Saturday, June 24, 2017
Flashback to the US-led coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- how the rolling 24 hour news station Al Jazeera played a key role in the battle for hearts and minds and has made many political enemies. "We are surrounded by despots," says fiesty presenter Faisal Al-Qaseem. Video: Journeyman Pictures
Pacific Media Watch/Asia Pacific Report
PRESS freedom and human rights advocates, journalists and social media users have condemned a demand by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to shut Al Jazeera television network and other media outlets in Qatar.
The Arab states reportedly issued a 13-point list on Friday, demanding the closure of all news outlets that it funds, directly and indirectly, including Arabi21, Rassd, Al Araby Al Jadeed, Mekameleen and Middle East Eye.
“We are really worried about the implication and consequences of such requirements if they will ever be implemented,” said Alexandra El Khazen, head of Middle East and North Africa desk at Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organisation promoting press freedom.
Speaking to Al Jazeera from Paris, Khazen said: “We are against any kind of censorship and measures that could threaten the diversity in the Arab media landscape and pluralism, for instance.
“The Arabic media landscape should make room and accept the broadest range of viewpoints instead of adopting repressive measures against alternative viewpoints that are found to be critical of some governments.”
Saturday, June 10, 2017
|Auckland mayor Phil Goff admiring a photograph by John Miller taken of the politician when he was a student activist campaigning for a nuclear-free New Zealand. Goff spoke at the "Celebrating 30 Years of Nuclear-Free Aotearoa/New Zealand" at the Depot Artspace in Devonport today. Image" David Robie|
CONGRATULATIONS everybody for that tremendous achievement three decades ago. And thank you to WILPF Aotearoa and Ruth Coombes for inviting me. It was literally a David and Goliath struggle to make New Zealand nuclear-free against United States and global pressure – not just David Lange, prime minister at the time, although he was vital too.
However, in my few minutes I would like to talk about the Pacific context, as this was my background. While the New Zealand campaign and success was tremendously inspirational for the Pacific, it should not be forgotten that some small Pacific countries and communities were actually ahead of the game.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Dr Max Lane, pictured here with Faiza Mardzoeki, talks about his project to establish a community and activist library for the student city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. Video: Café Pacific
By David Robie in Yogyakarta
A VISION for a progressive activists, writers and researchers retreat in the lush outskirts of Indonesia’s most cultural city, Yogyakarta, is close to becoming reality.
|Unfinished Nation ... one of Dr Max Lane's |
Dr Lane, who has been writing and commenting about cultural and political developments in Indonesia, Philippines, Timor-Leste and his homeland since the 1970s, is delighted that completing the centre is so close.
“We have almost completed this building, the library, which will have a reading room, an office, and also some accommodation for those who would like to stay for a few days, or even longer to use the library,” he says, gesturing towards the empty rooms at the complex in the rice-producing and tourist village of Ngepas.
“The library will have about 4000 to 5000 books in the field of social sciences, humanities, history, feminism and so on.”
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Al Jazeera's coverage by Step Vaessen of the Papuan protest at WPFD2017 in Jakarta.
By David Robie in Jakarta
INDONESIAN hospitality was given a rave notice this week for hosting World Press Freedom Day 2017, but it was also given a huge black mark for its “gagging” of free discussion over West Papua violations.
Four days before the WPFD event got under way, prominent Papuan journalist Victor Mambor had warned in the New Internationalist that Indonesian double standards had imposed a silence over West Papua.
Even a Papuan protest outside the Jakarta Conference Centre venue was kept at the margins, ensuring most of the 1300 journalists, media academics and communication policy makers from 90 countries were unaware of the shocking press and human rights violations that continue almost daily in the Melanesian provinces of Papua and West Papua (collectively known as West Papua).
But for the rest, mostly silence.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
|"Gagged" West Papua. Instagram montage by tuckwolf_|
MEDIA freedom advocates and human rights activists are planning a “global action” for West Papua with demonstrations marking UNESCO world press freedom day events in Jakarta next week.
The advocates want to focus global attention on the “media blackout” long imposed by Indonesian authorities, in spite of promises to open up access to the two Melanesian provinces of Papua and West Papua adjoining independent Papua New Guinea.
The global action will begin on May 1 and run for three days climaxing with World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
Prominent UK-based West Papuan lawyer and civil rights campaigner Benny Wenda will then pay a visit to New Zealand the following week to raise awareness.
Monday, April 10, 2017
French journalist Cyril Payen is still barred from entering Indonesia following his 2015 documentary film, Indonésie : la guerre oubliée des Papous (The Forgotten War in Papua).
Analysis by Tempo in Pacific Media Watch
THE blacklisting of Jack Hewson, a freelance journalist working for Al Jazeera, shows the Indonesian government’s paranoia towards foreign journalists.
The government should allow the foreign press to cover Papua. Preventing journalists from reporting the facts there is not a good testament on the claim of press freedom in Indonesia.
It transpires that the request for the ban came from the Indonesian Military (TNI).
According to the Immigration Directorate General, Hewson is suspected of “dangerous activities, endangering security and public order”.
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