Journalism under duress in Asia-Pacific: A decade of resistance

The Pacific Media Centre, Pacific Media Watch, impunity and human rights

Abstract

Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Media Centre marked its tenth anniversary with a wide-ranging public seminar discussing two of the region’s most critical media freedom crises. The ‘Journalism Under Duress in Asia-Pacific’ seminar in November 2017 examined media freedom and human rights in the Philippines and in Indonesia’s Papua region, generally known as West Papua. The introduction to the PMC seminar, later presented at a Reporters Without Borders summit for Asia-Pacific freedom advocates and activist journalists in Paris in July 2018 examined the culture of impunity over crimes against journalists and journalism safety as a major factor undermining media freedom in the region.

Author Biography

David Robie, Pacific Media Centre - AUT

Editor of Pacific Journalism Review and Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism

School of Communication Studies

Auckland University of Technology

References

Adair, K. (2017, May 3). UTS KILLS PRESS: 25 years of independent journalism. Altmedia. Retrieved on September 3, 2018, from www.altmedia.net.au/25-years-of-independent-journalism-and-pissing-off-the-oz/124047

Ainge Roy, E. (2018, May 29). Papua New Guinea bans Facebook for a month to root out ‘fake users’, The Guardian. Retrieved September 3, 2018, from www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/29/papua-new-guinea-facebook-ban-study-fake-user

Benedict, J. (2018, September 5). Pacific Island leaders tightening the screws on press freedom, dissent. Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/09/05/pacific-island-leaders-tightening-the-screws-on-press-freedom-dissent/

Cass, P. (2002). Baptism of fire: How journalism students from the University of the South Pacific covered the Speight putsch and its aftermath. The Round Table, 366: 559-574. Retrieved from https://unitec.researchbank.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10652/2020/Baptism%20of%20Fire%20The%20Round%20Table%202002.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Cava, L. (2018, May 23). Not guilty: Newspaper acquitted of sedition. The Fiji Times. Retrieved from www.fijitimes.com/not-guilty-newspaper-acquitted-of-sedition/

Cook, H. (2018, September 4). TVNZ reporter Barbara Dreaver released after being detained in Nauru. Stuff. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/106822330/TVNZ-reporter-Barbara-Dreaver-released-after-being-detained-in-Nauru

Deutsche Welle (2018, May 9). Investigating Duterte’s drug war in Philippines – facts and fiction. Retrieved from https://www.dw.com/en/investigating-dutertes-drug-war-in-philippines-facts-and-fiction/a-43695383

Duffield, L. (2015). Pacific Journalism Review: Twenty years on the front line of regional identity and freedom. Pacific Journalism Review, 21(1), 18-33.

Edmunds, S. (2017). Press freedoms stifled by cynical use of Official Information Act: Report. Stuff. Retrieved from https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/92154480/press-freedoms-stifled-by-cynical-use-of-official-information-act-report

Field, M. (2018, June 19). Pacific nations out to limit Facebook political chatter. Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved from https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Pacific-nations-out-to-limit-Facebook-political-chatter

Fraenkel, J., Firth, S., & Lal, B. V. (2009). The 2006 military takeover in Fiji: A coup to end all coups? Canberra: Australian National University Press.

Gonzalez, M. A. (2018). The Night Watch: Filipino journalists and Oplan Tokhang: Experiencing coverage of the Duterte Administration’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs. Pacific Journalism Review, 24(2) (Forthcoming).

Hearne, A. (2018, May 3). Press freedom in the Asia-Pacific: A mounting crisis across the region. In (Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (2018, May 3). Criminalising journalism: The MEAA report into the state of press freedom in Australia (pp. 70-73). Retrieved from https://www.meaa.org/download/criminalising-journalism-the-meaa-report-into-the-state-of-press-freedom-in-australia-in-2018/

Human Rights Watch (2018, January 18). Philippines: Duterte’s ‘drug war’ claims 12,000 + lives: Government harassment, threats against rights defenders. Retrieved from https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/18/philippines-dutertes-drug-war-claims-12000-lives

Internet archive of 2000 Fiji coup (2000, May). Crisis coverage by the University of the South Pacific student journalists. University of Technology, Sydney, Special Collections. Retrieved from https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/handle/2100/1321

Johnny Blades (n.d.). RNZ International Presenters. Retrieved from http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/presenters/johnny-blades

Lacanivalu, L. (2018, April 20). Cowards behind fake profiles—AG, Fiji Sun. Retrieved from http://fijisun.com.fj/2018/04/20/cowards-behind-fake-profiles-a-g/

Leadbeater, M. (2018). See no evil: NZ’s betrayal of the people of West Papua. Dunedin, NZ: Otago University Press.

Looking back at the 8 years since the Ampatuan, Maguindanao, massacre (2017, November 23). IFEX: The global network defending and promoting free expression. Retrieved from https://www.ifex.org/philippines/2017/11/23/ampatuan-massacre-8-years/

Pacific Media Watch. (2018, February 16). Vanuatu Daily Post: A call to action for endangered Pacific media freedom. Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/02/16/vanuatu-daily-post-a-call-to-action-for-endangered-pacific-press-freedom/

McGarry, D. (2017, January 24). Dan McGarry: The future of media freedom—we can’t take it for granted. Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from https://asiapacificreport.nz/2017/01/24/the-future-of-media-freedom-we-cant-take-it-for-granted/

McGarry, D. (2018, May 4). End the persecution of the Fiji Times. Vanuatu Daily Post [Editorial]. Retrieved from http://dailypost.vu/opinion/end-the-persecution-of-the-fijitimes/article_ed995638-74c0-5eb5-8869-48c86256a02b.html

Maclellan, N. (2018, May 25). Sedition and Pacific media freedom. The Interpreter (Lowy Institute). Retrieved from https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/sedition-and-pacific-media-freedom

Makin, B. (2018). Where are we now with VBTC. Vanuatu Daily Post. Retrieved from http://dailypost.vu/opinion/where-are-we-now-with-vbtc/article_c4a6d909-79cb-5532-a2f7-efca439b5506.html

Malou Mangahas (2017). World Press Freedom Day 2017. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/world-press-freedom-day-2017/malou-mangahas

Mangahas, M. (2018). Speak truth to power, keep power in check. Philippine Center for investigative Journalism. Retrieved from http://pcij.org/uncategorized/speak-truth-to-power-keep-power-in-check/

Mediawatch. (2016, May 8). The right to know – and to find out. RNZ National. Retrieved from http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/201799175/the-right-to-know-and-to-find-out

MEAA (Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (2018, May 3). Criminalising journalism: The MEAA report into the state of press freedom in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.meaa.org/download/criminalising-journalism-the-meaa-report-into-the-state-of-press-freedom-in-australia-in-2018/

Morris, R. (2017). Watching our words: Perceptions of self-censorship and media freedom in Fiji. Pacific Journalism Monograph, No 7. Auckland: Pacific Media Centre.

Nautilus Institute (n.d.). Julian Moti and the raid on the prime minister’s office. Retrieved from https://nautilus.org/publications/books/australian-forces-abroad/solomon-islands/julian-moti-and-the-raid-on-the-prime-minister2019s-office/

Online blogger O Le Palemia shut-out of Facebook (2018, February 19). RNZ Pacific. Retrieved from https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/350701/online-blogger-o-le-palemia-shut-out-of-facebook

Pacific Media Centre (n.d.). Archive: Internet coup in Fiji 2000: Crisis coverage by University of the South Pacific journalism. Retrieved from http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/articles/archive-internet-coup-fiji-2000

Pacific Media Watch. (2018a, February 16). Vanuatu Daily Post: A call to action for endangered Pacific media freedom. Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/02/16/vanuatu-daily-post-a-call-to-action-for-endangered-pacific-press-freedom/

Pacific Media Watch. (2018b, May 3). Journalists work ‘in fear’ in PNG, says media freedom advocate. Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/05/03/journalists-work-in-fear-in-png-says-media-freedom-advocate/

Pacific Media Watch. (2018c, May 29). PNG plans to shut down Facebook for one month to target ‘fake users’. Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/05/29/png-plans-to-shut-down-facebook-for-one-month-to-target-fake-users/

Pacific Media Watch expands resources (2010). NZ Department of Internal Affairs. Retrieved from www.communitymatters.govt.nz/Success-stories---Trusts-and-Fellowships-success-stories.

PCIJ (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (2018, May 3). Speak Truth to Power, Keep Power in Check. Retrieved from http://pcij.org/blog/2018/05/03/speak-truth-to-power-keep-power-in-check

Peacock, C. (2018, April 29). Media freedom under the microscope. RNZ National’s Mediawatch. Retrieved from http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018642326/media-freedom-under-the-microscope

Pearson, M. (2001, February). Ossies recognise promising talent of the future. Panpa Bulletin.

Perrottet, A., & Robie, D. (2012). Pacific media freedom 2011: A status report. Pacific Journalism Monographs No. 1. Retrieved from https://ojs.aut.ac.nz/pacific-journalism-monographs/index.php/PJM/issue/view/1

PMW freedom project wins ‘critic and conscience award’ (2014, December 10). Pacific Media Watch. Retrieved from http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/region-pmw-freedom-project-wins-critic-and-conscience-award-9082

Regencia, T. (2018, February 22). Senator Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war has killed 20,000. Al Jazeera. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/senator-rodrigo-duterte-drug-war-killed-20000-180221134139202.html

Robie, D. (1996). The contempt case of the ‘Tongan three’. Pacific Journalism Review, 3(2), 10-19. Retrieved from https://pjreview.aut.ac.nz/

Robie, D. (2001). Frontline reporters: A students’ internet coup. Pacific Journalism Review, 7(1) 47-56.

Robie, D. (2004). Mekim nius: South Pacific media, politics and education. Suva, Fiji: University of the South Pacific Book Centre.

Robie, D. (2010). Pacific freedom of the press: Case studies in independent campus-based media models. Pacific Journalism Review, 16(2) 99-126.

Robie, D. (2014a). Pacific Media Watch: Beyond parochial news. Media Asia, 41(3), 220-226. https://doi: 10.1080/01296612.2014.11690019

Robie, D. (2014b). Don’t spoil my beautiful face: Media mayhem and human rights in the Pacific. Auckland, NZ: Little Island Press.

Robie, D. (2017). Indonesian double standards over press freedom endanger safety of Papuan journalists. Media Asia, 44(1), 40-47. https://doi: 10.1080/01296612.2017.1379812

Robie, D. (2018). Asia Pacific Report: A New Zealand nonprofit journalism model for campus-based social justice media.
IKAT: The Indonesian Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 2(1), 119-146. doi: 10.22146/ikat.v2i1.37395

RSF (Reporters Without Borders) (2018a, January 16). Philippine government attacks leading news website. Retrieved from https://rsf.org/en/news/philippine-government-attacks-leading-news-website-rappler

RSF (2018b, March 13). Philippine government brings two new complaints against Rappler. Retrieved from https://rsf.org/en/news/philippine-government-brings-two-new-complaints-against-rappler

RSF (2018c, August 31). Cambodian court sentences Australian filmmaker to six years in jail. Retrieved from https://rsf.org/en/news/cambodian-court-sentences-australian-filmmaker-six-years-jail

RSF (2018d, September 3). RSF appalled by jail terms for two Myanmar journalists. Retrieved from https://rsf.org/en/news/rsf-appalled-jail-terms-two-myanmar-journalists

RSF Index 2018. (2018). Asia-Pacific democracies threatened by China’s media control model. Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved from https://rsf.org/en/rsf-index-2018-asia-pacific-democracies-threatened-chinas-media-control-model

Samoa PM threatens to ban social media (2018, March 30). RNZ Pacific. Retrieved from https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/353729/samoa-pm-threatens-to-ban-social-media

Swami, N. (2018, May 16). Online safety bill, The Fiji Times. Retrieved from http://www.fijitimes.com/online-safety-bill/

Toboni, G. (2017, June 6). It’s super dangerous to be a journalist in the Philippines. But a brave few are working hard to maintain an independent press. Vice Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_nz/article/mbqkmb/its-super-dangerous-to-be-a-journalist-in-the-philippines-v24n5

Torture series wins Pacific Media Watch editor trauma journalism prize (2013). Pacific Media Watch, Retrieved from http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/fiji-torture-series-wins-pacific-media-watch-editor-trauma-journalism-prize-8456

UNESCO (2018). World trends in freedom of expression and media development: Global report 2017/2018. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0026/002610/261065e.pdf

US State Department (2008a). Diplomacy in action report: Fiji. Retrieved from https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100520.htm

US State Department (2008b). Diplomacy in action report: Papua New Guinea. Retrieved from
https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100534.htm

US State Department (2008c). Diplomacy in action report: Fiji. Retrieved from https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100535.htm

US State Department (2008d). Diplomacy in action report: Timor-Leste. Retrieved from https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100519.htm

Vaka’uta, K. (2017, June 7). Tonga broadcaster saga prompts media freedom discussion. RNZ Pacific. Retrieved from www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/332405/tonga-broadcaster-saga-prompts-media-freedom-discussion

Vaka’uta, K. (2018, May 4). Media in ‘crisis’—Pacific press freedom comes under spotlight. RNZ Pacific. Retrieved from www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/356607/media-in-crisis-pacific-press-freedom-comes-under-spotlight

Vanuatu plans cyber crime law to target Facebook false claims (2018, June 26). Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/06/26/vanuatu-plans-cyber-crime-law-to-target-facebook-false-claims/

Waide, S. (2018, May 30). Any Facebook shutdown in PNG dangerous on many levels. Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from https://asiapacificreport.nz/2018/05/30/scott-waide-any-facebook-shutdown-in-png-dangerous-on-many-levels/

Wells, M. (2017, February 4). Philippines: Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ is a war on the poor. Amnesty International. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/02/war-on-drugs-war-on-poor/

Young, A. (2018, February 2). Winston Peters drops legal case against journalists, chases hard after National MPs. The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved from https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11987115
Speight and students
Published
02-11-2018

How to Cite
Robie, D. (2018). Journalism under duress in Asia-Pacific: A decade of resistance. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 24(2), 12-32. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v24i2.459