#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: International watchdog group ranks Fiji one of the worst countries for media freedom

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

International watchdog group ranks Fiji one of the worst countries for media freedom

Fiji has been ranked the lowest in the Pacific region and 149th in the world for its stand on media freedom according to the latest figures from the media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders.
The ninth annual World Press Freedom Index, released today, made particular note of Fiji, with the watchdog group saying the ranking reflects the junta's determined oppression of the media. 
The junta's hardline approach to media has been well documented in the past year - the FijiLive news website being shut down temporarily, journalists being detained and questioned over certain stories by the police, and the introduction of a new media decree that stipulated all media be 90 per cent locally owned. The Media Authority Decree led to Rupert Murdoch selling the country's oldest newspaper, the Fiji Times, to the Motibhai Group.

The sale of the Fiji Times also resulted in the editor-in-chief, Netani Rika, being forced out of his job with the paper's new owner and publisher deciding to court the junta rather than challenge its decision to censor stories and to have censors stationed in its newsroom in a bid to claw back advertising dollars that have been largely sucked up by the pro-military paper and rival, The Fiji Sun.

Reporters Without Borders says Fiji's ranking is deceptive, having risen three places despite the government's anti-freedom stance. "The year 2009 had been so tragic, with soldiers invading news staff offices, that the year 2010 could only seem to be somewhat more tranquil."

New Zealand ranked particularly high - in the top 10 countries in the world. Australia was ranked 18th, down two from last year but ahead of Papua New Guinea at 42nd, Tonga at 87th and Samoa at 111th.

In the wider Asia-Pacific region, the watchdog group praised Taiwan and South Korea for noteworthy gains, but cautioned that the region as a whole had received a low ranking for yet another year. It noted the prevalence of violence from non-governmental groups and censorship under totalitarian regimes. Thailand, India and the Philippines all dropped more than 10 places after journalists were killed or wounded while covering unrest and conflicts.

Ranked first-equal overall were northern European countries Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, which all received perfect scores.

The secretary-general for Reporters Without Borders, Jean-Francois Julliard, says the rankings reveal some grim realities. "The defence of media freedom continues to be a battle, a battle of vigilance in the democracies of old Europe and a battle against oppression and injustice in the totalitarian regimes still scattered across the globe."

Picture: Malcolm Evans cartoon via Pacific Media Centre

7 comments:

Jake said...

With media freedom come responsibility or the consequences of media biases could impact media organisations as is evident with Fiji Times.

Now only a fool would give credence to this debauched NGO, why because as of yesterday the long arm of the law reached into the back pockets of journalism and snatch an article destined for print nothing has been said by this crew at Reporters without Borders.

As far as the eye can see all is doing well within the confines of news print media in Fiji only a handful of people with personal agendas have an axe to grind.

mark manning said...

@ Jake
How much are you being paid to fall into line with the illegal Regime ?

Jieke Morisi said...

Jake is paid nuthin, he is just being Bai's faithfull dog.

Anonymous said...

@M&M re Jakes of this world (blog).

Using same tactic employed by Kai Dia - personal attacks - ignore -they distract - not about them - never has been.

sara'ssista said...

yes Jake and with government , even illegal regimes, come responsibility. As I have noted previously this regime has yet to indicate any of the current situation is its fault, they are all too quick to decry any opposition, how do you know anything if none of the media in fiji can be broadcast or printed without the express permission of a military appointee or censor?? You could be bruttally bashed to death today by the head of navy and under this regime none of us would ever know, and you know very well why , don't you? Blame the NGO's now for reporting too , maybe you will feel different when the knock is on your door for your turn??

Anonymous said...

isnt that the beauty of having a blog? whats the point of a blog when you cant handle some facts laid out!

comment on what you know and the facts highlighted...

Anonymous said...

Jake, hope you ready to go down with yo ship and Captain Bainee. Better put your life jacket on soon boy and say your prayers.