Pacific.scoop.co.nz � ‘Fairer, ethical’ reporting can help protect media, says blogger academic

Pacific.scoop.co.nz � ‘Fairer, ethical’ reporting can help protect media, says blogger academic

Comments

Charlie Charters said…
Croz,

I have waited a full week to see whether or not you or any of your blogging colleagues would take up this perplexing issue (www.fijisun.com.fj/2012/05/09/court-report-contains-errors/). You thoughts on fairer, ethical reporting in the Pacific were most opportune.

The Fiji Sun, which even you have noted has been guilty of excessive govt cheerleading on occasion, stands accused by the solicitor general of at least four startling errors of fact in a specific court report, and the failure to provide important contextual and background information so as to mislead or misinform the reader.

If these allegations are correct - and I am not aware if the Sun has responded - it is hard to see how this is not in the same vein as the 2008 contempt of court issue that faced the Fiji Times, (and the Daily Post, who published the same letter).

[BTW Can you imagine the uproar or prosecutorial zeal if the pre-Motibhai/Media Decree Fiji Times had committed the same errors that the Fiji Sun allegedly has?]

Which begs the question ... who is right in this issue, how are these mistakes happening in our new consensus-friendly, pro-Pacific-regulatory framework, and what are the consequences for this pro-regime newspaper, its ownership and journalist of these alleged failures to report accurately and for leaving 'the impression, again, that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has failed in its duty' to quote Mr Pryde.

Or, as one of the case's quoted in the Fiji Times judgement noted, 'Fair criticism of the decisions of the Court is not only lawful, but regarded as being for the public good; but the facts forming the basis of the criticism must be accurately stated, and the criticism must be fair and not distorted by malice (R v Nicholls (1911)'.

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