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Date Posted: 00:33:00 03/12/04 Fri
Author: Govmedia
Subject: Re: Open letter to the Cook Islands News
In reply to: Jason Brown 's message, "Open letter to the Cook Islands News" on 02:37:08 03/11/04 Thu

re: 4339 Cook Is: Journalist warns of media crisis

Kia Orana,

I have just read your version [Pacific Media Watch] of Cook Islands journalist Jason Brown's open letter to the Cook Islands News, which incidentally has yet to be published. I have also read the original which he sent me yesterday. I am disturbed at the slant that has been put on the Media Watch version of the letter, which sensationalises Jason's inference that the Cook Islands government intends to interfere with media freedom in this country.
Government is not undertaking a "media review." In fact, it intends to launch a review of broadcasting services as a result of complaints and alleged abuses of power by Elijah Communications. A government spokesman also suggested it might be a good time to look at setting up a press council, but emphasised that government had absolutely no intention of interfering with freedom of the press.
As a former newspaper editor with many years of experience, I find it disappointing that an organisation like Media Watch should present material on the internet which appears to have rewritten to add an element of drama to this issue.
I told Jason yesterday that his suggestion that government was trying to shut down the media industry before the general election was over the top. In fact, it is nothing short of ludicrous.
On a more positive note, Government's mention of a press council appears to have woken up the previously moribund Cook Islands Media Association which is now calling for consultation with government - which of course it will get. Government spelt out very plainly in a press release last week that the broadcasting enquiry will involve consultation with all interested parties, including of course the current holders of the country's broadcasting licences.
A further press release on Tuesday again made it very clear that government favours the idea of an independent press council.


Cameron Scott,
Communications Officer,
Office of the Prime Minister,

Phone: (682) 25494
Fax: (682) 20856
email: govmedia@pmoffice.gov.ck

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  • Re: Open letter to the Cook Islands News -- Jim, 20:08:19 01/12/05 Wed
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