Let’s Call it by its Proper Name — Propaganda

 A reader has criticised me for attacking the bias in NZ reporting on Fiji and not commenting on the restriction placed on the Fiji media that, he says, is forced to publish Fiji government propaganda.  Fair enough, I suppose, though I have repeatedly urged that PER be lifted and media restrictions cease.  There is a difference, however:  the Fiji media is not free; ours claims to be free, but still publishes propaganda. How else can the barrage of heavily slanted stories, old photos, and derogatory cartoons be classed.   

The propaganda has been particularly bad over the past few days, and continued last night in the TVOne news when....
Barbara Dreaver sorrowfully told listeners about the “rapidly changing scene” in Fiji. The story was stitched together from four pieces: 1) Two friends of Ratu Tevita had been questioned by the police about his escape, as indeed we could expect.  Barbara, however,  seemed  to suggest something sinister in their being questioned. 

For the record, the two friends are New Zealander Anthony Fullman  who, I’m told, was Ratu Tevita’s best man, and Tim McBride, a US passport-holder, who had several phone conversations with Ratu Tevita before his escape — and he is a suspect in aiding the  escape. [P.S. I was in error. It was Fullman who made the phone calls. Apologies.]

2) We then learnt that Tim’s  Mother in Rarotonga is worried that he has not replied to her phone calls. The media inference was that he couldn't reply which runs counter to a anti-government blog CoupFourPointFive posting at 3:47pm today:  “It's not known if McBride, who is a surfing instructor, has been questioned or taken into custody by police. But sources say he was seen out last night. “   Not known to have been questioned, to have been taken into custody, but as large as life in downtown Suva last night!

3) And to further develop the “developing story,”  Patrick Holmes, of Amnesty International NZ, said he’s heard several stories of people being taken to the barracks where they have been physically and sexually abused and intimidated — though when and what this has to do with the police questioning,  I do not know. 

The use of film footage taken during the 2000 Speight Coup also seemed inappropriate.   

4) Finally, we had Ratu Tevita repeating a  previously reported item,  that he knew of people taken to the barracks and being beaten.  This is more than likely but Ratu Tevita has denied that he ever had anything to do with the beatings, which Jim Sherlock (see Sunday's posting) says is not true. So the pot could be calling the kettle black.
The choice of words also displays lack of balance.  Teletext, accessible for those with television sets, for example, had this news on Fiji last night: “A New Zealanders has been rounded up for grilling… (he is the) latest target of Frank Bainimarama’s government … (he was) pulled in for questioning…”

If the sum of these and similar reports do not add up to propaganda, I don’t know what would.


sara'ssista said…
to coin your own response 'so what'!! innapproriate or innacurate does not amount to propaganda and the NZ is free to print and broadcast at its own risk with a mind to any civil litigation. Please don't even begin to campare the situation in fiji. The difference is also that the NZ government actually responds to their own media enquiries, this regime doesn't even feign to bother and never seems to be able to get any facts to hand.
Alter ego said…
Open mouth, insert foot!

So now you're justifying your attack on NZ's free media for publishing propaganda (fair game) by implying that it's okay in Fiji because their media isn't free?

There was no need to respond to that reader attack, and you've severely weakened your credibility by the way you've phrased that response.
Collaborator said…
How do you know Tim Mcbride made and received calls from Col Mara? Seems someone inside is giving you information.
How do you know the information is giving is true? Have you checked your sources? Have you asked TYime? Have you asked the phone company?

You are showing your true colours now.

Anonymous said…
I think you will find the PM and AG beleive Fiji's media is also free. They will argue they only have censors and a PER to make sure it is balanced and in national interest.

The point is New Zealands media is free. Fiji's is not. You can and have responded to New Zealands 'propoganda'. If you lived in Fiji and made such a call about Fiji's media or worse something unflattering about goveernment you would find yourself before the courts !
Croz Walsh said…
@ Saras'sista and Alter Ego ... You misread me. I did not condone the media rrestictions in Fiji. The comparison was drawn because our media claims to be free, and still publishes propaganda.

@ Colloborater ... I don't "know." I was merely repeating what the NZ media reported. Your accusations are misfounded.
collaborator said…
I have just done a search on the NZ media and nowhere do they mention that Tim Mcbride made calls to Col Mara.
Come Clean. Where did you get your information?
I ask again are you being fed this information from the inside and then not checking its veracity?
Croz Walsh said…
@ Colloborater ... You are right. It was Tony Fullman and not Tim McBride whose phone records showed calls to Ratu Tevita. http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/nz-government-not-move-fiji-sanctions-4183943 Fullman

But I cannot see how this changes the thrust of my argument. I apologize to readers for the error, and I think you should do likewise for your rude and personal accusations.
Collaborator said…
I don't feel I can apologize. You started that paragraph with the words
"For the record"
That implies that what you are saying is factually correct. You are always preaching to the other blogs about the need to check their facts. In this case you did not report accurately.
For all you know Tim may still be being questioned. Certainly his wife is back with CID this afternoon.
Your inaccurate assertions are playing with people's lives here. So if you are going to support the Government then make sure that you are correct because people are going to be locked up and your inaccuracies might be one of the causes.

Lesley said…
NZ Media is not really free. Well it is in the sense of the word "free" but NZ media has become very biased depending upon the journalists own personal opinion on a story. The Global Warming saga proved this. The NZ Herald refused to publish any information that was against the theory of man-made global warming. Blogs such as Whaleoil and Kiwiblog are more reliable now than say the NZ Herald. Accountability and transparency is frequently missing in mainstream media here in NZ. MSM in NZ are doing the same with this latest Fiji saga. We are not being told the whole story so we have to go to the internet to find out exactly what is going on.
Collaborator said…
I want to thank you for being so scrupulous about posting my comments. A lesser man would not have published them

Thank you


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