Monday, August 11, 2014

Young reporters offer fresh insights into Pacific 'truths'

REFRESHING to see some younger journos not weighed down by the political baggage of the Asia-Pacific region giving some fresh insights into media challenges - such as Fiji barely a month away from facing its first election in eight years, and also West Papua.

Coup master Voreqe Bainimarama's fleeting visit to New Zealand at the weekend, for the first time since he staged his military putsch in 2006, was crowned by a heady FijiFirst "festival" in Manukau.

Several mainstream media organisations would have us believe that this event was dominated or disrupted by hecklers and protesters.

The truth, unpalatable as it may seem, was actually a resounding success for Bainimarama with most of the 1000 crowd barracking for him, and this was more accurately depicted by Radio Tarana.

A couple of journalists on the Inclusive Journalism Initiative (IJI) programme and Asia-Pacific Journalism course, including a Pasifika broadcast journalist, with a fresh approach, provided a much more balanced and nuanced print story and video report. Well done Alistar Kata and Mads Anneberg!

On a similar theme, Struan Purdie, also at IJI and APJ, filed an excellent report on the realities of media freedom and human rights in the Indonesian-ruled West Papua region. This followed comprehensive and quality news features from Pacific Media Watch editor Anna Majavu. Kudos to you both too!

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