Media Watchdog or Partner; Fijian Identity, Spies, Housing, Blog Poor Taste

MEDIA's "Self Appointed" Watchdog Role. Who Watches the Watchdog? 
Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) President Moses Steven was criticized again  criticised for a statement released on International Press Freedom Day, on Monday, which "appears to call on Pacific media to forego its watchdog role and instead become a partner with national governments."

Steven told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat that while in developed societies, participants knew how public debate should be conducted, "we in the Pacific are still adopting these (democratic) systems and a lot of our people don't understand them." That left the way open for "friction". He said opponents of governments should be reported, but the media itself should not seek "to change governments".

Comment. The watchdog role on government sounds great but the media has its own vested interests, it takes sides, and in many "democratic" societies it is part of the establishment it is supposed to watch. Two newspapers backing opposing political parties represents a sort of independence but with so little difference between the major parties, both are essentially backing the same horse with different jockeys.  What's happened in Fiji is that sections of the media from at least 1987 onwards, with a blip during the short Chaudhry Labour years,  have backed the government horse. But after the 2006 military takeover, both horse and jockey changed; the media continued to back the "old" horse and jockey; and the media-government link was broken because its continued to report biased reports about the newcomer.

There are, of course, legitimate concerns about media restrictions in Fiji even beyond government's legitimate concerns about the media, but Steven does have a point. One size does not fit all. Fiji is not Australia or New Zealand, or Samoa or the Cook Islands for that matter.  It is doubtful proposals by journalists from the latter countries to move PINA from Fiji because of censorship would have anything more than symbolic value. I shall post a more substantial piece on censorship on Saturday.

FIJIAN Identity.  Yesterday's posting has attracted important comments, not least of which is that the issue could open a hornet's nest at the time when everyone should be focusing on moving Fiji forward.  There's also a comment on the Moturiki qoliqoli.
FIJI Gets Spy Agency.  That's the latest  Radio Australia News heading on Fiji. It's not the first time, as the radio reports, but the choice of heading is a little sinister. All countries have similar agencies.  Check out Australian Secret Service Agency.

HOUSING Scheme Delayed. RadioNZI  reports "Housing assistance scheme in Fiji will not go ahead" but then goes on to say the government-funded plan to give first home builders financial assistance won’t go ahead, until prices in the under-investigation hardware sector are regulated." There is a big difference between "won't go ahead" and "won't go ahead until." Who writes these headings?  As previously reported: "USP Economics professor Biman Prasad has commended Government's new housing plan that will for the first time see collaboration with the private sector and banks. The plan will give up to $10,000 to first homeowners who are able to put down a 20 percent deposit. At an average cost of $100,000 a house the scheme will benefit 1,000 families, and put $100 million into the economy. Prasad called it a "smart way to help the low to middle income group buy houses,and increase economic activity in the construction industry which has suffered badly since the coup in 2006."

FILTHY Blog. The case of anti-government bloggers is not well served by this filthy post on RealFijiNews.


Media bollocks said…
Really, sometimes local journalists are their own worst enemies, aided and abetted by their idiotic colleagues offshore. Radio Australia's Pacific Beat has run a huge slab of a speech Fiji Times deputy editor Sophie Foster gave to the same conference in Queensland. She claimed 100 per cent of journalists in a survey she conducted in Fiji had been subject to censorship and had begun to self censor, a development she described as disturbing. But neither the fragrant hackette herself nor Radio Australia bothered to tell us just how many local journalists were in her sample. 100 per cent of what? Was it six, ten, twenty, a hundred? Surely such information is vital for the rest of us to know so we can make our own judgement on whether it's a representative sample? It's this kind of crap that the media has been dishing out in Fiji for years, treating we consumers as idiots and passing off journalistic ordure as pearls of wisdom and truth. Now that they've been called to account, they scream blue murder about threats to freedom. But they seem incapable of seeing that they're part of the problem because of their lack of basic professionalism and arguably only have themselves to blame.
Give us the filth, Croz said…
Croz, if you're going to titillate us with the promise of filth, at least give us a link that works. I clicked on "this filthy post" and got a message that the item had been removed. Then I went to Real Fiji News through Google and couldn't get any posts beyond late 2009. Please try to do better to help or having dangled the juicy prospect before us, at least tell us what this "filth" is. I don't think it's fair to tease us like this. The sense of anticipation is excruciating.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Give us ... Someone's playing tricks (or trying to hide their track) but I think this link should work, for what it's worth.
What the? said…
Thanks, Croz, had a look, Can see the filth but can't see the point. Puerile nonsense and best ignored. A sad reflection on the mental state of your political opponents, that's for sure.
Anonymous said…
Your link to fiji today dont work

White Frangipani said…
I have just viewed the link to the filthy post - I think the sentiment in the link says all about who posted it. They need to remember the chant "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me". This filthy posting has just reinforced what I thought - RealFijiNews is being run by those who can't think logically. The RealFijiNews blog has totally "lost the plot" by using this disgusting sexual inference against Croz. If he were alive today, I think the fine gentleman in photo, used at the top of the RealFijiNews blog, would be appalled to think that he was being associated with such distasteful scumbagging.
Anonymous said…
...have just read the filthy post,
Croz yr website is working! carry on the marvelous job you are doing for Fiji!!!!!ignore this losers!!!

Don't sully Ratu Mara said…
Yes, White Frangipani, it's a disgrace that these guys link the image of our nation's founding father with obscenities of this kind. I'd imagine it would be very upsetting to members of his family, as it is to his many countrymen who held him in the highest regard. Ratu Mara was head and shoulders above every other public figure of his generation. He certainly had the wisdom to recognise that Fiji could only prosper as a truly multiracial country. Whatever his failings, history will judge him kindly. He deserves to rest in peace, not be treated with the appalling disrespect shown to him by RealFijiNews.
sara'ssista said…
of course a puppet government...again how naive....what future fiji government can move freely with a military head 'for life ' that will step in if anyone dares to flout a 'military imposed' constitution clearly your memory is failing as now this so-called government, judiciary, public service , police etc etc has it's fair share of military appointees, that very much appear to demonstrate their loyalty to the military and no-one else. Every government body, even fiji rugby and more are now tainted with military appointees exactly how does one extricate the military machine from all of these???

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