(o) Draft Media Decree Update; Blog Blocking; WAC Announcement, and ...
DRAFT MEDIA DECREE UPDATE AND BLOG BLOCKING
The Draft Media Decree. I understand participants at the Suva consultation had to return their copy of the draft decree before leaving the meeting. Whatever for? The draft was already leaked to the media. But even before sighting the draft, the usual team of of anti-government assessors had already made their judgment. Mine will have to wait until I've studied the draft in detail and pondered on what others have written.
I see no problem with the Code of Ethics which I wrongly thought this whole exercise was about, but there are four areas of major concern: 1) the proposed limitations on foreign media that will affect The Fiji Times and the Fiji Daily News; 2) the extent to which MIDA (the Media Industry Development Authority) and the Media Tribunal are able to be independent of government control; 3) the extent of fines for breaching the regulations and (4) who will pay them, the media organization or the journalist?
I'd previously accepted the need for checks on the media because of its unbalanced reporting but I'm now more concerned about checks on those who check the media.
David Robie, as usual, has an informative opinion piece, and David, who has read the draft, is very concerned. (photo, AUT)
The only new news since yesterday is that the the A-G has said all comments will be considered (let us hope so!); the consultation at Labasa has been cancelled; the Media Council has requested a meeting with government once the consultations are over; and the Fiji Times and the Murdoch group, like me, have chosen to keep their powder dry.
This is probably the most important legislation decreed since July last year, and the airwaves are alive with comment, not least on this blog. Check out readers' comments if you want to know how both "sides" and those in the middle feel.
ANNOUNCEMENT. Bryan Crump will be interviewing me on RadioNZ's Nights with Bryan Crump at 9:40pm next Monday April 12. I hope by then to be able to say something "intelligent" about the draft Media Decree.
Anti-Government Coup Apologist? First, I'm called a coup apologist by anti-government bloggers, and worse by the erstwhile Michael Field for whom I am a resurrected Lord Haw Haw (an English Hitler propagandist). And now, according to Fiji Today, the Ministry of Information has added my blog to its list of "subversive" websites.
I feel like the pedestrian who tried to stop a man beating his wife -- and finished up being beaten by both of them. But perhaps the Minister is more interested in readers' comments than the main posts. The blog has attracted a large number of very anti-govenment, anti-Indian, anti-"coup apologist" comments lately. (Note: Fiji Today and its fellow blog Coupfourpointfourfive are often the more moderate of the anti-government blogs.)
Blog blocking again: ISP's incompetent. Cornelius writes: 'Tried to post this in your ‘general comments’, but the proxy doesn’t allow it. I was hoping my comment would sting someone into some action. Forlorn hope, I expect.'
"Whilst the blocking of some blogs is at the IG's behest, the rest are blocked purely because of the sheer incompetence of the ISP's. How they are unable to block half a dozen URL's without blocking dozen's (if not hundreds) of others is beyond me. Perhaps Kidanet and Connect need to employ people that know more than how to just move the mouse!"
A World Bank team will visit Fiji later this month to discuss land reform initiatives, aimed partucularly at helping the sugar industry. The Bank expects the Fiji economy to do better this year.
A Chinese NGO has donated 750 sewing machines to Fiji's rural women.
Make Hindi compulsory in all Sanatan schools up to form four. This was one of the recommendations of the Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji made at their 51st Annual convention over the weekend. I wonder what's happened to government's plan to have Fijian and Hindu taught in all primary schools and to the public service? Can anyone inform me on this?
The NZ Radio Apna 40-hour radiothon raised $133,000 that has been used to provide basic food items to 3,000 families in Vanua Levu.
ANNOUNCEMENT. Women’s Action for Change (WAC) and women’s groups from 15 informal settlements will present a very special community performance of the new 2010 WAC play, ‘F Word’ on Saturday 10 April at the Crypt, below the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Pratt Street, Suva. The play begins at 3pm, with a Playback Theatre session to follow and ending at 4.30pm.
Over 200 women and girls from 15 informal settlement communities are working with Women’s Action for Change (WAC), to gather and share lived experiences and strategies to address gender-based violence, using the arts for participative research, collective action, and advocacy. Their stories are the core of this play. The ‘F word’ explores the links between restrictive concepts of gender and sexuality, families, and violence, and their impact on women and girls in Fiji. This includes social sanctions, discrimination and multiple forms of psychological, physical, sexual and economic violence.
All are invited. For further information please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Another matanigasau. A 70-member delegation from Cautata in Tailevu province led by the Roko Tui Cautata, Jioji Koronikainamata, has offered a traditional apology (matanigasau) to the PM and RFMF and reassured the PM of its whole-hearted support in moving Fiji forward.
A fleet of four vaka representing Aotoeara, Cook Islands, Samoa and the wider Pacific will leave Auckland on April 14 bound for Fiji, Samoa. Cook Islands and Tahiti. Each vaka has a crew of 14.