Grubby probably thinks that I've lost interest in his splutterings and that it's safe to resume his prevarications, but I have only been otherwise occupied. I do keep one eye on Fiji media, however, and when sufficiently outraged I intend to issue forth accordingly. Such a time has come, as Grubby has chosen a topic on which he is ill-qualified to comment, ie. The Truth.And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field. We do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple. Whoever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter? – John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644
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It attempts to get at the truth in a confused world by stripping information first of any attached misinformation, disinformation, or self-promoting information and then letting the community react, and the sorting-out process ensue. The search for truth becomes a conversation. Rather than rushing to add context and interpretation, the press needs to concentrate on synthesis and verification.
He claimed that theI try to stay out of Fiji politics and stick to my area of expertise, which is matters of media, but I'm pretty sure that Chaudhry is correct in what he said. The news media in Fiji are firmly under the dictator's thumb. This has been confirmed recently by several independent international observers. Freedom House, for example, gave Fiji a press freedom score of 56 for the second straight year. Despite the lifting of censorship in early 2012, Fiji's press is no freer than before because of the draconian Media Decree. Fiji ranked 120th in the world for press freedom, according to this report, right behind Uganda and Moldova. The country report for Fiji has yet to be issued, but it will be presently available here. I'm sure the press freedom elves are cobbling just as fast as they can. In the meantime, what other data do we have by which to judge the truthfulness of Chaudry's statement versus Grubby's? How about the
media continued to be saddled with restrictions that prevented any party that opposed the Bainimarama Government from getting proper coverage. This is simply untrue. There are no restrictions on media coverage of Chaudhry’s comments or, indeed, the comments of any other political leader. Fiji
Media freedom remains severely limited. Although government censors have been removed from newsrooms, the application of a range of punitive measures means that self-censorship now prevails. The judiciary remains compromised. Those who criticise the government continue to face harassment and intimidation.
Journalists and media organizations continued to practice varying degrees of self-censorship . . . with many reportedly fearing retribution if they criticized the government. Media continued to refuse to publish opinion articles by antigovernment academics and commentators.
This requirement enabled government departments and private businesses to prevent stories from being published by not responding to media questions, thus making it impossible for the media to fulfill the decree’s requirement for comment from both sides. However, media sources reported that if the story was positive toward the government, the balance requirement could be ignored without consequence.
So I think we can safely conclude that Chaudhry was spot on in his comment to Radio Australia, while Grubby's protestation is just more low-grade government disinformation. It really boggles the mind that he is able to keep his propaganda gig. Perhaps some Fijians are gullible enough to swallow his swill. Hopefully no one who reads this blog is. Even more idiotic than Grubby's insistence that there are no restrictions on media coverage of opposition politicians in Fiji is his explanation that Chaudhry doesn't get any domestic coverage because he doesn't talk to Fiji media and that Fiji media know better than to report his claims because they "have only a passing acquaintance with the truth." According to Grubby, it is not the job of news media to merely report the claims of prominent people on important matters, but instead to first determine their truthfulness and to then report only those it deems to be correct.
As one journalist put it to Grubsheet: “Why should we report what these guys are saying when we know it to be false?” The answer is “you shouldn’t.” As the Fijian opposition evidently sees it, the local media is there to report their utterances without question. No. They are there to report without fear or favour but are under no compunction to report comments that are either untrue or are not newsworthy judged by conventional media standards.
Any political party or member found spreading lies to cause trouble will be charged, the Fiji Police Force has warned. Speaking toSo from now on if people like Chaudhry attempt to spread lies to foreign media, such as saying there is no press freedom in Fiji, they will luckily be brought to justice. According to Grubby, this will likely be another glorious victory for press freedom.
Sun yesterday, Police chief of operations Assistant Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu hinted that they have mounted a joint operation with the Fiji to monitor political activities. Republicof Fiji Military Forces