and alleged to have transmitted information designed to get more civilians into the barracks. Police also said that the pair were seen in a vehicle allegedly unlawfully taken and driven by rebels.

Divisional Police Commander Northern Samuela Matakibau was quoted by local news media as saying: "The law is for everyone and no journalists should overstep that line." He said other members of the public will be charged when sufficient evidence is collected.

Fiji has amongst the most developed, independent, and diverse news media in the Pacific Islands. They have reported freely throughout this year’s crisis. During the hostage crisis many local and overseas journalists reported freely from within the parliamentary complex held by Speight and his supporters.

But the charges against Mafi and Ralogaivau come after an incident on 20 October when armed soldiers came to Radio Fiji in Suva and took acting chief executive Francis Herman, news director Waqa and reporter Maca Lutunauga to army headquarters. The trio were detained and questioned by soldiers and police over the source of a report broadcast that morning about differences in the army. The trio refused to reveal their sources and was finally freed without being charged.

The region’s main professional organisation of the news media, the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), criticised the army action. PINA said the military should have no role detaining and interrogating journalists to try to force them to reveal their sources.

 

8. PNG MEDIA COUNCIL CONDEMNS ATTACK ON JOURNALISTS

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PINA Nius Online)---Papua New Guinea Media Council chairperson Peter Aitsi condemned increasing attacks on Papua New Guinea journalists.

He spoke after unionists - gathered to protest against privatisation and the downwriting of members’ contributions by the National Provident Fund (NPF) - turned on media personnel covering their planned march to Parliament.

Media representatives were forced to flee the grounds. In the process an EMTV cameraman sustained minor injuries when he was set upon by the angry crowd. The cameraman required four stitches to the head.

Mr. Aitsi said it is an example of the alarming increase in attacks against media workers.

"The Media Council reminds all groups and members of the public that the media is there as the eyes and ears of the community," he said. "Our media workers are just working men and women of PNG, they are simply there to do their jobs.

"We have a difficult job... when we do not cover a story, we are criticised as being biased, and when we do our people are intimidated and even attacked."

"The organisers of the rally must take responsibility for the actions of their supporters. If you want your side of the story to be carried in the media, the harassment must stop."

The proposed union movement march to Parliament was delayed because the police had not given their approval.

 

9. BRIEFLY: MORE CHRISTIAN BROADCASTERS; MORE NIUE NEWS

#PAPUA NEW GUINEA GOVERNMENT APPROVES LICENCE FOR NEW TV STATION

The Papua New Guinea Government gave approval to an American religious television station to begin broadcasting in the country.

The Papua New Guinea Telecommunication Authority (PANGTEL) granted a nationwide non-commercial television broadcast licence to Danny Shelton, president of the 3ABN (3 Angels Broadcasting Network) in Port Moresby.

The television company is an independent one supporting the ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church based in Illinois, United States of America. The station will broadcast from the United States until a production centre is established in PNG. Papua New Guinea already has a national free-to-air TV service, EMTV.

# ANOTHER CHRISTIAN RADIO STATION ON THE FIJI AIRWAVES

Hundreds of people flocked to Christian Mission Fellowship in Kinoya, near Suva, for the launch of Fiji’s second Christian radio station. FM97, an inter-denominational station, will initially broadcast to Suva but will soon extend its reach to the West and plans to expand to the North next year.

Already on the Fiji airwaves are another Christian station; five stations of the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation; three stations and the BBC relay run by Communications Fiji Limited; plus a community station at Vatukoula. FM97 manager Pastor Andrew Harries said the first Christian television station in the country would be on air 24 hours a day early next year. Both stations are part of the World Harvest Broadcast Network.

# NIUE NEWS IN THE PASIFIKA TIMES

The Niue Economic Review newspaper has joined forces with the Auckland based Pasifika Times and will provide Niue news for it.

The Pasifika Times will also be flown to Niue weekly and distributed on Saturday evening. Publisher of the Niue Economic Review Stafford Guest says he’s delighted with the move and hopes the Niue news input into Pasifika Times will keep Niueans in New Zealand and Australia better informed on what’s happening at home.

The Pasifika Times is owned by the well known Tongan publisher Kalafi Moala, who lives in Auckland. His paper is circulated throughout the large Pacific Islands communities in New Zealand, Australia and the USA, and in Tonga.

 

10. SITE TO WATCH: PNGVILLAGE.COM

Papua New Guinea’s main broadcasting site on the World Wide Web is operated by PNG FM, the company running popular stations Nau FM and Yumi FM. The site includes regular news updates and can be found at http://www.pngvillage.com 

#PINA Pacific Media Nius is a service of the UNESCO/PINA Pacific Journalism Development Centre, Suva, Fiji Islands. The Centre was set up under the UNESCO IPDC/PINA project PACTRAINER.

#To subscribe, unsubscribe or send suggestions, contact Peter Lomas, coordinator, UNESCO/ PINA Pacific Journalism Development Centre. Email: pinapjdc@is.com.fj  Fax: (679) 303943.

#To contact the Pacific Islands News Association Secretariat, contact Nina Ratulele, PINA administrator. Email: pina@is.com.fj  Fax: (679) 303943 WWW: http://www.pinanius.org 

Visit the NetCenter for Asia and Pacific Media Institutes http://www.pressasia.org/PFA/ 

Visit the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) http://www.ifex.org/ 

Visit the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) http://www.unesco.org/webworld 

Visit the Asia-Pacific Forum of Environmental Journalists (AFEJ) http://www.oneworld.org/slejf/ 

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