Sunday, August 19, 2007
Fiji media inquiry hots up - PMW feedback
Friday, August 17, 2007
On Fiji matters, NZ photojourno Bruce Connew has produced an inspiring book, STOPOVER, on Fiji's indentured labour, George Speight's coup and the story of Indo-Fijian post-coup migration. Superbly designed by his wife, Catherine Griffiths, it's a must read. An exhibition of this work is scheduled for PATAKA, Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand, from August 26, 2007.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
My own reflections were jotted down on the first day, Chris Warren's speech was inspiring and Jeremy Rose had some good stuff on Sunday. So watch for some feisty coverage in TWN this Friday. Unsurprisingly, I liked Judy McGregor's swipe at the nation's newsrooms for their "pitifully low" Maori, Pacific Island and Asian numbers - "this has been a structural, systemic problem for decades". She handed bouquets to Fairfax for its new internship diversity ratio and suggested that only Waiariki and AUT University media schools would pass an audit for diversity of selection. I'll offer a plug here for AUT - it has had a Pasifika diversity scholarship in place for several years now in partnership with PIMA - and last year the first scholarship BCS graduate was snapped up by Radio NZ, a masters graduate joined Niu FM and another masters graduate started his own Tongan-language newspaper. Plus there is also AUT's Pacific Media Centre initiative promoting independent journalism research. Cook Islands scribe Jason Brown rapped the journalists' "closed door" democracy with a criticism of the use of Chatham House Rules.
"Politics threaten media progress"
In the Christchurch Press, anti-union columnist Karl du Fresne launched into an attack on the politics of the conference. He singled out for special criticism "self-proclaimed socialist" Martin Hirst (for supporting journalists as agents of social change) and keynote speaker Equal Opportunities Commissioner Judy McGregor for being a "trenchant critic of the industry that once employed her". Pictured: Conference convenor Brent Edwards, Radio NZ's political editor and EPMU media council chair. Photo: Jimmy Joe/EPMU.
Monday, August 6, 2007
So the inevitable has happened. Australian-backed regime change has entered its final act. Resistance hero Xanana Gusmao, but a divisive figure when still president of Timor-Leste during last year's clashes, has finally been named prime minister of a coalition government, ousting the Fretilin government that had led the country into independence. Gusmao refused Fretilin's proposal for a "government of national unity" headed by an independent PM. So the stage was set for bitter responses from the internal refugee camps and disaffected youth to President Jose Ramos Horta's announcement on Monday that Gusmao would lead the next government, a coalition of major parties, after five weeks of negotiations following the recent parliamentary elections. Sporadic rioting has begun.
Fretilin - which won the most votes in the election but which fell short of the majority needed to rule - has denounced the decision, declaring the new government is illegal. It has boycotted Parliament since last week. Fretilin has declared it will not cooperate with a government that is "unconstitutional". (Pictured: Election street graffiti - Asia Pacific Network).
Friday, August 3, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
1. Is it a crime to buy and travel on one-way air tickets?
2. Are all relatives of a terrorist considered terrorists?
3. Dr. Haneef's SIM card was not involved in any terror activity.
4. Why was his wife's visa to Australia canceled?
5. When Dr. Haneef's visa was cancelled, why was he not deported?
6. Why was Dr. Asif Ali, friend of Dr. Haneef, harassed and why is he not allowed to say what happened to him when he was under detention?
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Radio NZ article reports on a case heard in Lautoka High Court, which dismissed an application to have the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption declared illegal. This particular case also represents a significant boost to the mandate of the clean-up campaign, undertaken by the Interim Fiji Government, which found massive irregularities in Native Institutions. These discrepancies, could find the deposed Prime Minister of Fiji, Laisenia Qarase culpable for abuse of office. Earlier, Qarase had denied abusing his position to enrich himself or cordoning corrupt practices under his watch. Qarase counter accused the Corruption Unit of selectivity, by steering the investigations clear of the Fiji President, who was also appointed as President of Native Lands Trust Board, while Qarase chaired the board. Qarase's accusations, actually acknowledges that, the crime(s) took place. It was during this time, approval of several questionable projects involving Pacific Connex and the illegal de-registering of native land without consent or approval of the native land owning units occurred. Other case that may involve Qarase includes the projects at Natadola and Yaqara; both locations of proposed major development projects, without the ownership and approval of the landowners. These projects placed NLTB and Fijian institutions under scrutiny following complaints, involving coercion, misrepresentation and transactions under false pretences.
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