21 May 2009

Volume 08 - 1999 Issue 31 (17 August 1999)


Samoa

LIBEL CHARGES AGAINST SAMOA OBSERVER DROPPED

On 13 August, the "Samoa Observer" reported that the Supreme Court suspended the criminal libel action by the late Samoan Prime Minister, Tofilau Eti Alesana, against the paper's publisher and a former editor, according to the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).

Indonesia

SAFETY OFFICE FOR MEDIA OPENS IN EAST TIMOR

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has opened the Safety Office for Media in East Timor (SOMET) in Dili. The project was carried out in conjunction with the Alliance of Independent Journalists in Indonesia (AIJ) and the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) in Australia. SOMET functions as a solidarity center for journalists who come to the region. The office has created a guide for visiting media staff and also provides assistance in securing accommodation, translators and drivers. East Timor continues to be a dangerous place for both local and foreign journalists. On 30 August, residents of East Timor will vote in a United Nations sponsored referendum on autonomy/independence.

International

RSF SAYS 20 JOURNALISTS KILLED IN THE FIRST EIGHT MONTHS OF 1999

Twenty journalists have been killed around the world in the first eight months of 1999, according to Reporters sans frontiPres (RSF). This is more than the total figure recorded by RSF last year and reverses the trend of reduced violence against media professionals over the last four years. Half of the incidents have occurred in Sierra Leone while six journalists were killed in Yugoslavia this year along with two in Nigeria and one each in Colombia and Lebanon.

Colombia

MEDIA PERSONALITY JAIME GARZÓN MURDERED

One of Colombia's most popular political humorists, Jaime Garzon, was killed on 13 August, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters sans frontières (RSF), the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and the International Press Institute (IPI). Garzon was driving to his job as morning host at the Bogota radio station Radionet when he was gunned down by two men on a motorcycle. The assassins managed to escape, reports RSF.

International

PRESIDENT INVOLVED IN ADVERTISING BOYCOTT OF PAPER

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reports that an ongoing advertising boycott of the "Philippine Daily Inquirer" may have originated from the office of President Joseph Estrada. According to CPJ, "several large private and government-run corporations have recently withdrawn advertising from the "Inquirer", despite the fact that the newspaper is the largest-circulation daily in the country." The president has openly criticized the "Inquirer", states CPJ, and has accused the paper of publishing only negative stories about him. The newspaper disputes the allegations while President Estrada has denied responsibility for the advertising boycott, according to the South East Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA). Movie producers have also withdrawn ads from the "Inquirer" as a "gesture of sympathy" for the president. Tax breaks were subsequently granted to the film industry.

International

DEATH OF MISA'S BRIGHT MWAPE SADDENS MEDIA FREEDOM COMMUNITY

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is extremely saddened to report that MISA's Regional Information Co-ordinator, Chola Bright Mwape, died on 16 August after an automobile accident in Namibia. The 33-year-old Mwape leaves behind his wife Judy, and their 20-month old son, Isaiah. Mwape is regionally and internationally known as one of the foremost media freedom activists in southern Africa, says MISA. He was in charge of MISA's Media Information Unit, which monitors press freedom in the region and produces MISA's bi-monthly publication on media advocacy entitled "Network News". Mwape edited the 1997 and 1998 editions of MISA's annual State of the Media report entitled "So this is Democracy?", edited the first two editions of the "Southern African Media Directory", and managed "MISANet", MISA's regional electronic news wire service.