Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Journo killing 'intolerable violation' in Philippines

While UNESCO has condemned the murder of Filipino journalist Robert Sison and called on Philippines authorities to protect media workers, more than 500 people from Asia and the Pacific have gathered in Manila for a major regional media conference. UNESCO director-general Kochiro Matsuura said the targeting of journalists was an 'intolerable violation' of freedom of expression. Sison, 60, was the second journalist killed in the Philippines this year and the 56th since 2001. Meanwhile, the vice-president and a former president of the Philippines have been keynote speakers at this 17th Asian Media, Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) conference at the historic Manila Hotel. Vice-President Noli "Kanayan" De Castro, once a broadcaster himself, urged the media to remind people, governments and institutions that compassion and generosity are needed to fight the forces of poverty and injustice. The media needs to keep shaking governments out of their complacency. Former President Fidel Ramos appealed to communication students and journalists, calling for "sharing, caring and daring" from the media in dealing with the Millenium Development Goals. A new Pacific media book, South Pacific Island Communications: Regional Perspectives, Local Issues, co-published by AMIC, AUT University's Pacific Media Centre and the University of the South Pacific, was one of six publications launched at the conference. An interesting chapter by Robert Iroga, former editor of the Solomon Star, with some interesting insights when you work at a newspaper with threatening gunmen in your face.
On Wednesday, Sarah Baker and Jeanie Benson presented a stimulating paper, "The suitcase, the samurai and the pumpkin," about Asian crime and how it is framed by NZ media.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cora stirs ripples in Pacific pond

Cora Fabros dropped into New Zealand a week ago on the first stage of her tour exposing the impact of foreign military bases on sovereignty ... especially for indigenous peoples. She may not have made a mark yet in the mainstream media, but she has certainly stirred some ripples in the South Pacific pond. She is no stranger to New Zealand, having been here on several occasions with her previous Nuclear-free and Independent Pacific work. Nowadays lawyer Fabros is Asia-Pacific coordinator of the Manila-based International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases. She is a guest of NZ's Anti-Bases Campaign and is visiting spy bases around the country - including Waihopai (above), the base that attracted international attention when Ploughshare protesters sneaked into the site in a daring "raid" and deflated one of the large inflatable domes covering a radar dish. Comments by Cora reported in today's Marlborough Express:
"Information gleaned by the Waihopai Valley spy base is giving the United
States an unfair economic advantage ...

"Fabros described April's attack as a "very creative" way of bringing
attention to the facility.
"I really admire the courage of our friends who did this."
"She said Waihopai was ... spying on the communications of the Pacific Islands and the
information was part of the pool of data used by the US.
"That to me is very deceptive and a violation of the sovereignty of
independent nations."
Cora is speaking at the Pacific Media Centre on Thursday, July 17, 5-6.30pm, WT032, AUT Tower, Ground Floor, AUT University, Auckland (opposite Aotea Square). Don't miss the chance to hear her. More info? Contact Del Abcede: (+649) 921 9388.

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