The New Zealand-based Pacific Media Centre has condemned the selective ban by the Nauru government in what it says is an authoritarian affront to media freedom in the region.
“Clearly the Nauru government is determined to gag any independent efforts to speak truth to power,” said director Professor David Robie.
“The fact that the ABC has gained Nauru’s displeasure is because the public broadcaster has exposed outrageous human rights violations in the Australian-established detention centre for asylum seekers and aired allegations of corruption on a higher level than many other media.”
To accuse the ABC of “biased and false reporting” when the Australian public broadcaster had by far one of the best and most comprehensive coverage of the South Pacific was disingenuous, he said.
Dr Robie also criticised the hypocrisy of the Australian government and the silence of other Forum member countries.
“Australia has spent large sums of money in journalism training in an effort to raise standards and strengthen the quality of independent media in the past two decades and yet stands meekly by in the face of this flagrant violation of media freedom.
“This is shocking and painfully obvious that Australia has much to hide in the region just like the Nauru government.”
The PMC director called on Nauru authorities to review its decision and rescind it.
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Report by Pacific Media Centre