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Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

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Presentation on theme: "Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

2 History Lords Spiritual AristocracyCommonsMedia Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important than they all. It is not a figure of speech, or a witty saying; it is a literal fact,.... Printing, which comes necessarily out of Writing, I say often, is equivalent to Democracy: invent Writing, Democracy is inevitable Whoever can speak, speaking now to the whole nation, becomes a power, a branch of government, with inalienable weight in lawmaking, in all acts of authority. It matters not what rank he has, what revenues or garnitures: the requisite thing is that he have a tongue which others will listen to; this and nothing more is requisite. Thomas Carlyle (1905) pp Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

3 Author Oscar Wilde wrote: In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody was it Burke? called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism. Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

4 You guys, [Johnson replied], without even reflecting. All you guys in the media. All of politics has changed because of you. Youve broken all the [party] machines and the ties between us in the Congress and the city machines. Youve given us a new kind of people. A certain disdain passed over his face. Teddy, Tunney. 1 theyre your creations, your puppets. No machine could ever create a Teddy Kennedy. Only you guys. Theyre all yours. Your product. (Zaller 1999: 1) Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

5 The mass media are often seen as fulfilling the vitally important r0le of fourth estate, the guardians of democracy and defenders of the public interest. Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

6 JudicialExecutive Media? Legislature Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

7 Media in Tonga: brief history In March 1831, a missionary William Woon arrived in Nukualofa from England with a printing press (Lingenfelter, 1976). The Fetuu o Tonga (Star of Tonga) is thought to have been the first Tongan newspaper, launched in 1869, The second Tongan newspaper was Boobooi, which was published in late 1874 (Barney,1974) 1876 Baker set up an English publication The Tonga Times. It became the governments and Bakers mouthpiece before the English-speaking world The European settlers resentment of Baker and the government led to the birth of another newspaper in 1881, Niuvakai by Robert Hanslips. ( This caused the first press war in the Pacific (Barney, 1974) Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

8 Media in Tonga: brief history In March 1882, the Koa Taimi o Tonga (The Times of Tonga), a pro-government Tongan language paper, was established. September 1882 Baker pushed two Acts through Parliament. 1) An Act relative to Newspapers and 2) An Act Relative to Sedition: October 1882 King signed amendment to the Constitution. -Hanslip was banned from Parliament meetings. Rev J.E. Moulton was also charged for sedition Church Newspapers took over until 1964 Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

9 Medias Agenda Setting McCombs and Shaw (1972) tested their hypothesis concerning the transfer of salience from the media to the public during an election in Chapel Hill, NC in They concluded that the mass media had significant influence on what voters considered to be the major issues of the campaign. This is based on what Bernard Cohen suggested: The press may not be successful much of the time telling people what to think, but is stunningly successful in telling readers what to think about (Bernard Cohen 1963: 13). Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

10 Access to information is essential to the health of democracy for at least two reasons. First, it ensures that citizens make responsible, informed choices rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation. Second, information serves a checking function by ensuring that elected representatives uphold their oaths of office and carry out the wishes of those who elected them. Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

11 Democracy is impossible without a Free Press. Media freedom in Tonga is guaranteed under Clause 7 of the Tongan Constitution. It shall be lawful for all people to speak, write and print their opinions and no law shall ever be enacted to restrict this liberty. There shall be freedom of speech and of the press for ever but nothing in this clause shall be held to outweigh the law of defamation, official secrets or the laws for the protection of the King and the Royal Family. Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

12 Democracy is impossible without a Free Press. Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

13 Democracy is impossible without a Free Press. 17th century, Enlightenment theorists argued that publicity and openness provide the best protection against tyranny and the excesses of arbitrary rule. Governments, it is argued, cannot be held accountable if citizens are ill informed about the actions of officials and institutions. The watchdog press is guardian of the public interest, warning citizens against those who are doing them harm. A fearless and effective watchdog is critical in fledgling democracies where institutions are weak and pummelled by political pressure. Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

14 Democracy is impossible without a Free Press. When legislatures, judiciaries and other oversight bodies are powerless against the mighty or are themselves corruptible, the media are often left as the only check against the abuse of power. The media also serve as a conduit or bridge between governors and the governed and as an arena for public debate that leads to more intelligent policy- and decision-making. Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

15 In almost all countries, media have become the space of politics. To an overwhelming extent people receive their information, on the basis of which they form their political opinion and structure their behaviour, through the media and particularly television and radio. (Castells, 2000) Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

16 Constraints on Media The media in new and young democracies have been hobbled by tough laws, Eg. Sedition ActOct.23, 1882 Newspaper PrintingOct.23, 1882 LibelOct.23, Media Operators Act, the Newspaper Act Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

17 Constraints on Media Media Ownership Private State The competition for the market has meant that the media in most new democracies have succumbed to the global trend of dumbing down the news. Lack of experience Prefer shallow reporting rather than in-depth investigative journalism Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

18 How the media have promoted Democracy and Good Governance Investigative Reporting: The media as Watchdog Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

19 Recommendation and Implications For Actions. Protection of Journalists Enhancing Media Accountability Building Media Capacity Media Council to keep media in line Prepared by Dr Sione Vikilani for 'Parliamentary leadership and awareness workshop', January 31 - February 4, 2011, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.


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