Nauru bans ABC from summit

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Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby mothra » 02 Jul 2018, 21:24

'Outrageous': Nauru bans ABC from summit

The ABC has been banned from attending the Pacific Islands Forum over its past reporting.

Nauru has banned the ABC from attending the Pacific Islands Forum over its "blatant interference" and "lack of respect", and warned other media outlets about how they cover the event.

In a statement released on Monday, the Nauru government laid down the law for international journalists hoping to report on the summit, set to take place in September.

"We recognise that media from Australia have a unique interest in Nauru due to our partnership with Australia as part of its border security operations," it said, referring to the offshore processing centre on the island.

The statement then outlines visa specifications before saying "it should be noted that no representative from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will be granted a visa to enter Nauru".

'Blatant interference'

The Nauru government claims the decision is due to the ABC's "blatant interference in Nauru's domestic politics prior to the 2016 election, harassment of and lack of respect towards our president in Australia, false and defamatory allegations against members of our government, and continued biased and false reporting about our country".

Journalists from other outlets were warned to "not engage in activities that cause or encourage disruption or civil unrest".

Director of News, Analysis and Investigations at ABC Gaven Morris said "the ABC vigorously defends our role in doing independent reporting on our region".

He said the Nauru government "should not be allowed to dictate who fills the positions in an Australian media pool. It can hardly claim it is 'welcoming the media' if it dictates who that media will be and bans Australia's public broadcaster".

"The ABC does not intend to vacate our position in the media pool covering the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru."

The summit is an annual meeting of leaders from around the region. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attended the 2017 meeting in Samoa and has been invited to the 2018 meeting in Nauru.

SBS News contacted the office of the Prime Minister about the ABC ban but did not receive a reply.

Industry, advocates react

The statement has prompted harsh words from media and refugee advocacy groups.

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance chief executive Paul Murphy said he hoped for a quick response from the Australian government.

"We would expect the Australian government would make the strongest possible complaint to ensure that Australian journalists from any media organisation are able to cover the forum," he said.

Director of Human Rights Watch in Australia Elaine Pearson told SBS News the announcement was "outrageous".

"The Nauru government should understand that a free press and freedom of speech is a vital part of any functioning democracy," she said.

"The Pacific Islands Forum could have been an opportunity for Nauru to shine, instead it's showing the Nauru government's true slide into authoritarianism and lack of tolerance for criticism.

"The very fact that Nauru hosts an offshore processing centre funded by Australia, of course, attracts interest from international journalists – but trying to repress the truth about what it is like for refugees will not deflect attention from this issue."

'Pattern of censorship'

Spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition Ian Rintoul said he was unsurprised by Monday's statement.

"Nauru has gone to great lengths and is desperate to prevent any media scrutiny not only of refugees on Nauru but of government operations," he said.

"There is a pattern of press censorship and suppression [locally] ... Nauru has [previously] imposed an $8,000 up-front fee on media visas to the country. Not only is the cost is prohibitive; media visas are rarely approved and costs are not refundable," he claimed.

"Notoriously the only Australian media representatives to get approval to enter to Nauru have been those considered sympathetic to the Nauru and Australian governments."

The Refugee Action Coalition says that 1,600 refugees, including about 140 children, remain on Nauru and Manus.

The offshore policy is designed to deter people embarking on treacherous sea journeys, but the United Nations and other rights groups have criticised the camps' conditions and long detention periods.



https://www.sbs.com.au/news/outrageous-nauru-bans-abc-from-summit
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby johnsmith » 02 Jul 2018, 21:41

I'd be willing to bet that this is at the behest of certain australian government members
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby mothra » 02 Jul 2018, 22:12

johnsmith wrote:I'd be willing to bet that this is at the behest of certain australian government members


I'm not taking that bet.
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby mothra » 03 Jul 2018, 20:52

Turnbull 'regrets' Nauru banning ABC as media boycott grows

Australia’s parliamentary press gallery and a newspaper in Vanuatu have vowed to boycott the event unless the ABC is allowed to attend.

Malcolm Turnbull’s trip to Nauru in September for an important meeting of Pacific island leaders may receive only limited coverage from the Australian media, after the island nation banned the ABC.

Australian broadcasters and a Vanuatu newspaper are threatening to boycott the forum in solidarity with the ABC, which Nauru says was banned for "biased" reporting on the island’s controversial refugee camps, which it hosts on behalf of Australia.

The prime minister said he was disappointed by the decision to refuse the broadcaster visas, but confirmed he would not cancel the trip.

"We obviously support press freedom, naturally, and we regret that the ABC has not been given a visa - but that is a matter for Nauru," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

Asked if he would raise the issue with Nauru's leader, Mr Turnbull said he would not engage in "megaphone diplomacy" through the media.

Canberra press gallery to boycott crucial forum

Australia’s major broadcasters in Parliament House have agreed to boycott the Pacific Islands Forum unless the host nation reverses its strict ban on the ABC.

The press gallery planned to send a small “pool” of three – one reporter, one camera operator and one photographer – to cover the September meeting of Pacific island leaders, which Mr Turnbull will also attend.

Content pools are common for prime ministerial trips overseas, and allow the many broadcasters in Parliament House to access the shared content.

Nauru’s decision to ban the ABC, which planned to contribute one of the staff, has now triggered a broader boycott.

Press gallery president David Crowe said the ban was an “outrageous restriction on press freedom”.

The press gallery will no longer send the pool and will not swap out the ABC staff member in a bid to send a message to the government of Nauru that it cannot pick and choose broadcasters.

The Vanuatu Daily Post said it would also join the boycott.

"We were offered a spot. We will not be accepting," its media director Dan McGarry tweeted.

"All of us or none of us."

The Pacific Islands Forum is an important meeting of Pacific states, including many of strategic interest to Australia.

The Australian government has recently ramped up its diplomatic efforts in the region, at least partly to counter growing Chinese influence.

Australia recently intervened to build a data cable to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, partly funded from the aid budget, to prevent the contract falling to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

Nauru said its decision was due to the ABC’s “blatant interference in Nauru's domestic politics prior to the 2016 election, harassment of and lack of respect towards our President in Australia, false and defamatory allegations against members of our Government, and continued biased and false reporting about our country”.

"No representative from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will be granted a visa to enter Nauru under any circumstances," it said in a statement on Monday.

ABC vows to fight decision, while Nauru hits back

ABC news director Gaven Morris said Nauru "should not be allowed to dictate who fills the positions in an Australian media pool".

"The ABC does not intend to vacate our position in the media pool covering the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru," he said in a statement.

"It can hardly claim it is 'welcoming the media' if it dictates who that media will be and bans Australia's public broadcaster."

Nauru's government put out a second official statement, accusing the ABC of being "arrogant" and "disrespectful".

"We remind the ABC that we – like Australia – have every right to refuse a visa to any person or organisation that we believe is not of good character, and that entry into our country is a privilege not a right," the statement read.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Nauru's decision was "regrettable".

"However it is the sovereign right of every country to decide who enters its borders," a DFAT spokesperson said.

Amnesty International said the ban was a "brazen" attempt to suppress coverage of the treatment of asylum seekers in the Australian-funded offshore processing centre.

"Hosting a pan-regional event like the Pacific Islands Forum comes with the responsibility of opening yourself up to the region's media," said Amnesty International global operations director Minar Pimple.

The forum will be held on the tiny Micronesian island state in the central Pacific from September 1 to 9.

Representatives from 30 countries, including 18 forum nation members, will be attending.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/turnbull-regrets-nauru-banning-abc-as-media-boycott-grows
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby johnsmith » 03 Jul 2018, 22:48

mothra wrote:Australia’s parliamentary press gallery and a newspaper in Vanuatu have vowed to boycott the event


The Nauru govt. will be happy with that.
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby mothra » 03 Jul 2018, 23:06

johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:Australia’s parliamentary press gallery and a newspaper in Vanuatu have vowed to boycott the event


The Nauru govt. will be happy with that.


And Dutton too .. no doubt his design.
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby johnsmith » 03 Jul 2018, 23:18

mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:Australia’s parliamentary press gallery and a newspaper in Vanuatu have vowed to boycott the event


The Nauru govt. will be happy with that.


And Dutton too .. no doubt his design.


he's the mastermind behind it all
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby mothra » 03 Jul 2018, 23:42

johnsmith wrote:
he's the mastermind behind it all


Last thing he wants now is pictures of children behind bars hitting the world's screens.

Stitched up. Makes me furious,
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby pinkeye » 04 Jul 2018, 00:39

yes it's a scandal of volcanic proportions... but only to those who give a fuck.


seems yer average aussie is a macho being, until the government says to shut up.

then... fucking wimps. !!!
SEEMS WE'D ALLOW our government to dictate WHAT we are allowed to hear, about the surviving refugees on manus and nauru.


The PM doesn't even stand up for the ABC.! Suits his agenda. :WTF :sad
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby mothra » 05 Jul 2018, 14:21

Nauru’s ban on ABC splits commercial media

The extraordinary ban imposed by Nauru on the ABC covering the Pacific Islands Forum – or visiting that country at all – has laid bare the raw and fractious fault lines in the Australian media.

Journalists and commercial organisations are split over how to respond, between those who believe there should be solidarity with the ABC, and those maintaining that what happens to the ABC is its problem alone.

News Corp is not unhappy to see the ABC, its perennial target, disadvantaged and intends to extract benefit for itself from the situation.

The federal parliamentary press gallery committee - which mostly looks after routine matters affecting its members - has taken a defiant stand, which has been endorsed by Fairfax.

The media contingent that was to cover Malcolm Turnbull’s trip had been restricted to a “pool” of three (because that’s all the PM’s plane had room for, although Nauru is confining the number of media).

The gallery had nominated an ABC cameraman, and a reporter and photographer supplied by the news agency AAP. Footage, reports and pictures would be shared with other outlets.

After the Nauru ban - which Tony Walker has suggested is likely driven more by the ABC’s coverage of corruption allegations than its stories about asylum seekers - the gallery committee decided that if the ABC couldn’t go, the pool would be disbanded.

Read more: Australia's government failed to stand up for press freedom after Nauru barred ABC journalist

It said in a statement issued on Wednesday by its president David Crowe, chief political correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, that if the ABC was banned, no one should go.

“The decision by the government of Nauru to pick and choose the journalists who cover the Pacific Islands Forum is an appalling restriction on press freedom,” the statement said.

“If the ban is not reversed, the media pool will be disbanded. If one cannot go, none will go.

‘'We oppose the Nauru edict because it is wrong in this instance and because it sets a dangerous precedent. What other Australian media might be banned from a similar group by another government in future? We stand for a free press, not a banned one.”

Those on the gallery committee come from the ABC, News Corp, Fairfax, The Guardian, and Sky, but it is not suggested the statement represented a unanimous view.

The gallery stand was immediately backed by Fairfax but rejected by News Corp.

Executive editor of the SMH and The Age, James Chessell, said: “The Age and Herald support the decision made by the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Any attempt to restrict press freedom is an affront to all newsrooms.”

The Daily Telegraph’s political editor, Sharri Markson was blunt.

She tweeted: “News Corp does not support this ludicrous ban by the press gallery on covering a PM’s trip to Nauru simply because an ABC cameraman cannot go. So, you can read all the news from the trip in News Corp papers, like @dailytelegraph and @australian but no where else.”

As things stand, News Corp is set to take the places on the Turnbull plane, filing for its outlets, rather than providing “pool” copy.

The New Zealand parliamentary press gallery has condemned Nauru’s decision. It said the decision “follows already restrictive reporting conditions, limiting the number of journalists who can attend this important regional summit.

’‘While infrastructure constraints play a role in limiting pool numbers, we are appalled by this attempt to control media coverage”.

Nauru has long played hardball with media it doesn’t likes, notably notably through its visa charge.

This week Sky’s Laura Jayes said on Twitter: “I went to Nauru in 2016 when it was charging a non-refundable visa application fee of $8000. It was waived for Sky on the condition that we not report it. We did.”

Malcolm Turnbull said this week he would not engage in “megaphone” diplomacy. Behind the scenes the government has made representations to Nauru – how strongly is another matter – but with no effect.

Turnbull does not want to offend Nauru, for obvious reasons – it has been one linchpin in Australia’s border security policy. And many of the right of his party wouldn’t want him to be seen to be prosecuting the ABC’s cause too forcefully.


https://theconversation.com/naurus-ban-on-abc-splits-commercial-media-99391
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Re: Nauru bans ABC from summit

Postby johnsmith » 05 Jul 2018, 19:09

govt stand up for the ABC? You must be joking. Fucken wankers won't be happy until all our govt. owned institutions are gone. In some industries since sold off we've gone from world leaders to the laughing stock of the world.
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