(o+-) Pro- and Anti- Observations on the Draft Media Decree


These are links and brief notes on pro- and anti-observations on the draft Media Decree. A CCF statement was posted yesterday. I expect to be able to say something myself soon but first there's some digging and chainsaw work to do.

The draft Decree may be read here through this Mediafire link  or through the same link provided in a previous post.                    Photo: gocek.org


Hear CCF's Mosmi Bhim  speaking on the democratisation of Fiji - how to achieve it and how to cope with the present situation. Mosmi, speaking as an individual, was attending the conference of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies at Victoria University, Melbourne. The Presenter is Bruce Hill.

Interviewed by Radio Tarana PM Bainimarama said he's looking forward to the outcome of the consultations and thinks the  media industry will now have an "appreciation of how government wants to engage in building a responsible media that will move the country forward." He said Government cannot and will not allow vested interests to take over the national interest. He refused to speculate about the future of the Fiji Times. Journalist Michael Field had earlier said "it is clear that coup strongman Voreqe Bainimarama is seeking to take over the Fiji Times." Clear to Field perhaps; other prefer not to prejudge outcomes.

Spot the Difference.This email from White Frangipani:
 Croz,  Which report is more accurate, or should I say “spot the difference”?

Fiji Times in   "Media Freedom is Vital" says Professor Satendra Nandan said he believes the freedom of the press is very important, it plays an important role in moving this country forward and the role of the media is very essential.
Fiji Sun in  "Academic Wants Balance" says that Professor Satendra Nandan said there should be a balance between the public interest and the people in power, public interest came first, the role of the media in developing societies and countries is essential, the role of the media is very essential, and media played a vital role but license could not be given in the name of freedom.

Interesting to compare the reports. Balance and public interest were not mentioned by Fiji Times which emphasizes freedom of the press while the Fiji Sun emphasizes the public interest. Comparing the emphasis in the headings is also interesting.

A-G Says Overseas Reactions Bordering on Hysterical and Unbalanced. Sayed-Khaiyum  says the reaction and reporting by the overseas media on the Decree was not balanced. No one has  clarifying that the Decree is still a draft, and not single overseas media organization has contacted him since the Decree was released, to get government’s side of the story.

What Happens After 2014? The A-G also said concern had been expressed at the consultations about the Authority's powers once politicians returned in 2014. He said these would be addressed to prevent "manipulation." The draft decree will now go back to the drawing board, and the decree implemented as soon as possible.

The Singapore Model. The A-G says this is the sort of media law that applies in several other countries, citing Singapore but Prof. Gary Rodan, of the Asia Research centre at Australia's Murdoch University,   thinks Singpore is not a good model. Listen to what he has to say.

See Link to the Singapore Model. An very informative article "Singapore Baseline Study" may be downloaded through this Mediafire  link. Simply click on download.

AUT Journalism Professor, David Robie expresses deep concern about parts of the draft Decree.

The Future of PINA.  David is also concerned about its implications for the PI News Association (PINA) based in Suva.   And PINA  calls for softer Media Decree penalties.One might have thought it would have had more to say than this.

'Old' Media Council Seeks Meeting with Government.  Link.

Comments

Anonymous said…
No one can dispute that much of this draft decree targets the Fiji Times.

It's the only organisation that has tried to take on Frank Bainimarama. It has the financial capability to do so and it has a print run of what, 25,000-40,000 newspapers a day in which to put its spin on things.

Perhaps in the absence of any parliamentary opposition the paper felt it had to take on that role and "be the voice for the voiceless".

It is still finding ways of carrying out that role - it refuses to acknowledge that those in power today are the government, instead selecting terms like "regime" and "administration" to refer to Fiji's rulers.

Even today it refuses to legitimise the positions of those in authority. For example, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is not the Attorney-General or Minister for Public Enterprises.

No, to the Fiji Times, he "holds the Justice and Commerce portfolios".

Technically that's correct. Realistically, it's the paper's way of giving the government/regime/administration a middle-fingered salute.

TuMa.
Clear as mud said…
Is anyone else getting the impression from Frank's comments to Radio Tarana ( you'll need to read the link to their site ) that he's holding the door open for the Fiji Times to change its ways under the existing ownership? He certainly wasn't flagging a change of owners as a matter of course, as you might expect if that's the regime's agenda. Interesting. Judging from Aiyaz's comments, he and the regime are stung by the overwhelmingly negative publicity Fiji is getting abroad for the draft decree. But really, what do they expect? There doesn't seem to be anyone in the regime who can tell them to their faces that certain negative things will flow from some of their more ill thought out decisions. This guy lived in Australia for a long time, his brother is a journalist with NZ and local experience, and yet he shows precious little understanding of how the regional media would have reacted to the draft decree. You can't take on the biggest media player in the world and threaten to jail local reporters and still expect things to go smoothly. Anyone sensible could have told them that. Is it that they don't listen or don't care? Whatever the answer, Mr AG, don't complain when you cause a storm and get hit by flying wreckage.
immunity for murder???? said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Croz said…
@ Anonymous. Please re-post using a real name or pseudonym.
Invictus said…
Teach an ostrich these words “accuracy, fair, and balanced” then the nation will have honest journalists.
BASA said…
Where do we expect to see sugar production in twenty years time? The use of sugar will never cease. It is used in every walk of life. Many people have asked why the sugar industry is dying. There is a simple answer – sugarcane farmers no longer have land to plant on. It’s all gone back to the landowner. They have their reasons for leaving it idle, it’s up to them.

One sugarcane farmer and his family now have jobs in various companies around Lautoka. They often go back to visit the landowners and have a basin of yaqona with them. They are still friends. They have a meal together then they organize another “sitting”, sometimes it’s at the former cane farmer’s home. Oh, they get on like a house on fire.

When I meet the former cane farmers they usually say, “We miss the farm. We miss the hard work.” They planted sugarcane and alongside that they had their vegetable farm, which the landowner also ate from. Today they plant their vegetable in their town backyard and sell the surplus on the road. It's grog money, they tell me. And the landowner? He works in a supermarket packing potatoes and sweeping floors and now buys vegetables from the roadside. Oh, they still help each other out.
Anonymous said…
The main reason the sugar industry is dying is because Fiji produces sugar way above the world market price.

So inefficient are our production processes that even with the preferential prices we get from the EU (Fiji was selling its sugar for about three times the world sugar price) our farmers can barely survive.

The return of land to landowners is secondary.

If you as a farmer are getting such poor returns from such a labour-intensive industry, why would you stay?

Yes, there are cases where landowners have refused to extend leases.

We've been conducting studies on the industry since at least the early 80s and they have all said the same thing - Fiji needs to produce sugar cheaper if it is to compete against giant producers like Brazil and Australia, canefarmers need to stop burning cane because it reduces quality, mills need to invest in machinery, the sugar transport system needs improvement, the unions and those in government need to stop politicising it etc, etc, etc.

There is an initial flurry of interest after the study comes out and then it sits on a shelf somewhere collecting dust, ready to resurrected and quoted from when the next study comes around.

TuMa.
TheMax said…
First, why are the threats of murder and kidnapping being made? What is the genesis of it all? If you remove peaceful methods of change from the agenda, what methods are left?

Moreover, how was it that Frank came to power in the first place? When he ordered soldiers with guns into Government offices, were those guns loaded with flowers or candy? If the officials concerned had refused to obey the orders of the soldiers, what would have happened to them?

So what has been sowed, and what is being reaped, in this context?

Secondly, do you see any sustainable way that the support of Fijians is being won?

From where I stand, any support the regime is getting is based almost completely on the PER and the manipulative abuse of the levers of Government power, or supposedly independent bodies like judiciary, the DPP and FICAC.

That means that as soon as Fiji returns to s democratic set-up where people can be freely lobbied, and can decide their own priorities and opinions, then the Regime's agenda will automatically lose the major basis for any support it might have had.

So the only way for them to ensure their agenda in the long term would be to again overthrow democracy and re-impose dictatorial rule and the PER.

From this you can see that any purported connection between the present Charter routeway and the destination is more than likely a mirage, for the simple reason that there is no viable way of getting off the self-fulfilling routeway.

Finally, I hardly need point out that Regime does have all the time in the world to extract itself from this dilemma. Because its forlorn "passing the hat around" for support being played out against a backdrop of a thus-far unyielding shrink of the Fiji economy. All it takes these days is one natural disaster, and Fiji loses whatever tenuous growth potential it may have been looking forward to for that calendar year.

This economic malaise is unlikely to halt or reverse without a large dose of the kind of institutional, economic and political orthodoxy that the Regime has thus far eschewed in favour of maintaining its 100% grip on power.

As things stand therefore, the assumption of any ultimate arrival at the Charter destination or even any of its "pillars", is best summed up by the American saying "You can't get there from here!"
Invictus said…
You point out anonymous threats by certain blogs of kidnapping and personal harm and assume that all opposition of Fiji's current rulers support this. You are sadly mistaken. Despite the fact that violence, assault (physical, sexual, mental etc), threats to family members etc used by the military to silence opposition, many critics in Fiji do not wish to reciprocate this. Those that do, like the blogs you point out, are surely a minority. Most ordinary folks i speak to back home say all they want is an end to this sorry state of affairs in Fiji.

Let the record show that the 'threat of violence' that you love alluding to in your unyielding support for the military regime and its tactics, was started by the military themselves. It went to a new low when women were also subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse which occured at the military camp.

The people of Fiji so far must be applauded for their Gandhi-like tolerance of such violence.
TheMax said…
@ Cros

So someone has hijacked my pseudonym TheMax above to try and confuse and muddle my viewpoints altogether.

I would suggest to you that from now on, why don't you let people subscribe to your blog so that this hijacking of pseudonym does not happen in the future. In that way, you can also get rid of anonymous comments too.
TheMax said…
It has been reported that tourist arrivals are up. At the end of the fiscal year can we show an increase in revenue, just to balance the equation? But many tourists come on pre-planned pleasure trips. Most things are paid for on the other side. What they spend in Fiji is just a measly sum on handicraft, necklaces a little food and maybe soft drinks. All the big money is paid and left overseas
TheMax said…
The Fiji Times is guilty of sabotaging Fiji's political and economical development in the last 20 years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure all that out.

What the Fiji Times was doing in the last 20 years since coup 1987 was manipulate and slant their reporting to directly and indirectly influence political and economic development in Fiji to suit their masters agenda. The strategy was so obvious that it is really time, this foreign propaganda machine is shut down and close for good. It doesn't matter whether they are the oldest newspaper in Fiji because that is not true either. The oldest newspaper in Fiji was the Fiji Times and Herald Ltd and not the Fiji Times Ltd, Murdoch's and Australia's propaganda tool. Hiding behind their license to publish news in Fiji. The Fiji Times cunningly and deceptively sabotaged Fiji since the time Murdoch took over this company.

So the current government leadership is absolutely correct in what they are trying to do through the new media decree. I say make into law and get rid of this bloodsuckers from our shores.
TheMax said…
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TheMax said…
I'm getting as bewildered and confused as lakham??? Where is my commonwealth games?? Why won't they let me go???
I want my immunity too????
Gonedau said…
The Fiji Times is guilty of sabotaging Fiji's political and economical development in the last 20 years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure all that out.

What the Fiji Times was doing in the last 20 years since coup 1987 was manipulate and slant their reporting to directly and indirectly influence political and economic development in Fiji to suit their masters agenda. The strategy was so obvious that it is really time, this foreign propaganda machine is shut down and close for good. It doesn't matter whether they are the oldest newspaper in Fiji because that is not true either. The oldest newspaper in Fiji was the Fiji Times and Herald Ltd and not the Fiji Times Ltd, Murdoch's and Australia's propaganda tool. Hiding behind their license to publish news in Fiji. The Fiji Times cunningly and deceptively sabotaged Fiji since the time Murdoch took over this company.

So the current government leadership is absolutely correct in what they are trying to do through the new media decree. I say make into law and get rid of this bloodsuckers from our shores.
KaiViti said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
xhajsddspss nsmaamdmssm said…
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Invictus said…
Well the mendacious and vacuous jouranlist at he the Fiji Times are literally fighting for their lives.

Like flies to shite these imbeciles are none the wiser they resort to hijacking among other things nom de plumes to justify there wretched exsistence.

Who could trust such an inbred.
Invictus said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon said…
How about organizing tours to villages and rural areas, so that the people don’t have to spend money on carriers to motor into town. Hard earned money is spent on taxi and carrier fares. Then after they have sold something they go and have an unhealthy lunch at a fast food restaurant and 50% of the money is gone.

I was in Nadi the other day and made it a point to scrutinize the duty free shops, as they are called. The sales people have it down to a T. I heard one person say “Biula, welcome to Fayjay, would you like to come in and see what we sell? Good prices. Quality goods in here.” He said it with an ‘Austraylian’ accent which sounded like an ‘Austraylian’. And he had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen.
TheMax said…
The Fiji Times is guilty of sabotaging Fiji's political and economical development in the last 20 years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure all that out.

What the Fiji Times was doing in the last 20 years since coup 1987 was manipulate and slant their reporting to directly and indirectly influence political and economic development in Fiji to suit their masters agenda. The strategy was so obvious that it is really time, this foreign propaganda machine is shut down and close for good. It doesn't matter whether they are the oldest newspaper in Fiji because that is not true either. The oldest newspaper in Fiji was the Fiji Times and Herald Ltd and not the Fiji Times Ltd, Murdoch's and Australia's propaganda tool. Hiding behind their license to publish news in Fiji. The Fiji Times cunningly and deceptively sabotaged Fiji since the time Murdoch took over this company.

So the current government leadership is absolutely correct in what they are trying to do through the new media decree. I say make into law and get rid of this bloodsuckers from our shores.
Easter Bunny said…
Censorship Rules. The Easter Bunnies were at work again over this Weekend blocking all blogsites.

More to come.
TheMax said…
The Fiji Times is guilty of sabotaging Fiji's political and economical development in the last 20 years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure all that out.

What the Fiji Times was doing in the last 20 years since coup 1987 was manipulate and slant their reporting to directly and indirectly influence political and economic development in Fiji to suit their masters agenda. The strategy was so obvious that it is really time, this foreign propaganda machine is shut down and close for good. It doesn't matter whether they are the oldest newspaper in Fiji because that is not true either. The oldest newspaper in Fiji was the Fiji Times and Herald Ltd and not the Fiji Times Ltd, Murdoch's and Australia's propaganda tool. Hiding behind their license to publish news in Fiji. The Fiji Times cunningly and deceptively sabotaged Fiji since the time Murdoch took over this company.

So the current government leadership is absolutely correct in what they are trying to do through the new media decree. I say make into law and get rid of this bloodsuckers from our shores.
Invictus said…
The mechanics and content of the vast majority of the media decree is either irrelevant or innocuous - so there is little need for you to study all of it "properly".

The only really relevant sections are the severity of the punishments, and the unaccountable powers of the media arbitrator (or whatever the new media czar is going to be called).

The way the decree is set up will give the regime controlling power over the media authority in exactly the same way as they currently have power over the regime-appointed judiciary and magistracy right now.

So just as any Fiji judge or magistrate can be now sacked overnight without explanation, so it will be with the media authority. If he/she has the gall to deliver any ruling that the regime doesn't happen to like - bye, bye birdie.

So just as with the present regime judiciary & magistracy, there will be a facade of independence and legitimacy to the whole set-up. But that will extend only s far as cases where the regime has no felt interest.

Of course since this regime has an almost psychotic aversion to direct criticism or even indirect slight. So that prescribes a very wide arc indeed over practically every aspect of government, and the many possible news stories that could emerge out of it.
Jan said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon said…
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Wai said…
Cara Wai, it's pathetic that the best you can come up to support your allegations of corruption by Frank Bainimarama is his backpay. The money was evidently due to him and there was certainly nothing secret about it being paid. You might think he didn't deserve it and you're entitled to your opinion. But to put this forward as the sole evidence that the PM is "corrupt" is ridiculous. You'll have to do a let better than that.
TheMax said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TheMax said…
@ Cros......can you delete the comment by the other TheMax that has the "The Fiji Times is not guily....". That other TheMax is hijacking my comment. Mine is given below:

The Fiji Times is guilty of sabotaging Fiji's political and economical development in the last 20 years. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure all that out.

What the Fiji Times was doing in the last 20 years since coup 1987 was manipulate and slant their reporting to directly and indirectly influence political and economic development in Fiji to suit their masters agenda. The strategy was so obvious that it is really time, this foreign propaganda machine is shut down and close for good. It doesn't matter whether they are the oldest newspaper in Fiji because that is not true either. The oldest newspaper in Fiji was the Fiji Times and Herald Ltd and not the Fiji Times Ltd, Murdoch's and Australia's propaganda tool. Hiding behind their license to publish news in Fiji. The Fiji Times cunningly and deceptively sabotaged Fiji since the time Murdoch took over this company.

So the current government leadership is absolutely correct in what they are trying to do through the new media decree. I say make into law and get rid of this bloodsuckers from our shores.
Allen said…
Croz, you really are wasting your time. Teleni is a real dolt and has no idea of the principles to which you refer. His failure to grasp the importance of a secular state in Fiji as opposed to the New Methodist agenda he wants to foist on the nation should really be enough to persuade you of the futility of your appeal. But good luck anyway. The only real way to breathe sense into the regime is through the PM or the AG. And even that isn't a sure fire process. No, the more time goes by the more I'm convinced that no reform is possible outside the narrow confines of the military's council's thinking. Its attitude is ultimately prescriptive and unsophisticated, more suitable for running a military campaign than running a nation. Some day, you will have to confront the same uncomfortable realisation. But I admire your persistence.
TheMax said…
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Bunny said…
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TheMax said…
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White Frangipani said…
Croz - The REAL "The Max" is right. Maybe it is time for people who want post a comment to register with their email address. Someone is being a clown and posting rubbish comments and copying others comments and posting. Surely this person is intelligent enough to have a mind and opinion of their own and present good debate. They must be getting really wound up by Croz's Blog and have a lot of time on their hands. Far better for them to say something constructive and useful, or even better still, go and DO something constructive and useful for the betterment of Fiji.
White Frangipani said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The REAL "The Max" said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Real "TheMax" said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Budda said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Invictus said…
The retard is at it again, it appears from this persons demeanour he/she is not only crackbrained but exudes their subnormality for the world to see.
TheMax said…
he Media Decree by the interim government is aimed at curtailing media organizations that misuse their license and hide behind the so-called freedom of the press to decimate and threaten the sovereignty and security of Fiji. These kinds of organizations are so conniving in their manipulation of public opinion and hide their real agenda of sabotaging developing countries such as Fiji.

They are a bunch of cowards who find solace and strength in the company of others. For example, just look at the way they try to influence other media organizations to drive support for their hidden agendas and motives. That is the reality on the ground that it is absolutely right to have a new media decree established that ensures the sovereignty of a nation is protected.

Let's throw these foreign propaganda tool out of our country once and for all.
Croz Walsh said…
@ The Max and Invictus. Please inform me of the first three words of comments that are NOT yours so that I may delete them.
TheMax said…
@ Cros

About the Fiji Times, mine is the one that says "The Fiji Times is guilty..". At one point, I used the pseudonym Gonedau and posted the same comment "The Fiji Times is guilty..". You can just keep one and delete the rest.

Another one that is mine is the one that says "The Media Decree by the interim government is aimed at curtailing media organizations that misuse....".

Counting from the first comment, comment number 9, 12 and 16 attributed to the other TheMax is not mine. You can delete them too.

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