Radio New Zealand International Stands Accused

On June 9th I published a response to an item in Coupfourpointfive, taken from the Fiji Labour Party website, in which the FLP held the Bainimarama Government responsible for Fiji's economic woes. In my response I agreed political uncertainty was a factor but pointed to other causes including the poor state of the economy prior to the 2006 Coup, the need to borrow to repair a long-neglected infrastructure, the global recession, the effect of sanctions and travel bans, and major floods and a hurricane. 

The FLP responded on the 17th by stating that the "root cause of our fast declining economy is the refusal of the regime to enter into inclusive political dialogue to chalk out an acceptable roadmap back to elections and constitutional rule within an agreed time frame - well before 2014 announced by Commodore Bainimarama."  I reported this response in full. See  "FLP Fiddles" below.

It is interesting to see what happened next because it provides a further insight into the misuse of "media freedom" in New Zealand.

Radio NZ International read the FLP website, and reported, under the heading "Fiji Labour Party paints gloomy picture of economy," on all the negative things mentioned by the Bainimarama government's political opponent  -- "galloping" inflation, the "looming" inability to repay loans, the lack of investment due to "intimidation, raids, threats and harassment  [that] have become the order of the day" -- but they did not report anything on my comments to which the FLP article was a response. The one thing conceded by the FLP and Radio NZI was that the economy was in trouble before the 2006 Coup, but that of course was Chaudhry's dig at his political opponents in the SDL Government.

I have one important question for RadioNZI (whose costs I help to pay as a NZ taxpayer): Why use the website of a political party known to be hostile to the Bainimarama government as the sole source of your information; skip over the fact that the website was responding to my blog, and then expose yourselves to accusations of biased reporting by not reporting the points raised in my blog to which the FLP was responding?

Don't tell me you don't use blogs because they are anonymous and their information cannot be independently verified. My blog does not fit either description.


Viavialevu sara ga said…
Croz, there's a touch of celebrity brittleness about some of your recent postings and this is one of them. J'accuse Radio NZ? Give us a break. So what? Do you think anyone else thinks this is important? In the overall scheme of things, yours is a valuable contribution to the Fiji debate but nothing more. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you're more important than the story. Yes,you pay for Radio NZ. But so do four million others. You're just one of them.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Viavialevu ... I take your point and I suppose it could be reads like that, but it is necessary to report biased reporting. RadioNZI is a publically owned radio station that should report news and events without bias. This is the only reason my post is important.
Anonymous said…
The sorry story of bias in the media goes on. This apprehended bias is often no more than journalistic laziness and sloppiness: whatever it is called it adds up to a failure of professionalism and, make no mistake, it is DAMAGING and DESTRUCTIVE. It is especially damaging of fragile, under-developed countries where many of the inhabitants are insufficiently educated or aware to detect it. Radio New Zealand needs to 'get up to speed'. It particularly is required to add some urgent velocity to its understanding of the complexity and vulnerability of nation states under threat (from all manner of quarters including itself).
Anonymous said…
Moi, j'accuse! Yes, the entire media fiasco of the South Pacific Region stands accused of an inability to comprehend the meltdown and rebuilding of Fiji. In the midst of the South Pacific it should be congratulated for managing to avoid a bloodbath in a cesspit of corruption in which both New Zealanders and Australians have been swimming in concert with ready locals. The tale is one of terror and orchestrated crime and corruption which led, with nifty, deft political persuasion, to four coups d'etat. Right on your doorstep and you failed to respond? Just apply a loud-hailer? Piecemeal and band-aid solutions will never work. Vaccinations for typhoid in the midddle of a rural drug infested empire are welcome but insufficient. They have been insufficient since 1987. Within the Justice, Law & Order Planning Committee you knew well that they were. However, "Steady as she goes" prevailed. "Vivre en Honneur et Liberte" PResident Charles de Gaulle advocated. Good enough in 1940 - Good enough in Fiji for 2010.
Courage, Croz said…
Croz, don't be too disheartened by some of the unkind comments you receive that that above. RNZ makes me want to tear my hair out and so does the rest of the miserable media coverage on Fiji. I can fully understand your frustration.

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