Home » Uncategorized » Our free Media…… “We’re kind of seen in Fiji a kind of North Korean control” …”If Rear Admiral Bainimarama is frightened of me, I’m terribly sorry”

Our free Media…… “We’re kind of seen in Fiji a kind of North Korean control” …”If Rear Admiral Bainimarama is frightened of me, I’m terribly sorry”

Veteran Pacific reporter questions impact of new MIDA body

Updated 26 March 2014, 19:07 AEST

One of the first foreign journalists to be expelled from Fiji by the Bainimarama Regime was Fairfax’s New Zealand based Pacific Correspondent Michael Field.

He’s continued to report on events there, and is also one of the reporters whose name was raised when Mr Raj was asked about further bans on travel there. He’s also been looking at what has been announced by the MIDA

Presenter: Bruce Hill

Michael Field, Fairfax New Zealand’s Pacific Correspondent

HILL: Mr Field, what do you think about this Independent Media Monitoring Unit that they’ve announced?

FIELD: I think that Bruce, the whole thing is totally farcicle. What we’re looking at now is a Fiji media seen that is so remote from any sort of concept of free and fair media, that it’s, it’s insulting to even try and offer any other suggestion that it is representative of open and fair democracy and media. It is a joke, this group, this MIDA group seems to be totally about control and dictation and order and you will stay out of this country, we’re afraid of you, we’ve controlled the local media, the local media is totally compliant and foreign journalists can’t be trusted.

This is a heroically brave concept from Rear Admiral Bainimarama and I just think it’s farcicle.

HILL: They also mention they wanted to extend they’re control over freelancers and journalists working in Fiji for overseas outlets. Why do you think they’ve decided to do that?

FIELD: Ah, simply because there are a small and sadly diminishing group of journalists in Fiji who are trying to offer what the rest of us in the planet regard as free and fair journalism and this is just obscene what they’re doing. We’re kind of seen in Fiji a kind of North Korean control.

I read, for example, that this group is opposed to the way in which these freelance journalists are talking about the dengue fever epidemic, because it apparently reflects poorly on Fiji and the tourist industry.

Well, I’ve got news for the media control officers of the Fiji government, mosquitoes can’t tell.

HILL: Well, there wasn’t just journalists that were mentioned in this press conference, there was also a complaint about a senior adviser at the Australian High Commission, so it was diplomat mentioned as well?

FIELD: Well, imagine, certainly it’s of the Australian concept of they’re advice to tourism, to tourists and tourists, is that they’re fairly thorough about what they do and what they report and the simple fact of the matter is that Fiji has got a dengue fever epidemic. It’s not a reflection on Voreque Bainamarama or any of his program of reform. It is simply a reflection on the fact that they had a medical problem. Many countries have that and people are entitled to know this simply because one of the ways you can defeat dengue is where insect repellent and would be nice to be told. But this fantasy crowd that’s now carrying out the message of Bainimarama to the public is sort of simply saying that we’ve got to tell everybody rosy messages. It’s a farce, there is no free media left in Fiji.

HILL: And yet there are many journalists in Fiji, working journalists there who would say and have said on some occasions, that it’s journalists in outside Fiji that don’t understand that this is they’re new way now and that they’re are good reasons for it. You and I and others simply don’t understand the situation in Fiji?

FIELD: Ah, that is a cop out. Fiji journalists have simply failed, most of the Fiji journalists have failed. There are a small group of Fiji journalists who I could name who have heroically stuck over to the principles that have been developed over a long period of time. That most Fijian journalists are now totally compliant with what the Fiji Ministry of Information hands out. There is no dengue problem in Fiji. This is the new North Korean solution to the South Pacific.

HILL: Now, there were some signs at the PINA conference that they might letting some of the overseas journalists they banned back in. That seems to have gone by the by now. What’s you’re reaction on the obvious fact that you’re ban is still going to be extended and others as well, TVNZ Barbara Dreaver, Sean Dorney from the ABC?

FIELD: The one I feel sorry for is Sean. Sean is a truly South Pacific man and he does not deserve this treatment. He has acted towards the people of the South Pacific with humility, with care, with compassion, and the Fiji journalists have dropped upon him horribly.

As for myself, I’m a little indifferent to it. If Rear Admiral Bainimarama is frightened of me, I’m terribly sorry, there’s not a lot of other people in New Zealand and in the rest of the South Pacific that are frightened of me, but if Rear Admiral Bainimarama is frightened of me, so be it.

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6 thoughts on “Our free Media…… “We’re kind of seen in Fiji a kind of North Korean control” …”If Rear Admiral Bainimarama is frightened of me, I’m terribly sorry”

  1. Totally agree with you B Hill.

    To say overseas reporters do not understand whts going on in Fiji is a stupid twisting of facts and blatant lie.

    The Fiji journalists are cowards and frightened of consequences from the military backed illegal Govt for their comments that may be unfavourable…they have compromised their honesty. Good example is the rotten clowns and prostitutes in Fiji Sun from Maika their boss and down the rank.

  2. foreign journalists have been doing what local journalists have not been doing or been able to do.
    they have laid bare the true situation prevailing in Fiji under the Bainimarama dictatorship.
    the people of Fiji – living in Fiji and overseas – owe a debt of gratitude to these foreign journalists who have tried to do an honest job of reporting on Fiji.
    A dictatorship likes to keep things under cover.
    Honest journalists make it their business to uncover what a dictatorship seeks to keep hidden from the public.
    This is why the dictatorship finds foreign journalist problematic – for THEM!

  3. Let me put it another way. If it wasn’t for the work put in by the more thorough journalists from abroad a lot of the truth about what the Bainimarama regime was doing and its defective decrees would have never seen the light of day.
    We have come to about these things and the alternative interpretations of the decrees made by internationally renown experts only on account of the reporting by foreign journalists.
    This why people who want an honest view of what is happening in Fiji owe a debt of gratitude to the foreign reporters.
    Come on, no one expects an honest view out of the Ministry of Information/Propaganda, right?
    And no one expects an honest account from the Fiji Sun which has taken on the role of regime propagandist.

  4. Was Sean Dorney at PINA as a journalist or as a delegate? If as a delegates, what the fuck was he doing reporting about PINA? If as a journalist, what the fuck was he doing interfering with the PINA election? Does Sean apply this same tactic in Australia? Or is there one standard for Australia and one for Fiji? Can Dorney’s champions Samisoni Pareti, Mike field, Bruce Hill answer? When it comes to Fiji, ethics goes out the window, huh Sean? This is the fucking problem with journalists like Sean Dorney. He deserves the ban. And, why is Pareti reporting on his friend? Such appalling standards. No wonder Fiji government had to bring the media decree. The arrogance, sun shines from our arse attitude of overseas journalists and their Fiji lackey like Pareti is nauseating.

  5. Samisoni Pareti is a known sympathiser of Sean Dorney and Campbell Clooney, his ABC workmates, where his bread is buttered. He is a friend of Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field. At the MIDA conference Samisioni sounded more like he was campaigning for these four banned journalists rather than covering a news event like an objective journalist should. At times Samisoni sounded like the banned journalists’ lawyer. And this is supposed to be a senior journalist – supposedly one of Fiji’s finest. Samisoni needs to go back to school to learn about ethics and keeping emotions and arrogance in check at press conferences. Some of these journalists are too full of themselves. Just because they have packed some years behind them, they think they god’s gift to journalism. Only they are right. The overseas bunch and local journalists like samisoni are a clique, scratching each others back, reporting each other in favourable terms, cooing and singing each others’ praises, bringing each other into news stories, all the while preaching ethics – its enough to make one puke.

  6. the quality of reporting by local journalists in Fiji’s mainstream media is indeed enough to make one puke. they are a disgrace to journalism.

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