Another Michael Field Report Seen as "Deliberately Misinforming the Public"

 A reader commented that the Fiji media is only reporting one side (the Government side) of issues, and Felix Anthony has  said the same.  In an ideal world ...

In an ideal world, the media should be informed, independent,   impartial and balanced. Fijians do not live in an ideal world, and neither do we.  Point the finger at the Fiji media by all  means (it is probably well deserved), but stop this nonsense about our so-much-better media. Excuse the aphorisms but if two wrongs do not make one right  neither should the pot be calling the kettle black.  

The last two weeks have seen very one-eyed Fiji reports on the FNPF, the Union situation, the Methodist Church conference, and the death of Cheslia Mary Lo.
Here is a link to one of Field's stories, on the death of Cheslia Mary Lo,  and this is what the Permanent Secretary of Information had to say about Field's coverage of the incident. 

And in another article published in this blog this weekend the Samoan Observer questions the integrity of Barbara Dreaver, another NZ  journalist, in covering events in Samoa. 

New Zealand has only two journalists who claim to be "Pacific specialists" — Field and Dreaver.  Draw you own conclusions.   -- Croz Walsh 

Monday 22nd August 2011, No:1596/MOI)NZ reporter makes false, damaging statements against Fijian Government

Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Information Ms Sharon Smith-Johns has slammed a recent report by Michael Field about the death of a New Zealand woman, as grossly inaccurate, mischievous, insensitive and deliberately misinforming the public.

Ms Smith-Johns said no attempt had been made by the Fiji Police to conceal information, nor had the Fiji media been censored for the sake of the tourism industry as highlighted by some international media reports.

“The reports by New Zealand reporter Michael Field are ill-informed, badly researched and deeply biased, ” she said.

“It’s clear Mr Field needs to check the reliability of his sources of information so he can stop publishing stories based on rumor and gossip, they are clearly written to undermine tourism, the  Fiji Police Force and Government.

“Claims by overseas media that Fiji Police did not carry out official investigations, are completely  incorrect. Also claims that Police did not carry out a search, again incorrect. And finally, that a post mortem was not carried out, is again incorrect. There is documentary evidence to prove these processes were carried out.”

Ms Cheslia Mary Lo , 33, and her 61-year-old partner a New Zealander were on a cruise in the Yasawa group when she reportedly went missing.

Ms Lo went missing from the yacht Alani on the night of the June 14, 2011. The matter was reported to Lautoka police by one Captain Benjamin Grenfell on June 15 at about 10am.

The Lautoka police immediately contacted two of their officers, who were on their way to Matacawalevu Island at the time and with islanders and officials from resorts nearby, carried out an extensive search.

Ms Lo’s body was found washed up on the beach on June 16 by two i-Taukei women from Matacawalevu Village.

Officials from Alani  failed to inform police officers that the body had been found, instead, they breached crime scene investigations by escorting the body to Denarau.

A post mortem was carried out on June 17 and results confirmed, drowning as the cause of death. Crew on board the yacht told Lautoka police that Ms Lo was intoxicated on the night she disappeared. The yacht was anchored near Nanuya Levu Island.

She was cremated at Wailoaloa Beach Cemetery on the June17. Investigations for this case by the Police Force have been completed.

Ms Smith-Johns said it was disturbing because this was the second story, in which Field has accused the Government of censoring police information and sensationalizing tourist deaths.

“It’s extremely insensitive to family members to have these facts distorted by the media after a loved one has died, it shows a complete lack of sensitivity to the family in order to push Field’s own personal bias,” the Ministry of Information permanent secretary said.

“Mr Field also claims that media enquiries to the Fijian Government have been ignored; again this is completely without fact and a figment of his imagination.

“Mr Field has never attempted to contact me.”

Reports regarding Ms Cheslia Mary Lo’s death in the international media:


State of Mind said…
This is old news. You and Sharon need to build a bridge and move on. Perhaps you would both be better to remain focussed on the latest international news which reports Bainimarama is deranged and in need of psychiatric help? We will be interested how Sharon tries to put some spin on this fact?
Lesley said…
Build a bridge! Actually "State of Mind" it is not old news in NZ. It has featured in Fairfax/Stuff Sunday Star Times for the past 3 weeks and in the NZ Herald today. Michael Field and Barbara Dreaver showed what kind of journalists they really are and that is certainly not professional or credible and sensitive. The NZ Herald at least just reported the facts - be the facts 3 months old! Drink link to death of woman, say Fiji -
Woman drowns in Fiji tragedy -
Michael Field is the one who needs a "build a bridge" and move on - he seems so bitter - so much so that he deliberately lies in his stories and makes stuff up to the point that he is risking his reputation as a journalist. As for the other part of your comment - LOL - who believes main stream media these days and what some Pacific journalists report? Their track record tells all!
Who's state of mind said…
Well said Lesley. The fact remains that Field is on a personal mission to do as much harm to Fiji as possible, he is failing miserably as will the far fetched story that State of mind refers to, why comment on something that is so far fetched, scant truth, sensationalized headlines in fact that story has all the marking of Field.
Gay said…
Yes, Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field are both mad as well, and vicious as well.

There are a few of the people posting comments who serious need mental checks as well.

Our Prime Minister and our Permanent Secretary for Information would be some of the sanest people I have seen talked about on this blog for a while.
sara'ssista said…
@ Gay , presumably you ARE either the interim PM or the PS for misinformation.
Jay Walker said…
These people who are saying that Frank and Sharon and insane, are they living in Fiji? Do they see first hand what they talking about.

Or are they reading their news from the point five blog.
Anonymous said…
I invite them(Field and Dreaver) to come to Fiji.Oops!I guess they'd be going straight to QEB for some much needed exercise.LOL!

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