Thursday, November 20, 2014

Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on

A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan
A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote address at a media education conference at AUT University next week.

Ces Oreña-Drilon, an anchor for the ABS-CBN flagship current affairs programme Bandila, has been investigating the 2009 Maguindanao massacre when 32 journalists were among the 58 people killed in the atrocity carried out by private militia recruited by a local warlord.

She has been reporting on the controversial legal and political contest around the massacre with nobody yet having been successfully prosecuted out of almost 200 people charged over the killings.

Drilon will give a keynote address at the “Political reporting in the Asia-Pacific” conference hosted by the Pacific Media Centre on November 27-29. The conference marks 20 years of publication of Pacific Journalism Review.

The fifth anniversary of the massacre is this Sunday and there is still no justice for the families of the victims.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Haka politics as part of global rugby’s overdrive

The French “arrow” challenge to the All Blacks’ haka in the 2011 World Cup final – France lost narrowly 8-7.

By Brendan Bradford on Sportal

OPINION: The chief sportswriter for Britain’s Daily Telegraph, Oliver Brown, claims the haka is “scarcely more than a circus display” and that is “hidebound by political correctness”.

In a column for the Telegraph online, Brown implores his readers to grasp the “anomalousness” (yep, that’s a word we’re using now apparently) of the haka by recalling the “utter befuddlement” with which it was received by the American men’s basketball team at the recent World Cup.

Rather than incite fear in the opposition, writes Brown, the haka has become a “theatrically-rendered cultural curiosity,” and an “exotic sideshow”.

When you’ve got American-run competitions to find the best haka in the country in the lead up to the All Blacks’ game against the United States, the “cultural curiosity” tag is fair enough – but that’s not Brown’s complaint.

His grievance seems to be that the opposing team doesn’t have a right of reply – even though his main point is that the haka has become a sideshow.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ricardo Morris ... stripping away the hidden agendas and media myths

Publisher of Repúblika Media Limited Ricardo Morris (second from left) with
University of the South Pacific journalism award recipients. Image: USP
This is the keynote message from Repúblika publisher Ricardo Morris at the University of the South Pacific/Wansolwara journalism awards 2014.

JOURNALISM is an act of faith in the future. That’s what the American television correspondent Ann Curry wrote in a 2010 cover essay in Guideposts magazine. Journalism, she argued, should do more than inform. It should make you care.

Ann’s essay, titled "Telling Stories of Hope", marked her long-deserved promotion to co-host of NBC’s Today show. Ann describes the lure of journalism for her as “a call, an urgency” to report because she knew that doing so would “give voice to those who need to be heard".

Not only do the people affected deserve to be heard, the media-consuming public also deserved to hear about what was happening in other parts of the world because it gave us “a chance to care, and it is that empathy that offers the greatest hope".

In today’s world, with short attention spans, competing media outlets and platforms and a world of information – not all of it edifying – at ordinary people’s fingertips, journalism can still be a way to inject some hope into our world.

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