Friday, January 11, 2008

News media ownership in NZ - updates

An update from Bill Rosenberg about his media ownership in New Zealand monitoring file (cartoon by Malcolm Evans from a previous PJR cover):
A revised version of my paper "News media ownership in New Zealand" is now available, which includes updates to the 15 October 2007 version, including some suggestions from readers (many thanks). The changes are outlined below.
It is available either by clicking the above link or going to the
CAFCA web site. I am unlikely to release another update for at least 2-3 months. If you do not wish to be notified of future updates, please reply to this message and I will remove you from my list (with no offence taken!).
The changes from the 15 October version:

For those needing the URL, it is as follows. As I release updates, I
will simply replace the document under the same name as the latest
version -
mediaown.pdf - so links do not need to be updated.

Comments are, as always, welcome.
Bill Rosenberg

Bill Rosenberg's evolving media ownership file at CAFCA

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Reinado video allegations target Xanana

A leaked videotape featuring fugitive rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, a former military police major and something of a cult figure with some reactionaries, blaming prime minister Xanana Gusmão as the person responsible for the crisis that engulfed East Timor in 2006. It has featured in the media and now Fretilin has called a media conference to discuss the contents of the tape. A statement by Francisco Guterres LuOlo, president of Fretilin, on 8 January 2008 said:

FRETILIN has called this press conference today to make public to the People of Timor-Leste, the Maubere people, that on the 31st of December 2007, we wrote to the President of the Republic and other institutions of our State regarding the allegations made by Mr Alfredo Reinado in a video recording that came into our possession last week, which has serious ramifications for our nation's stability and peace, and which will impact on our public institutions.
In that video recording that has been widely distributed by unidentified persons, Mr Alfredo Reinado accuses Mr Xanana Gusmão as the person responsible for the crisis that engulfed our nation in 2006. I am sure that all of us here today have heard or seen the said video recording, or have perhaps read about it in a newspaper.
When we viewed a copy of this recording that we obtained from the media, FRETILIN became extremely concerned with the impact that it would have on peace and stability in our country, as the statements made by Mr Alfredo Reinado may well lead to further public panic amongst our people already traumatized by similar statements from last year's crisis, and there may well be a surge in the number of currently internally displaced persons. We are concerned that the statements by Mr Reinado are aimed at continuing to divide our people and create further serious instability in our country.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy Chabal new year - and a Pacbook out soon!

Hepi niu yia for 2008 and, before we get into things Pasifika again, I'd like to share one of my highlights of 2007 - Le Caveman versus the AB Haka on YouTube. And this was just the start of the downfall of Les Noirs at the hands of Les Bleus. I had my rugby money on Chabal and the French! A pity they didn't knock out the Poms as well the following weekend after downing England twice in warm-up matches on the eve of the World Cup in France.

For a line-up of Sebastien Chabal's greatest hits, check out The Times Online.

Caricature by Guillaume

Now, back to the Pacific. Keep an eye out for the new book on development communication and the Pacific media being published by AMIC in Singapore due early in 2008. Co-authors Evangelia Papoutsaki and Usha Sundar Harris. Plus many contributors - among them Ron Crocombe, Kalafi Moala, Robert Iroga, Som Prakash, Shailendra Singh, Mark Hayes, Helen Molnar ... and me, of course. Definitely a worthwhile read and some touches of controversy too. It can be ordered via New Zealand's Pacific Media Centre.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Hepi Krismas!!

Season's greetings to all Cafe Pacific readers!

Press freedom Asia-Pacific style - Timor troubles

Joseph Laban, of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, paints a bleak picture about media freedom in Timor-Leste. Although it might be better than in neighbouring Indonesia or the Philippines, it is still fairly tough as his SEAPA fellowship there has demonstrated. And not much seems to have changed since the NZ media mission there in June. As Joseph writes:
The Timor Post has staff members who have been in constant fear for their lives since last year, when two of them were attacked and left for dead right outside their rundown office. Then again, other journalists in this young nation have had similar experiences. Last August, another major newspaper had its office windows smashed while one of its employees was struck repeatedly with rocks and sticks and his motorcycle trashed after he acknowledged that he worked for the paper. Ideally, this should not be happening in the world’s youngest democracy, which at one point had also been called by then United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan as "a child of the international community".
But as the media in other Southeast Asian nations have found out, keeping the press free is a constant battle that is fought daily – even in a supposed democracy. Just last week, for instance, about 50 journalists covering a coup attempt were handcuffed with plastic luggage fasteners and hauled off for questioning by Philippine authorities. As of June 2007, the Philippines has also seen some 90 media practitioners killed in the line of duty since democracy was restored in 1986, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP). Fifty-three of the killings, adds the NUJP, took place under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia, 58 cases of violence against journalists were recorded between August 2006 to August 2007 by the Alliance of Independent Journalists. According to the body, "government apparatus" has become the new enemy of press freedom, since it is believed to have perpetrated 10 of the recorded assaults.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Gizzy quake - a fresh reporter's news diary

It's always refreshing to hear from our AUT Uni journalism school scribes out there in the field. Take Jessica Wauchop for example, down there at the Gisborne Herald. Just received a breathless email from her after she was caught up in the story of her reporter's life so far - the Gizzy quake! A few lines from her message - she was caught in the middle of Xmas drinks:
Nothing like a huge earthquake to sober you up! It was 8.55 pm. It started really slowly, just rocking a bit and we expected it to finish soon like normal. All of sudden there was a huge jolt, then about 20 seconds worth of more severe jolts. The huge press machine was clanking and bottles were hitting the floor. For some reason we all ran outside to the carpark. Only one photographer jumped under the table, and I'm pretty sure I screamed.
The lights went out at some stage during all of this and it took a few seconds of shivering in the carpark to start thinking again. About half a minute later we all realised what had happened and thought "Shit! Stories! Go!"
Gisborne Herald is right in the centre of town and across the road from the Warehouse. We ran there straight away. It was crazy, people were coming out of the store - some with cuts others just in shock. Warehouse items had fallen from all the shelves and we spoke to people who had had to jump under a over turned couch to avoid getting hit by things.
Then we heard someone say buildings were down in town. (It's about now that I start feeling like a real reporter).
Another reporter and two photographers and I hailed down a truck, jumped on the back of it and asked it to take us into town where the buildings were down. The first building we saw badly damaged was Hallenstein's; its roof had collapsed and staff and customers were coming out of the rubble. I stayed here with our chief photographer, we spoke to the staff and customers who all had to hide under the tables. We climbed through the rubble a bit to help the staff members and get photos and a look at what happened.
Next we headed down town and went to several other buildings that had their ceilings come down with the earthquake. It was surreal... Image: Scoop

Merry Christmas Jess - and to all our Cafe Pacific readers!

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